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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 91 and 92 -- excerpts -- Cross-examination of the Accused about Nisko, Sassen document, Final Solution

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.133 | Film ID: 2133

The footage begins near the opening of Session 92. Attorney General Gideon Hausner cross-examines Eichmann, who tries to define the term "im Auftrage", which he used when he signed documents. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2135 (at 00:05:23). The footage on Tape 2135 is more complete.

The video cuts out from 00:02:48 to 00:03:20 and resumes in the middle of Session 91. Hausner questions Eichmann about the extent of his authority in the Nisko Project, which was a plan to concentrate Jews into a "Jewish reservation" around the regions of Lublin and Nisko, Poland. Eichmann, under questioning from Hausner and Judge Halevi, states 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 he nor Stahlecker came up with the idea but that it was the idea of the "Jewish functionaries" Dr. Loewenherz and Edelstein in Prague, and perhaps Rabbi Dr. Murmelstein (00:05:37). This entire segment is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2131 (beginning at 00:29:37). The footage on Tape 2131 is more complete.

Some of the session is missing, but the testimony about the Nisko Project continues, with Eichmann testifying that he did not give instructions for the implementation of the plan. Eichmann is asked a series of questions by Hausner about Eichmann's instructions to the returned Nisko deportees that they pose as people returning from a vocational training course. (00:11:06). By the end of October 1939 the deportations to the Nisko region had stopped and by spring 1940 the remaining Jews who had not been dispersed throughout the Lublin area were sent back to Austria and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. This entire segment is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2131 (beginning at 00:47:59). The footage on Tape 2131 is more complete.

A section of the proceeding is missing and footage resumes with Hausner questioning the accused about whether he supervised the deportations and how long he was in Nisko. When asked if he ever consulted Hans Frank, the Governor General of Poland, Eichmann states that at the time Frank was not yet the Governor General (00:18:31). Hausner becomes visibly agitated by Eichmann's answers and states that Eichmann is lying to the court and that he knew the Jews were going to be exterminated (00:21:50).

A very small part of the session is missing. Eichmann is asked whether or not he believes that people held in detention have the right to lie. Eichmann states that this is a prevailing German concept but that he himself is attempting to bring the truth to the forefront. Hausner asks him if he talked to Sassen in order to remove his guilt (00:29:57) and whether he told Sassen the truth (00:32:02). Willem Sassen was a Dutch journalist attached to an Einsatzgruppe unit during the war. Following the war, sentenced to death in his own country, Sassen fled to South America where he met Eichmann. Over the course of four months in 1957 he interviewed Eichmann; the tapes and transcripts were relied upon heavily as evidence during Eichmann's trial.

Footage resumes in the middle of Session 92. This portion of the session concerns the development of the Final Solution. Hausner asks the accused to read a selection from the Sassen document. Eichmann, before reading, states that he was often drunk when he gave his interviews with Sassen and did not know what he was saying (00:34:36). Eichmann examines the document. The camera cuts to Hausner, who appears agitated as he waits for Eichmann to finish reading. Hausner asks Eichmann if he said the things written in the document and the accused once again states that he was under the influence of alcohol and does not think that he did say these things. A portion of this section is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2134 (at 00:44:22). The footage on Tape 2134 is more complete.

A large section of the proceedings is missing and footage resumes with further cross-examination about the Final Solution. Hausner asks the accused whether he was Reinhard Heydrich's specialist (00:46:04) and Eichmann replies that he was not the specialist officer for the Final Solution but was the specialist in charge of Jewish Affairs. Several documents are presented that show that Eichmann was referred to as a specialist. There is a disruption in the court and Judge Landau calls for order (00:52:00). Hausner then asks if during Ernst Kaltenbrunner's time, Eichmann remained the specialist in charge of Jewish Affairs and the chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). The remaining footage in this section concerns others who were involved with implementing the extermination of the Jews and whether there was anyone else in charge of Jewish Affairs (00:59:10). This section is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2136 (at 00:00:22). The footage on Tape 2136 is more complete.

Footage resumes during the beginning of Session 92 with the discussion of the term "im Auftrage" used by Eichmann under his signature on documents. Part of this section is duplicate footage found at the beginning of this Tape 2133 (at 00:00:45). This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2135 (at 00:05:23). The footage on Tape 2135 is more complete.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Genre
Unedited
Duration
01:05:23
Event Date
1961 July 11
Locale
Jerusalem, Israel
Language
English
German
Hebrew
Genre/Form
Unedited.
Credit
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Record last modified: 2018-03-07 13:54:22
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1001808
Previous location: http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/fv2401