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Eichmann Trial -- Session 98 -- Cross-examination of the Accused

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.162 | Film ID: 2162

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 98 -- Cross-examination of the Accused


    Footage begins in the middle of Session 98. Attorney General Gideon Hausner cross examines Eichmann about sending Jews from the Reich to Litzmannstadt/Łódź. There is a commotion in the courtroom and Judge Landau tells the guards to remove a man from the audience because he is shouting (00:01:42). The camera cuts to a man in the audience being taken out of the courtroom (00:01:50). The English translator is heard saying that the man pointed to a concentration camp number on his arm and shouted "you dog, you dog." The camera turns back to the proceeding. There are shots of Hausner and Eichmann as a passage, read by Hausner, is translated. This segment (from 00:00:08 to 00:04:06) is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2160 (from 01:02:08 to 01:06:14) and on Tape 2161 (from 00:27:53 to 00:31:01). The footage on Tape 2162 is more complete.

    Cross examination of the accused continues. Eichmann is questioned by Hausner about receiving reports from the Einsatzgruppen units operating in Minsk and Riga (00:05:18) and about meeting with Heinrich Himmler in September of 1941 (00:07:07). The accused is asked what Himmler wanted from him at this meeting (00:09:31). Eichmann testifies that he had to give him a general report on emigration (00:09:33). There is a long discussion concerning when the prohibition on emigration began and whether or not emigration was still being allowed when Eichmann gave his report to Himmler (00:11:12). Hausner tells the accused that when he met with Himmler emigration was still being allowed and it was only after this meeting that the prohibition began (00:16:09). Eichmann states that he does not know if this is true and suggests that maybe Himmler had already ordered the cessation of emigration and merely wanted a concluding report (00:16:30).

    Hausner continues, asking Eichmann if he knew a man from the Reich Chancellery named Brack (00:17:44) and remembers him asking for several trains when he visited the Chancellery (00:18:08). Eichmann is further questioned about this matter including the fact that he knew Brack was involved in the "extermination of idiots" (00:23:07) and about reporting to Heinrich Müller, head of Section IV (Gestapo) of the Reich Main Security Office, that the method of extermination needed to be changed, that a more "elegant" method must be found, because it is "turning our people into sadists" (00:24:48). Eichmann testifies that he is hearing this for the first time. There is a long discussion concerning the phrase "a more elegant method" and from who/where the phrase originated. Eichmann maintains that he does not know.

    Cross examination turns to Eichmann's contact with a Jewish Affairs officer in the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories named Dr. Wetzel (00:29:02) and whether he came up with the "more elegant method" phrase. Hausner presents a document written by Wetzel, after meeting with Brack and upon the approval of the accused, noting that the extermination method would be changing from shooting to gassing (00:31:51). Eichmann denies the authenticity of the document and asks that it be carefully analyzed by a specialist (00:32:46). Hausner then asks Eichmann if he ever spoke to Wetzel about gassings (00:40:39) and Eichmann replies that he would never have talked to Wetzel about this matter because he had nothing to do with the killings (00:41:06). A series of questions is asked to the accused concerning if while in Argentina he was familiar with the Gerstein Report (00:43:00) and if his first reaction was that Rolf Günther, his deputy, was responsible (00:43:37) while Eichmann was away in Hungary (00:44:56). Eichmann states that he can not remember any details concerning the gas business that Günther was involved in. Judge Landau tells the accused to stop repeating himself and answer the questions truthfully (00:46:16). Hausner begins to ask the accused about the article published in LIFE when Judge Landau asks to end the morning session. The LIFE article refers to the publication of Eichmann's interview with Dutch journalist Willem Sassen in 1955.

    Judge Landau adjourns the session (00:51:49) and all rise as the judges exit the courtroom (00:51:56). There are shots of the attorneys standing at their tables (Servatius, Hausner, Bar-Or, and Bach are all visible) and of people exiting the courtroom. The camera angle changes and focuses on Servatius before fading out (00:52:35).
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 July 17
    Production:  1961 July 17
    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
    00:00:08:00 to 00:52:51:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2162 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2162 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2162 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2162 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2162 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2162 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2162 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2162 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: 2432
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 104
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:46:06
    This page:

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