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Eichmann Trial -- Session 93 -- Transports to Trawniki, Sobibor; Einsatzgruppen; discussion of the Fuehrerprinzip

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.144 | Film ID: 2144

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 93 -- Transports to Trawniki, Sobibor; Einsatzgruppen; discussion of the Fuehrerprinzip


    Footage begins in the middle of Session 93 during cross-examination of the accused by Attorney General Gideon Hausner concerning the Trawniki labor camp. Eichmann is questioned about the date of transfer of the camp to the Economic-Administrative Head Office and whether in 1942 the Jews arriving at the camp were immediately sent for extermination.

    The opening segment is repeated after a break in the footage. Hausner presents a document to Eichmann and asks him if Odilo Globocnik was Oswald Pohl's representative in charge of implementing extermination in Poland. [Globocnik oversaw the camp in Trawniki but was also a major participant in the extermination of Polish Jewry in the killing centers of Belzec, Sobibor, and Majdanek.] Judge Landau asks Eichmann why Globocnik never received any orders from Pohl even though the accused maintains that everything that went on in the camps was Pohl's affair (00:10:17). Eichmann does not give a clear answer to Judge Landau's question.

    Hausner again asks Eichmann why the Economic-Administrative Head Office did not receive notification of the transports to and from Trawniki while Eichmann did receive notification (00:12:02). Eichmann replies that he does not know the answer, he did not take part in discussions regarding these transports, and he was only following orders.

    Hausner questions Eichmann about why he is able to recall transports to Auschwitz but not these other transports to the General Government (00:16:11). Eichmann testifies that it is because most of the transports went to Auschwitz. Hausner presents a document in which Eichmann instructs Roethke to send transports to Cholm on 23 March 1943 and asks Eichmann to confirm that these transports were going to Sobibor (00:17:27). The accused seems confused about the name Cholm and a long discussion ensues in which the parties attempt to clarify where Cholm is and the town's proper name (00:18:44 to 00:24:11), or whether it has been confused with Kulmhof, better known as Chelmno. Hausner reminds the accused that he received many reports on transports to Cholm and asks Eichmann if the people in these transports were sent for extermination.

    Hasuner presents a map of the General Government and explains that Cholm is near Sobibor in eastern Poland. Eichmann is asked if he was notified about the destination of the transports (00:29:44) and if he authorized them. Further questions concern whether those unable to work were immediately sent for extermination and if Eichmann was the one who decided if transports of Jews from the Reich would go to Minsk or to Riga (00:32:36). Eichmann testifies that it was Reinhard Heydrich who would have made these decisions. When Hausner asks whether he knew the horrible fate that awaited the deportees Eichmann says that he did not know at the time (00:34:15).

    Hausner questions Eichmann about his knowledge of the Einsatzgruppen's activities, including whether or not he received reports in 1942 on the murders being carried out by these units (00:35:55). During this section of footage there are shots of the audience. Hausner questions the accused about whether the Final Solution applied to all Jews or only the Jews in the Reich. Eichmann says that he expected the Jews of the Reich to be treated differently, that he thought they would be resettled. The Attorney General accuses Eichmann of deceiving the Jews by telling them they were being resettled when he knew full well that they were to be exterminated. Footage on this tape (#2144) from 00:37:06 to 00:42:15 duplicates footage found on tape #2140 (at 00:25:47 to 00:30:52). The footage on tape #2140 is less complete.

    Hausner questions Eichmann who was responsible for giving orders and who merely followed orders. Eichmann is asked if Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Heydrich carried out Hitler's orders and in this sense received orders (00:42:20). Hausner asks if the accused feels that the International Military Tribunal's verdict for Kaltenbrunner was just. There is discussion of the Fuehrer principle (Fuehrerprinzip) by which everyone below Hitler received and gave orders in a hierarchical chain of command. This topic continues to the end of the session. Judge Landau asks to adjourn and all rise as the judges exit the courtroom. Eichmann exits the booth. There are various shots of the courtroom, people exiting, and the attorneys' desks.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 July 12
    Production:  1961 July 12
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Director: Leo Hurwitz
    Producer: Milton Fruchtman
    Camera Operator: Rolf M. Kneller
    Camera Operator: F. Csaznik
    Camera Operator: J. Jonilowicz
    Camera Operator: J. Kalach
    Camera Operator: Emil Knebel
    Producer: Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation
    Emil Knebel was a cinematographer known for Andante (2010), Adam (1973), and Wild Is My Love (1963). He was one of the cameramen who recorded daily coverage of the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem (produced by Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp and later held academic positions in Israel and New York teaching filmmaking at universities. Refer to CV in file.

    Physical Details

    English German Hebrew
    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:00:34:00 to 00:55:39:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2144 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2144 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2144 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2144 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2144 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2144 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2144 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2144 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Public Domain
    Conditions on Use
    To the best of the Museum's knowledge, this material is in the public domain. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation recorded the proceedings of the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961. The original recording was made on two-inch format videotape. One set of videotapes contained selected portions of the trial for distribution to television stations. The "selected portions" version remained in Israel and was later turned over to the Israel State Archives. Capital Cities Broadcasting retained the set of videotapes containing the complete trial proceedings at offices in New York City until 1965, when they gave the videotapes to the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. The Anti-Defamation League, in turn, gave the complete set to the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1972. With a grant from the Revson Foundation, Hebrew University transferred the two-inch videotapes to U-Matic format. During the transfer process, Hebrew University created three duplicate sets. One set was given to the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, one to the Israel State Archives, and one set to the Jewish Museum in New York City. In 1995, the Israel State Archives transferred the trial footage to digital videoformat with a grant from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. Three subsequent digital videotape copies resulted from this transfer of footage. The Israel State Archives retained one digital copy and a second set was deposited at the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the third set of digital videotapes in May 1999.
    See official transcripts, published in "The Trial of Adolf Eichmann", Vol. I-V, State of Israel, Ministry of Justice, Jerusalem, 1994. Also available online at the Nizkor Project.
    Copied From
    2" Quad
    Film Source
    Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2413
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 169
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:43:23
    This page:

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