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Eichmann Trial -- Session 96 -- Cross-examination of the Accused

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.149 | Film ID: 2149

The camera fades in on a medium shot of the prosecution table. Attorney General Gideon Hausner is seated at the desk. Assistant to the Attorney General Ya'akov Robinson stands to Hausner's right talking to an unidentified man. Assistant State Attorney Gabriel Bach enters (00:00:40) and talks with Robinson. The camera cuts to a shot of the empty booth (00:01:29). Assistant State Attorney Ya'akov Bar-Or enters and walk right to the prosecution table (00:02:19). Dr. Servatius enters the frame, standing behind the defense attorney table (00:02:29). Eichmann enters the booth carrying documents (00:02:47) and is seated. There are various shots of the attorneys at their tables and of Eichmann. All rise as the judges enter the courtroom (00:05:11). Judge Landau opens the ninety-sixth session of the trial (00:05:32).

Hausner begins the cross examination for the session (Session 96) by questioning the accused about the transcripts he received from Sassen (00:05:55). There are some discrepancies about whether Eichmann received three drafts or three packages from him. Hausner continues, asking about the accuracy of the transcripts and whether Eichmann ever corrected Sassen (00:07:32) Eichmann testifies that he can not remember precisely but is sure that he must have but after a while gave up making corrections (00:08:02). Cross examination concerning Eichmann's corrections to the Sassen transcripts continue with Hausner asking if he ever accused Sassen of falsifying his statements given during their interviews. Hausner states that Eichmann never accused Sassen of falsifying any of his statements (00:13:14). The corrections made in the transcripts are discussed at length as Eichmann attempts to show that the words inserted or changed by Sassen affected the content of his statements. Eichmann is accused of admitting that Sassen never falsified anything (00:19:42). Hausner reads an excerpt from the transcript noting that Eichmann was aware of how many tapes his interview with Sassen comprised (00:23:25). Eichmann states that he did not concern himself with the number of tapes used and if he did state a number, it was because Sassen had told him the number (00:24:00).

The fact that Eichmann signed a contract with Sassen allowing him to edit the accused's testimonies and whether Eichmann suspected him of falsifying his statements is raised (00:26:16). Hausner asks Eichmann if his attitude towards the extermination of the Jews was the same in 1957 as it was expressed at the present during an earlier session (00:30:54). Eichmann states that his attitude has been the same since before 1945 however he avoids directly answering the Attorney General's question (00:31:41).

When asked again, Eichmann, hesitantly states "no, that was not my attitude in 1957" (00:34:05).

The following section is all duplicate footage found of Tape 2150. Cross examination continues with Eichmann being questioned about regret he expressed in 1957 that Jews managed to survive in Hungary which he denies (00:36:51 and on tape #2150 at 00:00:49). Hausner points out that this fact has already been accepted by the court and goes on to note that in 1957 the accused stated that it was Krumey and Wisliceny's fault "that the Magyar people were exposed to the terror of a Jewish secret police" (00:37:34 and on Tape 2150 at 00:01:15). Eichmann replies that he can not remember saying that but does recall saying something about the revolt (00:38:05 and on Tape 2150 at 00:01:46). Hausner reads an excerpt from the Sassen interview in German (00:38:42 and on Tape 2150 at 00:02:25) in which Eichmann states that he has no regrets. The paragraph read by Hausner in German is not complete and the English translation is not given.

Footage cuts (00:39:23), (00:39:34 to 00:39:43), (00:39:52) Hausner presents a document, accepted in its entirety by the accused; containing no hint that Eichmann felt that the crimes against the Jews should not be repeated (00:39:53 and on Tape 2150 at 00:10:56).

Footage cuts (00:40:52 to 00:41:02) Footage resumes without missing any portion of the session. Cross examination of the accused continues. When asked if in 1957 he had the opinion that the Jews were an enemy and should be destroyed (00:41:32 and on Tape 2150 at 00:12:34), Eichmann replies that his opinion did not relate to the physical extermination of the Jews (00:41:47 and on Tape 2150 at 00:12:50).

The following footage is not duplicated on Tape 2150. Eichmann is presented with a document in his own handwriting concerning the supposed declaration of war by Chaim Weizmann in which Eichmann writes "The slogan on both sides was `the enemies must be destroyed!' And Jewry throughout the world had obviously declared war on the German Reich through their leader, Dr. Chaim Weizmann." (00:43:16). There is some confusion about the passage read and Eichmann replies noting again that the word "destruction" did not mean physical destruction (00:45:58). Hausner asks the accused if he agrees that he did not give the slightest indication that the extermination of the Jews had been a crime (00:50:21).

The following section is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2150. Hausner reads a passage, in German, of the accused's reflection on the survival of a portion of the Jewish population (00:51:37 and on Tape 2150 at 00:13:45). Eichmann responds that he is unable to say definitively "yes" or "no" that these were his opinions (00:52:11 and on Tape 2150 at 00:14:18). Another quote is read in German by Hausner (00:54:15 and on Tape 2150 at 00:16:23) and again Eichmann states that he does not know if these statements were his (00:59:18 and on Tape 2150 at 00:20:19).
Hausner asks to turn to another topic. Eichmann is asked about Dannecker, Wisliceny, Brunner, Guenther and Richter and whether they received instructions from him (01:01:55). Eichmann begins to answer when the footage cuts. This last segment is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2151 (at 00:00:23).

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event Date
1961 July 13
Jerusalem, Israel
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: 2018-04-26 13:44:42
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