JERUSALEM (May. 17)
The prosecution in the trial of Adolf Eichmann introduced today a mound of documents demonstrating that Eichmann was the prime mover in the Nazi confiscation of some $3, 000, 000, 000 worth of property from Jews destined for extermination.
The charge against Eichmann of a basic role in the enormous Nazi looting is a secondary one to the Key accusation of prime responsibility for the annihilation of 6, 000, 000 European Jews. It was documented today to show that the spoliation indicated that the Gestapo and the SS knew that the victims were intended for death.
Deputy Attorney General Yaakov Baror introduced the documents which he said proved that Eichmann worked out the procedures to strip the doomed Jews of all their possessions and even to make the stealing legal under Nazi German law.
The documents included letters from Eichmann to Gestapo offices in Nuremberg, Wuerzburg, Kiel, Bremen, Prague, Vienna and other major centers which described the stripping procedures. Some letters revealed Eichmann was complaining that Jews had disposed of personal possessions when they learned they were to be shipped out of their home areas. Eichmann declared in one letter, “this must stop.”
The Nazi system outlined in the documents began with the listing of a Jew for deportation. Sent to an “assembly” center, the victim, on Eichmann’s orders, would be described by a Nazi judge as an “enemy of the Reich.” He would then be told that he could keep from his possessions only his identity card, a watch and his wedding ring. Later, even these items were stolen from him.
JEWS FORCED TO PAY FOR THEIR TRANSPORTATION TO DEATH CAMPS
Those sent to Eastern Europe were declared stateless as soon as their transport train left the borders of Germany and as such, they had no rights whatever. The documents showed that the victims were even forced to pay for their own transport through sums deposited in theory with the “Reichsvereinigung, ” an association created by the Nazis to replace all the Jewish communal organizations they suppressed. The funds actually went to an “Account A” which was entirely under Eichmann’s control.
In the documents, Eichmann’s department 4-B-IV in the Gestapo turned up repeatedly as the department deciding the fate of the Jews falling into the Nazi grasp. In one document, Eichmann instructed the military commander in occupied France to prevent the migration of Jews “who are trying every means to avoid transport to the East. “
Eichmann was demonstrated as finding time to deal with the fate of individual Jews. Replying to the Nazi Foreign Ministry concerning a Dr. Alfred Philipson, he refused to agree that Philipson be allowed to remain in Bonn. In a letter dealing with a request by a Mrs. Flora Bucher to be allowed to join her mother in southern France, Eichmann wrote “her migration to unoccupied France should be avoided. “
Another document was a report of a meeting between Eichmann and some of his deputies which showed that Eichmann opened the meeting with a discussion of the “evacuation” of an additional 50, 000 Jews from the old Reich and from Austria. Another directive from Eichmann’s office listed detailed procedures for the handling of each transport, requiring that each arrival and departure be reported to the Eichmann bureau by cable “as per attached model. “
(From Bonn it was reported today that a West German public opinion sampler says 35 percent of his countrymen believe that should Adolf Eichmann be convicted of murdering 6, 000, 000 Jews, he should be sentenced to death. Erich Peter Neumann of Allensbach, Germany, said his findings are significant because there is no capital punishment in West Germany.)
One document introduced by the prosecution today showed a communication from Eichmann in which the Nazi war criminal asked to be informed about Jewish art objects which could be “acquired” by the Hitler regime. Another document submitted by the prosecution concerned the disposal of the property of those Jews who were deported to Lublin.