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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 107 and 108 -- Questioning Eichmann's loyalty and character

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.200 | Film ID: 2200

Session 107 and Session 108. Eichmann is handed a paper and asked who wrote it. He wrote it recently, and says that he cannot feel completely innocent because his receiving orders is irrelevant thanks to retroactive paragraphs. He says that he has thought over his situation many times, and he decided that he was a tool of others, and at least to himself, he is innocent.

00:10:07 Skip to an earlier sequence duplicated in Tape 2193. Eichmann is asked about his statements concerning being brought to Israel against his will, and later saying that he was relieved to be brought there to justify himself through testimony. Eichmann says that he wants to clear away the lies concerning his reputation that have come about in the previous 15 years so that he can give his family something to tell those who question them, and that is why he has insisted on a long cross-examination. The Judge responds that this could be problematic because Eichmann would want to present the facts in a positive light. Eichmann says this has not been done. 00:17:50 Eichmann's courage to speak the truth and assume responsibility is questioned here based on what some witnesses have said about Eichmann's character. The shifting of the blame by so many at Nuremberg is mentioned, and the Judge says that he understands that the accused have a right to not tell the truth, to not incriminate themselves, but Eichmann has said that he is not doing that, he is telling the truth. The Judge states that they have no prejudice against Eichmann, despite being in Israel, but want to uncover the truth just as Eichmann wants.

00:27:01 Tape skips in middle of translation of the Judge's next statement and resumes at 00:27:58 with a Judge telling Eichmann that they do not take the words of witnesses as absolute fact (duplicate footage in Tape 2190). He tells Eichmann, who said earlier that he wanted to write a fair and frank book about what happened as a warning to especially the youth of Germany, that he can instead accomplish here what he wanted to do with his book, proving to the world and more importantly, to his sons, that he was innocent.

00:33:54 The Judge begins pressing Eichmann on his statements of civic courage and the will to stick to your morals, and Eichmann's apparent refusal to do that. Eichmann says that one could not really resist the nation, that one person's efforts were irrelevant. He says that his ideal was to carry out the National Socialist doctrine as efficiently and as loyally as possible.

00:41:49 After saying that there is a difference between responsibility and guilt, and saying he is guilty of taking orders, Eichmann is asked if he takes responsibility for the things he has done. He is asked if he takes responsibility for things he said in the Sassen memoirs. He says that he spoke truths in the corrections, and the Judge presses him, asking if he was drunk when he made corrections. Eichmann, becoming defensive, insists he was sober when he made corrections, and he told truths. The Judge says that he is mixing two stories, and Eichmann admits having relapses of nationalism as the nights wore on. The Judge pushes Eichmann about these recordings and writings, and then accuses him of not having civic courage. Eichmann gives an excuse, saying various parts of the submitted Sassen memoirs are not his writings, and he has in fact not read most of them. Judge Halevi finishes his questioning, and the Session is concluded.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 July 24
Production:  1961 July 24
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 12:45:01
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