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Eichmann Trial -- Session 91 -- Cross-examination of the Accused

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.131 | Film ID: 2131

Footage begins in the middle of the session with cross-examination of the accused by Attorney General Gideon Hausner. Hausner questions Eichmann about the September 21, 1939 meeting in Heydrich's office. At this meeting Reinhard Heydrich met with Adolf Eichmann and other Einsatzgruppen commanders to discuss Hitler's approval of a plan to concentrate Polish Jews in cities and later deport them eastward. Eichmann maintains that he was not present at this meeting and refers to the testimony of Dr. Alfred Six, noting that the witness would have stated that Eichmann had been at the meeting. Hausner reads contrary evidence which proves that Eichmann did attend the meeting (00:02:48) and accuses Eichmann of distorting testimony. Eichmann protests, saying that he can not remember since too much time has passed, to which Hausner replies that less than three years ago Eichmann was interview by Sassen and recounted everything that he is being asked now (00:05:29).

Hausner then asks the accused to indicate whether and when he read books by Reitlinger (00:07:39) and Poliakov. Eichmann testifies that he read them while in prison but Hausner states that Sassen had questioned him about these books (00:09:42). The accused is then asked about documents that Sassen had read to him, including one that refers to an order he gave to Globocnik for the murder of 250,000 Jews (00:13:29).

Hausner returns to the subject of the meeting with Heydrich and whether or not Eichmann was the man in charge of Heydrich's Jewish policy (00:14:14). Eichmann is asked whether Heydrich boasted about Eichmann's successes to Herman Goering and the Reich Ministers (00:14:47). Hausner presses the accused about when he was named head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. When asked if he was in charge of departments in Prague, Vienna, and Berlin (00:16:56) Eichmann testifies that he was responsible for the general running of the offices but goes on to describe the differences between being the director of the office and being someone who merely follows orders from his supervisors.

Eichmann is then asked a series of questions about whether or not he was aware of Heydrich's Jewish policy (00:18:44), and if he knew that this policy had been carried out by the Einsatzgruppen in Poland (00:26:42). Hausner again raises the September 21st, 1939 meeting, and when Eichmann reiterates that he was not present at the meeting, Hausner asks Eichmann if he means to tell the court that the document in which Eichmann is named as a participant in the meeting is a forgery (00:28:29).

The Attorney General questions the accused about the extent of his authority in the Nisko project (00:29:37). [The Nisko project was an attempt made between 1939 and 1940 to solve the "Jewish Question" by concentrating Jews in an area around the region of Lublin and Nisko in Poland.] Presiding Judge Moshe Landau reiterates Hausner's question and Eichmann says that he worked under Franz Stahlecker. Stahlecker was an SS officer and commander of Einsatzgruppe A who worked with Eichmann in the development of the Nisko project. Eichmann maintains that neither Stahlecker nor himself came up with the idea of the Nisko project but that it was the idea of certain "Jewish functionaries," namely Dr. Loewenherz, Edelstein in Prague and Rabbi Dr. Murmelstein (00:31:54). This section is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2133 (at 00:03:20).

The accused testifies that Stahlecker had received permission for the implementation of the Nisko project (00:36:32) and that he himself was not in Berlin when the deportations started (00:37:52). Judge Halevi asks the accused how and why Stahlecker became his superior (00:39:30), as well as who Stahlecker's superiors were. The English translations of both of these questions are delayed and begin at 00:42:11. Eichmann explains Stahlecker's administrative authority (00:46:56) and goes on to state that he himself did not give instructions for the Nisko project

The remainder of the footage concerns the camouflage of returned deportees after the failure to implement the Nisko project (00:48:52). By the end of October 1939 all the deportations to the Nisko region had been stopped and by spring 1940 the remaining Jews who had not been expelled throughout the Lublin area were sent back to Austria and the Bohemia and Moravia. The documents used in this section suggest that the Jews who had been returned were ordered to present themselves, when registering in the Central Office for Emigration, as "persons returning from retraining." This section is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2133 (at 00:11:06).

Judge Landau calls for a recess (00:57:17) and all rise as the judges exit the courtroom (00:57:21). Eichmann, escorted by guards, exits the booth (00:57:34). There are shots of the audience and people filing out of the courtroom. Footage ends with a shot of the empty booth.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 July 11
Production:  1961 July 11
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 12:44:46
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