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Eichmann Trial -- Session 71-- Witness Vera Alexander

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.089 | Film ID: 2089

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 71-- Witness Vera Alexander


    The camera fades in on empty chairs by the prosecution and defense tables followed by a fade out and cuts to an overhead shot of the same empty chairs. The camera zooms out to show the whole courtroom. People are heard talking in the background from the audience seating. (00:02:10). Adolf Eichmann enters the booth with documents in his arms. Attorney General Gideon Hausner enters. All rise as the judges enter and Judge Landau announces the opening of Session 71 (00:06:14).

    Hausner calls the witness Vera Alexander to the stand. Judge Landau asks for quiet in the court and the witness is sworn in. Alexander begins by giving an account in Hebrew of her arrest and deportation to Auschwitz (00:09:24) as well as her arrival at the camp and the block to which she was assigned. Hausner questions her about her work detail at Auschwitz and Alexander testifies to her appointment as a block elder (00:15:01). The witness states that she used her position to help other prisoners and describes her placement in the hospital block when she fell ill. She notes that once she was appointed a block elder she was given a whip from Irma Grese to beat prisoners with and defiantly states that she never used the whip (00:21:59). Testimony continues with Alexander describing the various staff positions at the camp, including those of the Rapportschreiberin and the Schreibstube (00:23:17).

    Hausner asks the witness whether she knew of the two Slovakian boys that had escaped from Auschwitz and Alexander states that she knew both of them by name (00:26:15). She gives an account of Dr. Mengele and his experimentation on twins (00:27:33) as well as the arrival of Hungarian Jews and the orders she received not to tell them about their fate.

    Testimony then turns to the subject of children: whether the witness saw children being taken to be killed and if the presence of children was a risk for adults (00:32:43). Alexander describes one incident in which a woman with a child came into her block and when the child was taken away the woman committed suicide by electrocuting herself on the electrified barbed wire fence (00:33:39). This duplicates footage found on Tape 2087 (at 00:45:28) but is more complete than Tape 2087.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 June 08
    Production:  1961 June 08
    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: Milton Fruchtman
    Camera Operator: Rolf M. Kneller
    Camera Operator: F. Csaznik
    Camera Operator: J. Jonilowicz
    Camera Operator: J. Kalach
    Camera Operator: Emil Knebel
    Producer: Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation
    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 Hebrew German
    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:01:22:00 to 00:36:39:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2089 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2089 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2089 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2089 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2089 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2089 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2089 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2089 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.
    Copied From
    2" Quad
    Film Source
    Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2305
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 208
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:45:33
    This page:

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