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Eichmann Trial -- Session 88 -- Cross examination of the Accused

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.117 | Film ID: 2117

Camera fades in and zooms out on empty booth. People are heard talking in the background. Hausner is seen in the FG. Adolf Eichmann enters (00:01:35) carrying documents and sits placing headphones on the table and arranging the documents. MS, the prosecution desk (00:02:19) with Attorney General Gideon Hausner and Assistant State Attorneys Ya'akov Bar-Or, and Gabriel Bach seated examining documents. The camera zooms in on Eichmann. There is an overhead shot from the rear of the courtroom of the defense table with Servatius seated (00:04:24). All rise as the judges enter (00:06:42). Judge Moshe Landau opens the session (00:07:19). Judge Landau, speaking, cannot be heard but the English translation is given. The audio clears and all dialogue can be heard.

Servatius asks to begin with questions pertaining to the depositions from testimony taken abroad which was reviewed in Sessions 85 and 86. The first testimony concerns Kurt Becher, an SS- Obersturmbannfuhrer, later SS-Standartenfuhrer and Special Reich Commissioner for all Concentration Camps, who was assigned work in Hungary and dealt with arranging the "Kasztner Transport," the attempt made by the Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest to bring a train of Hungarian Jews safely to Switzerland. Servatius notes that Becher had stated that he had nothing to do with the seizure of Jewish property. There is some difficulty with this document because it was not submitted to the prosecution until the morning of the session.

Footage cuts (00:14:03 to 00:14:15). A small portion of the preceding footage is repeated and the film continues without interruption. Servatius presents documents concerning the promotion of Christian Wirth, the SS major and head of the concentration camp organization in Poland and the first to implement the gassing of mental patients. There is some confusion regarding the wording in this document (00:18:34). Footage continues with Servatius noting the submission of a document during Hermann Krumey's interrogation, in the form of a telegram, which makes reference to the Lidice children (00:19:41). There is some confusion regarding the submission of these documents which were sent to Israel along with Krumey's testimony (00:22:02). Hermann Krumey, a member of the Security Police in Łódź and a leading member of Eichmann's Sonderkommando in Hungary, played an important role in organizing the Hungarian Judenrat and implementing the destruction of Hungarian Jewry.

Direct examination of Eichmann by Servatius continues (00:33:02) with defense counsel asking the accused whether Dr. Max Merten came to see him in Berlin in September 1942. Max Merten, the Chief of military administration in Salonika, Greece, was responsible for the civilian population of that district and a key figure in the collection and deportation of the Jews of the Salonika region. Merten also played a role in the seizure of Jewish property. Reportedly, Merten placed the stolen property in trunks and sunk them into the waters off Peloponnesus. Eichmann maintains that he never went to Greece during the war or met with Merten.

Servatius turns to testimony from Krumey. The accused is asked whether he talked to and gave instruction to Krumey concerning the "foot march," in reference to the forced march of Jews from Budapest to Vienna in November 1944 (00:45:12). Eichmann is then asked if Otto Winkelmann ever reprimanded him (00:47:42) and Eichmann states that he was never reprimanded. The accused is questioned about his privileged position with Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Reinhard Heydrich (00:53:41). Kaltenbrunner was responsible for the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna, headed by Eichmann, and later appointed to the Reich Security Main Office and the Security Service. He was one of the main initiators of the Reinhard Action. Eichmann maintains that he did not enjoy a special position and always went through Heinrich Müller a head at the Reich Security Main Office. The remainder of the footage concerns a statement made by Theo Grell of the Foreign Office that Eichmann had told him that he had the lives of six million on his conscious. Eichmann states that he was referring to the Russian and American bomber fleet. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2119 (at 00:00:37) and Tape 2120 (at 00:00:25). The footage is more complete on Tape 2119. The question posed to the accused and Eichmann's response, both in German, are complete. The Hebrew/English translation of Eichmann's statement is incomplete.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 July 07
Production:  1961 July 07
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: 2022-07-28 21:56:23
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