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Eichmann Trial -- Session 42 -- Testimony of Heinrich Grueber, Charlotte Salzberger; affidavit of Bernard Loesener

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.054 | Film ID: 2053

Under questioning from the judges, the German theologian Dr. Heinrich Grueber testifies about his role in the rescue of Jews. He says that he receives hate mail and threats for his rescue work and for agreeing to come to Jerusalem to testify. He refuses to publicly state the name of a fellow rescuer for this reason. He quotes Leo Baeck as he describes the difference between the reactions of working people versus scholars to the persecution of the Jews. (Duplicate footage also found on Tape 2052 at 01:00:02 and Tape 2051 at 00:31:04). Judge Halevi asks Grueber what happened to Dr. Bernard Loesener, who testified at Nuremberg. After hearing about the 1941 massacre of Jews in Riga Loesener asked to be relieved of his position in the Ministry of the Interior. Judge Halevi then asks Grueber whether Losener had the same duties as Dr. Globke in the Ministry of the Interior and whether Grüber received help from high authorities in the Catholic church in Germany, including Pope Pius XII. (Duplicate footage found on Tape 2051 at 00:34:07).

A small part of the proceedings is missing from the video. Judge Halevi asks Grueber about the lack of moral courage in Germany that helped lead to the annihilation of the Jews. Grueber discusses Eichmann's character and his anti-Semitic beliefs. Grueber characterizes Eichmann not as a man consumed by hatred, but rather as a man who exhibits a "cold rejection" of humanity. Grueber leaves the witness stand and sits in the audience of the courtroom while the translation of his personal statement about his hope for forgiveness and for good relations between Germany and Israel is read in English. The woman sitting beside him (his wife?) wipes away tears as his statement is read.

Assistant State Attorney Bar-Or speaks of a minor problem with the gathering of a witness's testimony in Rome. He then enters documents into evidence and states that Eichmann's department was responsible for the efforts to "politicize" the churches. He enters an affidavit by Bernard Loesener into evidence. Bar-Or summarizes part of the document in which Loesener discusses his duties to enforce the Nuremberg Laws, the massacre in Riga, and his efforts to leave the Interior Ministry (00:42:34). Bar-Or contends that it is clear that Eichmann's department was heavily involved in matters concerning Jews. Bar-Or reads part of this document in German, in which Loesener names Eichmann as an "especially fanatical Jew hater." Various shots of Eichmann taking notes.

First part of testimony from witness Charlotte Salzberger (00:47:46). Mr. Bar-Or asks the witness about her arrival in Holland, how long she stayed there, and whether her family had to register as Jews. Salzberger shows items that she kept in an album, including the Jewish star she was forced to wear and the deportation order sent to her sister. (Identical footage found on Tape 2051 at 00:41:02). She is asked about the summons for deportation that she received in 1942 and she states that she did not report for deportation as ordered. Salzberger testifies that her nationality in 1941 was "stateless" and that her family received Ecuadoran passports but not exit visas.

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
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:45:24
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