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Eichmann Trial -- Session 95 -- Cross-examination of the Accused

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.146 | Film ID: 2146

Footage begins in the middle of Session 95 with the continuation of cross examination of the accused by Attorney General Gideon Hausner. Eichmann is asked to indicate when he learned about Rolf Günther's involvement with gassing operations. Günther was head of a subsection of department IVB4, headed by Eichmann, and was involved in procuring and delivering Zyklon B gas for the extermination camps. Eichmann maintains that he does not remember ever talking to Günther about this matter (00:01:36). Judge Landau reminds Eichmann that he should testify from his memory (00:06:17). While translating the Judge's comments, Landau interrupts the interpreter and gives the remaining German translation to the accused himself (00:06:54). Judge Halevi asks Eichmann to indicate when he first read the Gerstein Report (00:09:37) and follow-up questions trying to decipher when he learned of the report. The Gerstein Report was an eyewitness account written by SS officer Kurt Gerstein of his experiences involving the extermination process during the war. Gerstein was the head of the Technical Disinfection Department and involved in procuring gas for the extermination camps which he visited in 1942 and witnessed, firsthand, the use of Zyklon B gas.

Hausner redirects his questions back to Eichmann's conversation with Günther about the gassing operations (00:11:49). Eichmann testifies that there was friction between him and Günther that arose after their conversation about Günther's "special assignment." Hausner presents a segment from Eichmann's interrogation in which the accused stated that while he was in Hungary Günther was involved in a gas assignment and he confronted him about it (00:15:08). The Attorney General presses Eichmann about what he and Günther discussed. Questions are raised about Eichmann's insistence that these "special assignments" were done in secrecy and implies that there was no reason for his supervisors to withhold this information because he already knew about the gassings taking place (00:21:14). Eichmann replies that the gassings were general knowledge but the order to procure gas was something new (00:22:46). Hausner tells the accused that there was no reason to keep the operation a secret from him and that the accused's answer that he was not told does not make sense. The Attorney General continues noting that if Eichmann considered Günther's task a "special assignment" the accused's statement that his supervisor would send him to hell for this does not make sense (00:24:43). Eichmann states that he was confused at the time (00:26:56). Judge Halevi asks Eichmann, in German, if he reported this to the head of his office (00:30:19) and Eichmann replies that he does not know.

Cross examination continues with questions regarding the Gerstein Report. Eichmann is asked if he knew of the Gerstein Report then he must have known that Günther's first assignment with gas happened in 1942 (00:31:02). Hausner turns to section IVB4's contact with commanders of the Security Police and the SD and the issuing of instructions to them in special cases (00:33:08). Eichmann states that he could not give the Security Police or the SD orders but could write a letter signed "by order" on Müller's behalf (00:35:39). Hausner cites a document in which Eichmann gives orders to the Security Police and the SD in Prague to leave the Jews in Theresienstadt. The Attorney General continues to read from documents in German. The camera shows a close-up of Eichmann's hands (00:42:10) while Hausner reads.

Judge Landau calls for a recess (00:50:27) and all rise (00:50:40) as the judges exit the courtroom. Eichmann can be seen exiting the booth (00:50:48). There are shots of the attorneys at their table and the audience filing out of the courtroom.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 July 13
Production:  1961 July 13
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: 2022-07-28 21:56:25
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