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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 44 and 45 -- Red Cross report

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.056 | Film ID: 2055

Witness Ernst Recht is sworn in and questioned by Bar-Or. Recht describes the concentration of the Jews into central locations in Prague and the confiscation of their house keys by authorities prior to their deportation. He describes the documentation and confiscation of the property from their homes to be sent to Germany. Recht refers to this as the "Kramer Operation."

Recht describes his appointment to the Council of Elders and the Trusteeship Office in Prague and his contact with Guenther (00:07:26). He says that representatives from Berlin came to inspect confiscated carpets in 1943. Bar-Or asks him about a warehouse of confiscated books and a special depot filled with rare books. One day Guenther received a letter sent by a person named Andre concerning the special collection. Guenther was very angry that Andre knew about the collection, which he wanted to keep secret for his own purposes.

Bar-Or asks Recht to look at a report about 10,000 Jewish homes in and around Prague. Recht describes how these homes were sealed following the deportations and says that many man-hours were needed to clear the apartments (00:17:43). Shots of the documents, including the report on the homes, a photo of a furniture warehouse, paintings/portraits (00:24:56), and a bookstore. Recht notes that many of these items went through a restoration process.

Session 45. The video starts in the middle of the session and begins with the decision to admit into evidence an excerpt from the official report by the International Red Cross concerning their visit to Theresienstadt and a reception in Prague where Eichmann was present (00:30:32). The representatives had asked to tour Bergen-Belsen but the visit never took place. Part of the proceedings is missing and the footage resumes with the testimony of witness Viteslav Diamant, who was sent to Theresienstadt in 1941 and worked there as a camp electrician (00:36:12). There are various shots of Eichmann and Dr. Servatius.

There is a section of the proceedings missing and footage resumes with testimony from witness Adolf Engelstein, who was sent to Theresienstadt in January 1943. He says that he received orders directly from Eichmann to build barracks in a forested area (00:42:53). He was also ordered to build a special scaffold that would accomodate three people. Bar-Or asks about new orders he received to hermetically seal openings in the "Small Fortress" not far from the main camp (00:51:17). Engelstein describes rumors that circulated that they were making gas chambers in Theresienstadt (00:58:40). Bar-or asks him whether he remembers the International Red Cross visit to the camp (01:00:44). Eichmann takes notes.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 May 18
Production:  1961 May 18
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 12:45:25
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