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Eichmann Trial -- Session 42 -- Cross-examination of Grueber by defense attorney Servatius

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.053 | Film ID: 2052

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 42 -- Cross-examination of Grueber by defense attorney Servatius


    Defense lawyer Servatius is seated going through papers. He hands one of the papers to a man who passes by his table. Shot of the courtroom, Eichmann's booth; Eichmann is escorted in carrying documents. One of his guards delivers a note to Servatius. The camera focuses alternately on Eichmann and Servatius for several minutes. All rise as the judges enter court. Judge Landau announces the opening of Session 42 (00:05:41).

    Continuation of interrogation of Dr. Heinrich Grüber, Protestant Dean of Berlin by defense attorney Robert Servatius. Grüber describes his association with the Confessional Church. He notes that the Evangelical Church or Official Church separated from the Confessional Church because the Evangelical Church followed National Socialism (00:08:34). Servatius asks the witness about the Berlin Evangelical Sunday Paper and its welcome of Hitler following the Enabling Act in 1933. Grüber states that this was a method of appeasing the regime, although he personally did not agree with this tactic. (00:12:05). Servatius reads from the aforementioned paper and tries to suggest that Eichmann was convinced that he was on the right path based on the anti-Semitic propaganda in the excerpt from this paper. Someone claps in the courtroom and Judge Landau attempts to remove the person from the courtroom (00:22:33). Servatius reads from another German newspaper from around the same time. Gruber talks about the blindness of the German people to the negativity of National Socialism and his belief that by November 1938 they had realized that it was the wrong path. Servatius turns his questions to a book by W. Poliakov-Wolff "The Thinkers of the Third Reich" (00:35:09) in which scholars and professors acclaimed Hitler's actions.

    Dr. Gruber gives testimony concerning the arrest of and deportation of clergymen to Dachau (00:39:40). Describes the frequency of mass arrests and transports of clergymen to Warthegau (00:46:35). Questions in this section are being asked by Judge Raveh.

    Judge Halevi asks about Gruber's role in the rescue of Jews (00:55:52) which Gruber states that it was an honor but that he did not want to divulge the name of the man that also helped and that he had in fact received hate mail for his actions. Halevi then asks about the difference between the reaction of ordinary people and scholars to the persecution of Jews (01:00:02) at which Gruber replies that it was very clear by the November pogrom that the working class was more sympathetic and willing to help.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 May 16
    Production:  1961 May 16
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Director: Leo Hurwitz
    Producer: Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation
    Subject: Heinrich Grueber
    Producer: Milton Fruchtman
    Camera Operator: J. Kalach
    Camera Operator: Emil Knebel
    Camera Operator: J. Jonilowicz
    Camera Operator: F. Csaznik
    Camera Operator: Rolf M. Kneller
    Heinrich Karl Ernst Grüber was a Protestant Dean of Berlin who risked his life to save Jews from Nazi persecution. Heinrich Grüber was born in Stolberg, in the Rhineland, on 24 June 1891. Of Huguenot stock, he studied theology in Bonn, Berlin and Utrecht before becoming an active social worker and the director of a home for developmentally disabled boys. Staunchly opposed to Hitler, he came into contact with Pastor Niemoller and the Confessional Church. Niemoller entrusted him with setting up an organization, the 'Büro Grüber', at his vicarage in Karlsdorf, near Berlin, to help save Christians of Jewish descent. The Büro dealt with emigration and employment abroad, care for the aged, welfare, and the education of Jewish children. Grüber constantly negotiated with the Nazi authorities, including Eichmann's Gestapo office, on behalf of Jewish organizations and sometimes found secret helpers in the Wehrmacht and different Reich ministries. After the outbreak of war he was frequently harassed by Gestapo threats, and in December 1940, he was arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, then transferred to Dachau. He suffered from a heart complaint, had his teeth knocked out and most of his helpers were murdered by the Nazis. Released in 1943, he resumed contact with Evangelical church clergymen in exile. In 1945, he became Dean of St Mary's Church in Berlin, and founded the Evangelische Hilfsstelle für Ehemals Rassisch Verfolgte (Evangelical Aid Society for former Victims of Racial Persecution). From 1949 to 1958 Gruber was the chief representative of the Evangelical Church in East Berlin, resigning his position in protest against anti-Christian smears in the DDR. He was also unpopular in West Germany for his advocacy of nuclear disarmament and his attacks on West German militarism, not to mention his insistence on the collective guilt of the German nation for Nazi crimes. Grüber argued that every German 'who glosses over his past failings is a potential criminal of tomorrow' and denounced the official whitewashing of the German people in the post-war period. He was the only German witness to come to Jerusalem in 1961 to testify at the Eichmann trail as to the existence of 'another Germany'. Dean Grüber continued to emphasize the moral obligation of the Germans to the Jewish people and to warn the authorities against minimizing periodic outbursts of neo-Nazi activity in the Federal Republic. His memoirs, "Erinnerungen aus Sieben Jahrzehnten," were published in 1968. He died of a heart attack seven years later at the age of eighty-four.

    Courtesy of:
    "Who's Who in Nazi Germany"
    ©1982, Wiederfield and Nicolsa
    Emil Knebel was a cinematographer known for Andante (2010), Adam (1973), and Wild Is My Love (1963). He was one of the cameramen who recorded daily coverage of the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem (produced by Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp and later held academic positions in Israel and New York teaching filmmaking at universities. Refer to CV in file.

    Physical Details

    English German Hebrew
    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:00:23:00 to 01:05:01:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2052 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2052 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2052 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2052 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2052 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2052 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2052 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2052 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Public Domain
    Conditions on Use
    To the best of the Museum's knowledge, this material is in the public domain. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation recorded the proceedings of the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961. The original recording was made on two-inch format videotape. One set of videotapes contained selected portions of the trial for distribution to television stations. The "selected portions" version remained in Israel and was later turned over to the Israel State Archives. Capital Cities Broadcasting retained the set of videotapes containing the complete trial proceedings at offices in New York City until 1965, when they gave the videotapes to the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. The Anti-Defamation League, in turn, gave the complete set to the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1972. With a grant from the Revson Foundation, Hebrew University transferred the two-inch videotapes to U-Matic format. During the transfer process, Hebrew University created three duplicate sets. One set was given to the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, one to the Israel State Archives, and one set to the Jewish Museum in New York City. In 1995, the Israel State Archives transferred the trial footage to digital videoformat with a grant from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. Three subsequent digital videotape copies resulted from this transfer of footage. The Israel State Archives retained one digital copy and a second set was deposited at the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the third set of digital videotapes in May 1999.
    See official transcripts, published in "The Trial of Adolf Eichmann", Vol. I-V, State of Israel, Ministry of Justice, Jerusalem, 1994. Also available online at the Nizkor Project.

    *Severe scratch throughout master.
    Copied From
    2" Quad
    Film Source
    Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2154
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 201
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:05:39
    This page:

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