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Eichmann Trial -- Session 77 -- Questioning Eichmann

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

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
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:44:19
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