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Eichmann Trial -- Session 77 -- Questioning Eichmann

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.102 | Film ID: 2102

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 77 -- Questioning Eichmann


    Adolf Eichmann is examined on the Madagascar Plan, the Würzburg Files and the Düsseldorf Files. The footage begins shortly into Session 77 as Dr. Robert Servatius asks Eichmann about a letter dealing with the Jewish Question. While the translator speaks, the courtroom is shown and Eichmann sits in a booth looking over documents. In his response, Eichmann states that he "never took part in any discussion in the Foreign Ministry," and suggests that there was a rivalry between Heydrich and the Reich Minister over the Madagascar Plan. It is then clarified that "Territorial Final Solution" refers to the island of Madagascar. After being questioned about a notation on the letterhead, Eichmann explains the different ways that a message could carry the number IVD4, which referred to his Section. He says that he was transferred against his will in 1939 and was unable to make any decisions on his own, but always asked for confirmation or instruction from his supervisor. As the translation is given, various shots of the courtroom are shown including different views of people in the audience. Eichmann stands and the footage cuts out. A portion of the proceedings are missing.

    00:14:25 Dr. Servatius brings up a document regarding the resettlement of displaced persons. Eichmann explains that his agreement mentioned in the document refers to the evacuation of 430 Weichsel-German families and not the "setting up of a resettlement office in Danzig," since the office itself had already been approved. He is then asked why his agreement was necessary and Eichmann responds by saying that the place where the Poles were to be evacuated was not convenient and "might actually have been outside the area of competence of the Danzig Resettlement Central Office," among other things. The Presiding Judge says that that question was not answered and repeats it. 00:21:52 Eichmann then reiterates that the local office asked the Head Office whether or not the matter should be taken care of by local authorities. He received instructions to represent his superior and thus adopted the Office Chief's decision as his own. Eichmann sits down, adjusts his microphone, and flips through documents as the translation is given. The footage cuts out and part of the proceedings are missing.

    00:25:58 Dr. Servatius asks who drew up The Madagascar Plan and Eichmann states, "It may have been sixteen or eighteen heads of administrative departments of the different central authorities." It is then confirmed that the idea was his, but that the other authorities are included. He adds that jurists worked to put together the constitutional form of the document, which he was not interested in and did not contribute to. Eichmann states that his "sole endeavor" was that "land be placed under the feet of the Jews." The Presiding Judge silences the courtroom and the footage cuts out, missing part of the proceedings.

    00:29:11 The video continues with Dr. Servatius questioning Eichmann about a meeting where officials, including Dr. Rajakowitsch and Government Counselor Neifeind, discussed depriving "all Jews holding German nationality, inside the country as well as abroad, of German nationality, and [making] them stateless." Eichmann, who was not present at the meeting, first clarifies the positions of these leaders and then explains that this regulation made it much easier for authorities to deport Jews on a legal basis and say that it was "based on principle." As the translator speaks, Eichmann takes off his glasses, puts on another pair and adjusts them. A short segment of the proceedings is missing.
    00:39:35 Dr. Servatius follows up by asking about Eichmann's involvement in the aftermath of documents discussing the disposal of Jewish property and the possibility of illicit trafficking. In response, Eichmann states that he, nor Rajakowitsch or Neifeind, were responsible for ordering the regulation and since it was completely judicial, they could not oppose it and only followed directions from their supervisors.

    00:43:29 Footage cuts out again and picks up later in the proceedings as Eichmann denies having any responsibility in hastening the evacuation process. He states that deportations may have been sped up to create a diversion and the Presiding Judge asks him to clarify. Eichmann switches his glasses again, stands and replies. He explains how after the Stalingrad defeat, the Reich ordered more deportations so that those being moved appeared to be at fault; ultimately repeating the scapegoat tactic without saying anything outright. Judge Halevi inquires after the date of Stalingrad and confusion over the year it took place is clarified. Since Eichmann admits to having mixed up when the peaks in deportations happened, the original question is repeated to him. He again states that he neither started nor caused the surge and that Muller intervened in all matters, despite their level of importance. The video cuts out and part of the trial is missing.

    00:53:37 Dr. Servatius bring up a telegram from Mueller requesting that no more transports be carried out. It is then asked if Mueller interfered to stop aggressive evacuations that Eichmann had put in place. Eichmann states, "Not only was there no interference in arrangements that I had made - I could make no arrangements." He then reiterates his point by saying that Mueller's signature was required for anything to start or stop. In response to a follow-up question, Eichmann says that evacuations were halted due to large amount of troops being moved to the East during that time. Another document involving criminal law for Jews in the East is exhibited and Eichmann says he knows nothing about it. Eichmann also states that he had nothing to do with another document which discusses the annihilation of Jews, Roma, and others through labor. He adds that he only read this after the fact and that the Reich Minister would have taken this directly to the Concentration Camp authorities. The video cuts out before the rest of his response can be translated.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 June 22
    Production:  1961 June 22
    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 German Hebrew
    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:00:53:00 to 01:02:04:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2102 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2102 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2102 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2102 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2102 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2102 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2102 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2102 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: 2358
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 319
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:40:11
    This page:

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