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

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.147 | Film ID: 2147

Footage begins near the end of Session 95. Attorney General Hausner questions the accused about a book written by Gerhard Boldt. Boldt had criticized Hitler throughout the war. Hausner reads a statement given by Eichmann in 1955 that Boldt should be flayed alive for his criticism of Hitler and it was because of him that the war was lost. Eichmann testifies that this statement was correct but asks that it be kept in context (00:01:36).

Judge Halevi asks Eichmann if Boldt had broken his oath of loyalty after Hitler's death (00:03:08). The accused replies no and explains that the reason for his statement was because it was indicated that Boldt had criticized Hitler during the war when he was still alive. When asked by Judge Halevi if a person is released from their oath of loyalty after Hitler's death, Eichmann replies in the affirmative stating that he is also released from his oath (00:04:41). This is duplicate footage also found on tape #2148 (from 00:00:41 to 00:05:17).

Hausner asks Eichmann about still being furious with Boldt in 1955 (00:05:17) and Eichmann replies that he felt that oath breaking was one of the worst crimes that can be committed (00:05:39).The Attorney General follows up Eichmann's statement by asking if he regards it as a greater crime than the murder of six million Jews, including one and a half million children (00:06:07). Eichmann responds stating of course not but that he did not deal with extermination (00:06:22).

Hausner turns the topic to questions regarding the criminality of those involved in the extermination of the Jews (00:07:45). Eichmann does not give a clear answer to Hausner's question and when asked if he regarded Höss as a criminal after seeing what he was doing in Auschwitz (00:08:19), Eichmann states that he had told Höss he could never do his job (00:08:30). Hausner continues to ask Eichmann, in German, how he regarded Höss without a sufficient answer from the accused. Finally Eichmann states that he pitied him (00:09:47).

Hausner tells the accused that he can not evade his questions regarding his feelings towards the extermination process and those involved (00:11:30). Eichmann replies that it depends on the individual involved and that it is not up to him to pass judgment on others who received these orders (00:11:53). This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2148 (at 00:05:17 to 00:07:33). The footage on Tape 2148 is less complete.

Hausner asks the accused about a statement he made during his interrogation in which he had stated that had the Reichsfuehrer told him his father was a traitor he would have personally shot him (00:13:49). Eichmann replies that he probably would have if he was presented with proof (00:14:16). Hausner continues asking if it was proved to him that the Jews had to be exterminated (00:14:33). Eichmann testifies that he did not exterminate the Jews and plans, after the trial, to put all of his views into a book for the next generations (00:14:37). Judge Landau tells Eichmann that it is his duty to tell the court everything he would have put into this book (00:17:30). Eichmann replies to Judge Landau that he considered the extermination of the Jews to be murder and one of the most heinous crimes in history (00:18:10).

Judge Halevi then asks if this is something that he believed in the past or only in the present (00:19:21). Eichmann gives a long reply stating that he was shocked by the murder of the Jews and had asked repeatedly to be released from his duties. He goes on to state that he never thought that the solution to the Jewish question was justified but was unfortunately bound by his oath of loyalty (00:19:33 the translation into Hebrew and English begins at 00:23:02). This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2148 (from 00:07:33 to 00:14:57 the Hebrew and English translation begins at 00:11:12). The footage on Tape 2148 is more complete.

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 22:00:54
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