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Eichmann Trial -- Session 88 -- Direct examination of the accused; decision on Sassen document

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.119 | Film ID: 2119

The footage begins in the middle of Session 88. Eichmann, under direct examination, answers the question posed by Servatius about whether he talked to Theo Grell of the Foreign Office about the number of Jews being exterminated. Servatius asks Eichmann to comment on Grell's recollection that Eichmann said he had six million deaths on his conscience. Eichmann says that he was not referring to Jews at all but to the American and Russian bomber fleets. This is duplicate footage that also appears on Tape 2117 (at 00:59:17 to 01:07:26) and Tape 2120 (at 00:00:25), where it is more complete than on this tape.

Servatius asks Eichmann if he was aware that the people he was responsible for deporting were being killed in the concentration camps (00:06:44). Eichmann testifies 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 2118 (at 00:00:43). Servatius questions Eichmann about his feelings guilt. Eichmann gives a long reply in which he attempts to differentiate between his legal guilt and his ethical guilt. He states that he bears no political responsibility and therefore is not legally guilty. Eichmann testifies that he was subordinate to Heinrich Himmler and Heinrich Mueller, who were ranked higher than he was and he had to follow the orders given by his superiors. He says that in 1950, when he was planning on leaving the country, 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. This is also duplicate footage found on Tape 2118 (at 00:02:17). The duplicate footage is more complete on Tape 2118 than on Tape 2119.

There is a break in the footage and the video resumes with Eichmann's answer to Judge Halevi's question about why he did not turn himself in to the authorities in 1950. Eichmann says that he felt that he would not have been given a fair trial in Germany. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2118 (at 00:20:19). The footage on Tape 2118 is more complete.

Judge Landau announces that they will begin the cross-examination of the accused in the morning. There is a dispute about the Defense's suggestion to submit a written brief outlining the main points of the prosecution and the defense. It is decided that Servatius may submit this brief. Landau then turns to Decision 79 regarding the Prosecution's submission of the Sassen Document into evidence (00:33:33). The Sassen Document consisted of a transcript and tape recording of interviews between Dutch journalist (and fascist) Willem Sassen and Eichmann during a period of four months in 1957. Judge Halevi reads his decision on the document. A very small portion at the end of this section is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2121 (at 00:00:23) and is more complete on Tape 2121 than on Tape 2119.

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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