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Eichmann Trial -- Session 100 -- Cross-examination of the Accused

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.169 | Film ID: 2169

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    Eichmann Trial -- Session 100 -- Cross-examination of the Accused


    The camera fades in onto Eichmann seated in the booth during recess. There is a shot of the prosecution desk with Hausner, Bach, and Assistant to the Attorney General Ya'akov Robinson seated (00:00:48) followed by various shots of the accused, the prosecution, and the courtroom. Assistant State Attorney Bar-Or enters and walks to the prosecution table (00:02:14). Servatius is shown arranging documents on his table (00:05:15). All rise as the judges enter the courtroom (00:06:45) and the attorneys bow to the judges (00:06:52). Attorney General Gideon Hausner resumes cross examination of Eichmann by questioning him about the drafting of a letter by Bilfinger of department IIA2, with signature by Reinhard Heydrich, authorizing Eichmann to correct the document in order that the matter be overseen by the accused (00:07:40). Judge Halevi interrupts Hausner and asks him for evidence concerning the representative of the Foreign Ministry who acted in the General Government (00:10:04).

    Cross examination continues with the Attorney General questioning Eichmann about knowing the absorption capabilities of concentration camps in the West, Bergen-Belsen for example (00:11:42) and whether he held authoritative control over the camp (00:13:39). Eichmann's activities in Theresienstadt are raised (00:14:15) and the accused is asked about his involvement in making arrangements for the beds (00:15:00) and the mail (00:17:49) in the camp. Eichmann testifies that he was informed of postal difficulties in Theresienstadt by the Council of Elders and reported on the matter but Hausner argues that by "difficulties" he means death sentences (00:18:26). The accused retorts that he was not involved and is again asked by Hausner whether he meant death sentences. There is some visual interference from 00:20:46 to 00:21:09.

    Footage cuts (00:21:10 to 00:21:23) Footage of Hausner asking the accused again whether by "difficulties" he meant death sentences is repeated. None of the session is missing. Eichmann admits that there were executions in Theresienstadt because of the strict postal censorship and that Edelstein, one of the members of the Council of Elders, asked him to lift the postal ban and a few days later the ban was relaxed.

    The following footage is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2167 (from 00:16:15 to 00:24:37). Hausner asks the accused who handed out death sentences in Theresienstadt. The accused states that he learned from the daily reports from the Council of Elders that it was the Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Prague (00:22:34 on this tape and at 00:16:20 on Tape 2167). Eichmann is then asked a series of questions regarding whether he knows any German laws which authorized the Senior Commanders of the Security Police and the SD to impose death sentences (00:23:47 on this tape and at 00:17:33 on Tape 2167), the Commander or Commandant of an extermination camp to exterminate people (00:24:50 on this tape and at 00:18:36 on Tape 2167), or Globocnik to exterminate hundreds of thousands or a quarter million people from the General Government (00:26:08 on this tape and at 00:19:54 on Tape 2167). He is also asked whether he knows any laws authorizing himself to carry out deportations (00:27:18 on this tape and at 00:21:04 on Tape 2167). The accused states that he either does not know or was not involved in these matters. Hausner continues, asking whether the accused cared if what he was doing was illegal or not (00:27:55 on this tape and at 00:21:41 on Tape 2167). Eichmann replies that he did what he was ordered to do and the subject of whether or not his instructions were or were not illegal never came up in conversation.

    Questions turn to the accused's activities in Monaco (00:30:51). Eichmann is asked if he had contacts with the government in Monaco without informing the Foreign Ministry (00:32:21) and about pursuing actions against Jewish refugees in Monaco (00:35:55). In reply, Eichmann states that he had absolutely no contact with officials in the Monaco government (00:32:29) and does not know about actions against Jewish refugees there (00:36:18). Hausner presents a document to the accused showing that he had informed Helmut Knochen about the Italian matter, in reference to the Monaco Jewish refugees (00:39:45) and proceeds to ask the accused who he was referring to in the document as "I." In previous sessions Eichmann had argued that the use of "I" in a document meant on behalf of the chief of the Reich Main Security Office, Security Police and the SD and was discussed at length. Hausner again brings up this topic to show that Eichmann was in fact making reference to himself and his own orders not Heinrich Müller (head of Section IV) or Reinhard Heydrich (Chief of the Security Police and the SD).

    Cross examination continues and Eichmann is asked about a man named Reischauer (00:45:21). The accused identifies him as a Senior Government Counselor in the Party Chancellery, or in the Chancellery of the Fuehrer's deputy (00:45:27). He is further questioned about Reischauer's involvement in matters concerning people of mixed blood (00:47:30), whether he cooperated with Reischauer (00:48:22), and about knowing of his fanatical opposition to mixed marriages (00:51:41). Eichmann acknowledges that he did meet with Reischauer but that he was not involved in matters concerning people of mixed blood. He also states that he was aware of Reischauer's attitude towards such people but did not share the same opinion (00:52:01). Hausner notes it was general knowledge that during the war Hitler often overlooked instances in which soldiers were of mixed parentage (00:53:11) but Reischauer severely opposed this attitude (00:53:40) and goes on to ask Eichmann for his opinion (00:54:06). Eichmann testifies that he did not share Reischauer's opinion and believed that the issue would be resolved naturally (00:54:13). A document is presented and read in German by Hausner, a letter from a Dr. Lösener, the Ministry of the Interior's expert on Jewish Affairs, listing known anti-Semites including Eichmann (00:57:07). Eichmann does not deny the letter itself but notes how strange it is that Lösener himself is not on the list (00:58:40). The remaining footage concerns Eichmann's fervent fanaticism against people of mixed blood.
    Film Title
    Eichmann Trial
    Event:  1961 July 18
    Production:  1961 July 18
    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
    00:00:39:00 to 01:04:22:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2169 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2169 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2169 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 2169 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2169 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2169 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2169 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2169 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: 2439
    Source Archive Number: VTEI 133
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:46:43
    This page:

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