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Eichmann Trial -- Session 99 -- Cross-examination of the Accused

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.164 | Film ID: 2164

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 99 -- Cross-examination of the Accused


    Footage begins with a shot of Attorney General Gideon Hausner and Assistant State Attorney Gabriel Bach seated at the prosecution table. Dr. Robert Servatius, counsel for the defense, enters (00:00:26) and the camera cuts to a long shot of the courtroom. Servatius walks over to the defense table and is seated. The camera cuts to another angle and Adolf Eichmann enters the booth (00:00:39) carrying documents and accompanied by three Israeli guards. He bows to Servatius and is seated. There are various shots of Servatius and Eichmann preparing for the session. All rise as judges Halevi, Landau, and Raveh enter the courtroom (00:03:12). The attorneys bow to the judges (00:03:20). Judge Landau opens the 99th session of the trial (00:03:38).

    Footage begins at the opening of the session. Hausner continues with cross examination asking the accused about meeting Heinrich Müller, head of Section IV (Gestapo) of the Reich Main Security Office, after witnessing the Einsatzgruppen units in action and telling him that their method was making them into sadists suggesting that another method for executions had to be found. When Eichmann replies that he is not familiar with the last phrase, Hausner notes that during his interrogation he was shown an excerpt from the LIFE article and did not comment on its contents (00:04:48). An excerpt from LIFE discussing the need for another method of extermination is read out loud by Hausner in German. Eichmann contests the statement given in the article and testifies that it is a wrong interpretation of his words and either way, whether by shooting or gas, he was against the killing (00:07:50). Hausner continues to ask questions to the accused in German. The entire opening segment of footage is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2165 (from 00:00:50 to 00:09:16). The footage on Tape 2164 is more complete.

    Cross examination continues with questions regarding whether or not Eichmann spoke to people from Rosenberg's Ministry concerning gas (00:12:30). Eichmann replies that he does not think that he spoke to anyone about gas matters. Hausner continues to question the accused in German. Letters written by a man named Wetzel are introduced and Eichmann is questioned about several instances in which he is referred to in conjunction with matters concerning gas (00:15:51) and deportations of Jews from the Reich to Minsk and Riga (00:18:22). Hausner notes that only Wetzel knew that Eichmann had given consent on behalf of the Reich Main Security Office for the use of gas in the extermination process (00:19:38). Eichmann testifies that he did not give consent since he had nothing to do with the killings (00:19:48).

    The Attorney General reads a passage in German from the Sassen interviews noting that Eichmann dictated a letter to be given to Odilo Globocnik (00:20:51). After the war Eichmann was interviewed by a Dutch journalist and former SS man, Willem Sassen. The interviews became a major document within the trial simply referred to as the Sassen Document. Hausner goes on to ask Eichmann if the letter was an order to exterminate a quarter million Jews (00:26:07). Eichmann replies that the Jews were already dead and that Globocnik had wanted to have a retrospective order for the Jews he had already killed (00:26:14). Questions concerning retrospective orders for the killing of Jews continue with Hausner asking Eichmann if he ever brought Globocnik an order to kill Jews (00:35:24). Eichmann replies that he did not (00:35:41).

    Eichmann is then asked about which concentration camps he visited (00:36:23) and if Rudolf Höss showed him the entire extermination process at Auschwitz (00:37:37). The Attorney General continues asking the accused if he had any authority over the extermination camps (00:40:35). Eichmann denies having any authority (00:40:38). The segment beginning with Eichmann viewing the extermination process is duplicated footage also found on Tape 2165 (from 00:09:18 to 00:11:01). The footage on Tape 2164 is more complete.

    Questions towards the accused turn to the topic of Eichmann's involvement in matters concerning an Auschwitz inmate named Bertold Storfer (00:41:18). Storfer was a representative of the Viennese Jewish community. As told by Eichmann, Storfer was sent "by mistake" and "behind his back" to Auschwitz. Upon learning of the deportation, Eichmann went to Auschwitz to ask Höss for the man's release. Release is denied by Höss because of orders but supposedly upon Eichmann's insistence Storfer is given an "easier" job, sweeping the sidewalk in front of the commandant's office. Eichmann is asked a series of questions by Hausner and judges Landau and Halevi regarding his degree of involvement in procuring this "easier" task for Storfer. Among the questions the accused is asked are from whom and when he received "special permission" to go to Auschwitz to talk with Höss and make the arrangements. Hausner questions Eichmann about his deputy, Rolf Günther's orders to execute Storfer, Eppstein, and Edelstein while he was in Hungary and the accused's reaction when he was informed of the killings (00:54:31).
    Eichmann is then asked about orders he received from Müller to go to Kulmhof/Chelmno (00:59:20). The accused replies that it was Müller's method of being kept informed about what was going on in Reich territories and that it was just him who was sent on these assignments (00:59:27).

    Hausner continues asking Eichmann about the Economic-Administrative Main Office's recognition of two categories of Jews 1) transport Jews who arrived based on instructions from Eichmann's section and 2) custody Jews, who arrived on instruction from Department IVC2 (01:03:07). Hausner goes on to question the accused about instances in which Jews who couldn't be included in transports were ensured, by Eichmann, to be sent to Auschwitz as inmates in "protective custody" (01:04:14). The accused is handed a document. This is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2163 (from 00:00:34 to 00:02:00). The footage on Tape 2163 is more complete.
    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
    00:00:15:00 to 01:05:29:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2164 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2164 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2164 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2164 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2164 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2164 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2164 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2164 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: 2434
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 250
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:46:30
    This page:

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