Jerusalem Court Gets Indictment of Eichmann; Tribunal to Be Formed
Menu JTA Search

Jerusalem Court Gets Indictment of Eichmann; Tribunal to Be Formed

Download PDF for this date

The detailed charge sheet against Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo colonel who directed the extermination of 6,000,000 Jews, was submitted to the Jerusalem District Court today. A trial court will now be formed of two district court judges under the presidency of a Supreme Court Justice, presumably Justice Moshe Landau.

The charge sheet, like the document submitted February 1, lists 15 counts and 39 prosecution witnesses. It offers evidence directly contrary to Eichmann’s claim in his Life memoirs that he was responsible only for the deportations of Jews and never gave any extermination orders.

The charge sheet accuses the 54-year-old Nazi of having given instructions “for extermination in Germany directly to local Gestapo commanders.” In occupied areas of Europe, Eichmann is accused of acting through commanders of the Nazi security police. He is specifically charged with directing commanders of the Auschwitz murder factory to use the gas known as Zyklon-B to kill inmates and in 1942 and 1944 “the accused obtained a quantity supply of the gas for the purpose of exterminating Jews.”

The charge sheet lists six of the Nazi death camps as the most important ones in carrying out the mass murders of European Jews. These were : Auschwitz, Chelmno, Belsec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Maidanek.

Among the details of the program to hasten the “final solution of the Jewish problem” by the Nazis listed in the charge sheet are instructions by Eichmann to a Dr. Epstein, head of the Council of Elders in the Theresienstadt concentration camp to forbid births and interrupt pregnancies. In Berlin in 1942, Eichmann devised measures for the sterilization of partners in mixed marriages with the intention to destroy the Jewish people, according to the charge sheet.

The crimes against humanity lists the spoilation of the property of millions of Jews residing in Germany and the occupied countries. Measures listed in the charge sheet for this purpose included the establishment of a central authority for the emigration of Jews in Vienna, Czechoslovakia and Berlin even before Hitler launched World War II in 1939, under which properties were transferred to Germany. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, according to the charge sheet, were forced to finance their own deportations to extermination camps and other centers of mass slaughter.


The properties stolen from the Jews in Poland during 1942 and 1943 were nominally valued at 200,000,000 marks but the actual value was far greater, the charge sheet declares. The stolen properties were those of individuals, of Jewish communities and assets of Jews murdered in German-occupied areas in Eastern Europe.

Until shortly before the end of the war in 1945, the freight trains which conveyed the victims to extermination camps and ghettoes were being sent back to Germany loaded with despoiled properties and also such parts of the bodies of the victims as heir, gold teeth, artificial limbs and personal effects, according to the charge sheet.

The charge sheet asserts that the property was removed to Germany on orders of Eichmann and of others acting on his orders. The extent of this vast robbery was reflected in the fact that in the 635 warehouses in which the loot was stored at Auschwitz alone, the following items were found: 348,820 men’s suits; 836,255 women’s dresses and 38,000 pairs of men’s shoes.

The loot at Auschwitz was even greater than this, the charge sheet disclosed because 29 other Auschwitz warehouses were burned by the Germans before they retreated from Poland in January 1945.

Eichmann was accused of personally devising in his Berlin office in October 1942 sterilization measures and of stating that application of such measures was a condition of “the right to remain within the area governed by the Reich.” The charge sheet noted that other Nazi authorities favored deportations and in that case, Eichmann ordered separation of males and females to prevent any additional births of Jewish children.

Foreign correspondents covering the trial of Eichmann will not be able to use on Saturdays the special communications facilities being set up in the court building, the Ministry of Labor decided here today. After consultations with the Ministry of Posts, the Police Ministry and the Government Information Center, the Labor Ministry decided that the press would have adequate facilities through existing regular Sabbath communications facilities and that the court building, including the press rooms need not remain open on Saturdays.

The question of Sabbath operation of the special communications facilities in the court building, which was raised in the Cabinet meeting Sunday by Justice Minister Pinhas Rosen, was referred to the Ministries of Labor and Posts at that time. While trial sessions will not be held on the Sabbath, the correspondents were expected to file background stories on Saturdays.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund