Eichmann Linked to Mass Annihilation of Jews in Rumania and Slovakia
Menu JTA Search

Eichmann Linked to Mass Annihilation of Jews in Rumania and Slovakia

Download PDF for this date

The prosecution in the Adolf Eichmann trial here, put the anti-Jewish atrocities in Rumania and Slovakia into focus today, proving once again that Eichmann personally had been the top man in the Nazi apparatus in charge of the holocaust.

In Rumania, the testimony and documents showed, between 250,000 and 300,000 Jews were murdered. While some native Rumanian groups “competed” in the annihilation of Jews, it was shown that Eichmann was constantly goading Rumania into more and more anti-Jewish atrocities, and preventing the emigration of Jews from Rumania.

In regard to Slovakia, it was shown that one of Eichmann’s assistants double-crossed the International Red Cross which had been promised that Jews holding foreign passports would be permitted to emigrate. Instead, it was shown, all these would-be escapees were sent to the death camp at Auschwitz.

Documents submitted by the prosecution showed that Eichmann dealt directly with the Rumanian Government through one of his aides, SS Major Gustav Richter, often bypassing the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Richter urged the Bucharest Government to increase its persecutions against Jews, the papers showed. Orders went to Bucharest directly from Berlin to step up deportation of Jews to the death camps.

Dr. Theodore Lowenstein, formerly a member of the Rumanian Zionist Federation, was one of today’s witnesses, testifying to efforts made to rescue some of the Rumanian Jews. For a time, he said, the Rumanian Government cooperated in the rescue efforts because the government was receiving a 50 percent tax added to the transportation costs.


One document introduced by the prosecution was a letter from Eichmann-to the Nazi Foreign Ministry, requesting urgent intervention to prevent a plan to let 1,000 Rumanian Jewish children escape to Palestine, Still other documents showed Eichmann intervening against plans for two transports of Rumanian Jewish adults trying to go to Palestine, a stating that it was the policy of his office to prevent the escape of Jewish children.

Another document dealt with an attempt by the British Mandatory Government to save 5,000 Bulgarian Jewish children by giving them sanctuary in Palestine. This proposal was vetoed by the German Foreign Ministry after intervention by Eichmann’s office,

Dr. Lowenstein, who told of pre-Nazi atrocities against Rumanian Jews, testified that anti-Jewish excesses were stepped up after the advent of nazism. He told of One pogrom in which Rumanian Iron Guards killed many Jews. In that instance, he said, the corpses of 21 Jews slaughtered in an abattoir were sent back to the Jewish community with tags identifying the dead as “Kosher meat.”

Between July and September 1941, he said, 160,000 Bessarabian Jews were murdered. In Jassy alone. Dr. Lowenstein said, more than 10,000 Jews were killed in pogroms.

Another witness today, Mrs. Avraham Mark, widow of the Chief Rabbi of Czernowitz, told how 70,000 Jews in her city were rounded up, forced into a cordoned area of only two blocks sealed off as a ghetto, then systematically sent to their death in a Transnystrian camp. Most of the deportees, she said, including her closest relatives, died of typhus or starvation. Her aged parents were shot by SS guards because they could not maintain the marching pace of the Jews being sent into the ghetto.

Before she began her testimony, the prosecution submitted a document in which the Einzatgruppen (Commando) headquarters advised Berlin it had liquidated the Jewish leadership in Czernowitz by slaughtering 500 Jewish leaders. The Jewish leaders were taken to an abandoned section of the bank of the Prut River and unceremoniously murdered by shooting.

Later, turning to Slovakia, the prosecution showed that in March 1942, Eichmann summoned his assistant. Dieter Wisliceny, to Berlin, giving the latter directives about deporting Jews and their transfer to Lublin. He was ordered to obtain Slovakian help. Under Eichmann’s orders, the Slovakian Jews would be disenfranchised by their own government, but Slovakia would pay 300 reichsmarks for each Jew to be deported by the Germans.

Dr. Ernst Abeles, a former attorney at Bratislava, testified about the fate of the 95,000 Jews in Slovakia. He described a personal meeting with Eichmann several months before deportations of Slovakian Jews were begun.

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