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Eichmann Trial -- Session 87 -- Direct examination of the Accused re: his travel to Auschwitz, Chelmno, Lublin and his knowledge of the gassing program

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.116 | Film ID: 2116

Footage begins in the middle of the session. Servatius examines the witness about the "Gordon Affair." Avraham Gordon was a witness for the prosecution who testified in session 54 on 26 May 1961. In his testimony, Gordon described how he worked as a forced laborer on the villa Eichmann occupied in Budapest. Gordon testified that Eichmann and a man named Slawik beat a Hungarian Jewish boy to death for allegedly stealing fruit from the property. Eichmann states that he does not know anything about this event and never physically harmed or killed a human being in his life.

There is a large section of the proceedings missing from the tape. Footage resumes with defense counsel Robert Servatius reading from a statement given by SS member and judge Dr. Konrad Morgen which describes the beginning of the destruction of the Polish Jews. In 1943 Morgen was sent to investigate criminal activity among other members of the SS in concentration camps, where he came across evidence of the plan to exterminate the Jews. According to his (contradictory) testimony at Nuremberg, he set about attempting to stop the program by investigating and bringing charges against some of the particpants. Himmler eventually ordered him to halt his investigations. Among others, Morgen investigated Karl Koch, the camp commandant at Buchenwald and Majdanek. The document makes reference to the T4 euthanasia program, Christian Wirth (the SS major and head of the concentration camp organization in Poland and the first to implement the gassing of mental patients) and Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz.

After a gap in the footage, Servatius presents a document that describes Eichmann's position. The accused does not have the document in front of him and Judge Landau orders that Eichmann be given a copy and that he read through the document. Judge Raveh questions Servatius (00:15:17) about a name, Hiller, which appears of the document. It is concluded that the name is a typographical error and should read "Himmler." Eichmann responds to what he has read in the document by saying that the description of his duties is incorrect (00:18:06). He then comments on the term "liaison man," which was used in the document. The English translation of this testimony is complete. The German response and Hebrew translation are hard to hear because the English translators are talking among themselves in Hebrew (00:24:44 to 00:25:22). The audio cuts out at 00:26:09 but the visual continues.

The footage skips to a later section of the session. Eichmann recounts how Reinhard Heydrich told him that Hitler had ordered the physical destruction of the Jews. The accused then gives a long explanation as to how he was sent to Lublin to consult Odilo Globocnik. He states that he saw hermetically sealed huts that were to be used for gassing Jews and then returned to Berlin to notify Heinrich Mueller.

A small gap in the video, then Eichmann describes orders he received for another trip to Kulm/Kulmhof. He asserts that only after these initial trips did he go to Auschwitz and he contests the date of his visit to the camp.

Eichmann gives further description of his trips to Poland. He states that he never gave any advice to the staff at the camps, that his job was only to record facts to report to his superiors. During one trip to Lublin he witnessed a "blood fountain," blood shooting up out of the ground, which was caused by a build up of gas pressure from where Jews had been killed and buried.

Servatius questions the accused about whether he received reports on the people who were being killed. Eichmann states that his office did receive statistics but they only concerned numbers prior to deportation, never statistics from the concentration camps or elsewhere. Servatius asks about testimony given by Hoettl who stated that Eichmann had given him statistics taken from concentration camps (00:55:32). There are various shots of the audience during this testimony.

Repeat of footage from earlier in the session. Servatius presents testimony taken from Judge Konrad Morgen. The testimony concerns whether Morgen had intended on executing a warrant for Eichmann's arrest.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 July 06
Production:  1961 July 06
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 12:44:24
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