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

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

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
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:45:12
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