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Eichmann Trial -- Session 85 -- Written testimonies from Germany presented to the court re: following orders, cruelty, numbers killed, and Himmler

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.112 | Film ID: 2112

Session 85. This tape includes the presentation of the records of testimonies of the following witnesses, but their names are not mentioned on the tape: Wilhelm Hoettl, Walter Huppenkothen, Eberhard von Thadden, Hans Jüttner, Theodore Horst Grell, and Kurt Becher. All of these individuals were witnesses for the Prosecution.

Dr. Servatius reads a conversation of a meeting with Eichmann, where he seemed strained, offered him alcohol, and sat down to talk to him saying that he believed that the German war effort was doomed, and that the Allies believed him to be one of the chief war criminals. He said that the number of Jews killed was a top secret of the Reich, but Eichmann said that it was close to 6 million, 4 million of which killed in camps, the rest in shootings of special operations groups and other things. Eichmann said that Himmler's estimations were higher. He also gave no apology and showed no remorse concerning the Jews. He notes that Eichmann drank heavily.

00:17:16 Tape jumps. An affidavit is being read into the record concerning Eichmann's offices, his range of effectiveness, and his business trips.

00:23:39 Tape jumps. An affidavit is being read into the record, claiming that the affident was unable to discern if Eichmann worked on his own or if he was following orders. Everything was signed by Eichmann or one of his subordinates.

00:27:47 Tape jumps. An affidavit is being read into the record, with another affident saying that it was unclear to them whether or not decisions made by his department were Eichmann's decisions or if they were made by his superiors. He describes Eichmann as cruel. He claims that the Foreign Office was working on a cruel plan, but he could not say whether or not they were created by Eichmann. This involved the deportation of all the Jews of Budapest to an island on the Danube without proper preparations.

00:33:15 Tape jumps. An affidavit is being read into the record, concerning a conversation where Eichmann said that the enemies regard him as the foremost war criminal, with the lives of six million enemies of the Reich on his hands. He said that he considered having more enemies a measure of more respect, highlighting his ambition to give rise to his personal significance. He had just received the Iron Cross 2nd Grade, and was not drunk at the time.

00:35:28 Tape jumps. It is announced that this is the Kurt Becher testimony. Dr. Servatius is reading the last sentence of it, saying that the witness was informed of the questions he was to be asked before they were asked. He says that this is a strange procedure to assess a witness. The President of Court wants to know where Dr. Servatius got this information, and how long before questioning that Becher knew the questions. He says that the Representative of the Prosecution said as much, and he had the questions days in advance. Attorney General Hausner says that was not true, it was a decision by a judge in Bremen. Debate ensues on how this happened, why this happened, and how it will be addressed.

00:49:44 Tape jumps. The Judges are conferring on a document as the rest of the courtroom waits quietly. The Judges decide that Becher's knowledge of the questions ahead of time invalidates it, but they accept it regardless, warning themselves of this fact when relevant.

00:51:40 The trade proposal -- Jews for trucks -- is discussed, saying that Himmler gave no opinion other than to "Get out of the Jews whatever you can." The affidavit says that Eichmann was a convinced National Socialist and an anti-Semite. The affident said that Himmler screamed at Eichmann, saying that he must deal with Jews considerately instead of exterminating them, saying that he must follow the orders of Himmler.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 July 04
Production:  1961 July 04
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 12:44:22
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