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Eichmann Trial -- Session 88 -- Examination of the Accused as witness, completed

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.118 | Film ID: 2118

The footage begins in the middle of session 88. Dr. Servatius asks Adolf Eichmann whether he knew the people he was responsible for deporting were being killed in the concentration camps. Eichmann replies that he had to carry out his orders and admits that he knew that some of the people were being killed in the camps. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2119 (at 00:06:44).

Servatius asks the accused about his feelings of guilt. Eichmann gives a long reply in which he attempts to differentiate between his legal guilt and his ethical guilt (00:02:17). He says that he bears no political responsibility and therefore is not legally guilty. Eichmann testifies that he was subordinate to Heinrich Himmler and to Mueller, who were ranked higher than he was. He states that he had to follow the orders of his superiors and that the punishment for disobedience was death. Eichmann states that in 1950, when he was planning to leave Germany, he did not feel guilty but was thinking of his family. Eichmann states that he was one of the millions who had no choice but to obey orders, that in the ethical sense he is his own judge, and that this is not something that can be dealt with legally. In conclusion he makes a general statement in which he denounces the extermination of the Jews but says that he was merely a tool in the hands of a stronger power. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2119 (at 00:08:18) and is more complete on this tape.

Judge Halevi asks the accused why, in 1950, he did not turn himself in to the authorities instead of leaving the country (00:20:19). Eichmann replies that he would not have been judged fairly in Germany. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2119 (at 00:22:28).

A large part of the session is missing and the footage resumes following a recess. The audience is seated and Judge Landau examines a document. There are various medium and close-up shots of the audience, the judges, and the prosecution. Attorney General Gideon Hausner contends that the defense's submission of testimony from Alois Steger is hearsay and thus inadmissable. Judge Halevi says that the court has already heard testimony that was hearsay. Hausner states that the Prosecution does not wish to delay the proceedings in order to oppose the submission of the document. Although not shown on this tape, the court decides to allow the submission of Steger's testimony. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2121 (at 00:32:52) and is more complete on Tape 2121.

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: 2021-06-03 12:44:25
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