Eichmann, on Stand, Continues Efforts to Prove He Lacked Real Authority
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Eichmann, on Stand, Continues Efforts to Prove He Lacked Real Authority

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Adolf Eichmann went into a marathon description of the Nazi genocide organization chart today in an effort to prove that he was consistently by-passed in the chain of command ending in the mass murders of European Jews.

Five charts were submitted by Eichmann’s attorney, Dr. Robert Servatius, at the 80th session of the trial. These depicted those departments concerned with killing Jews, with legislative activities against Jews and with deportation matters. Dr. Servatius contended that despite Eichmann’s post as chief of Jewish affairs in Bureau IV of the Gestapo, he never operated in any field except transportation.

Haggling over documentary evidence also marked Eichmann’s sixth day of testimony in his own defense. As on each previous day, his statements were keyed to the twin themes of his inability to do anything but follow the orders of his superiors in his anti-Jewish activities and his alleged isolicitude for the deportees in general and the Jewish expellees in particular.

The haggling today was about an affidavit purporting to prove that 30 Czech children believed to have been murdered by the Nazis were alive near the end of World War II. The prosecution contends that Eichmann was responsible for the murder of some 80 children left orphans when the Nazis razed the village of Lidice in retaliation for the Czech assassination of Reinhardt Heydrich, the SS chief who had been made boss of Czechoslovakia.


Eichmann was questioned about a meeting with a Polish poet, Jochem Klepper, who came to him to appeal against a forced divorce from his Jewish wife, which was to be followed by his wife’s deportation. Eichmann testified he did not remember exactly what he told the poet but that he must have told him that he was simply following orders in such situations. The poet committed suicide immediately after the meeting with Eichmann.

In an effort to demonstrate that he was not the typically fanatical anti-Semite of the Nazi regime, Eichmann said he did not remember reading a particular book on Jewish ritual murders but he had read other books on the subject. He added that “Jewish functionaries with whom I had contact knew I considered stories of ritual murder as belonging to the class of fairy tales.”


The defendant was again admonished today by Judge Landau to stop giving lectures and to answer specifically the questions put to him. The justice said sternly, “we do not want general explanations for each document–there could be endless explaining. The aim is to get replies to questions which you are asked and as far as I recall you have not been asked to give a lecture on this document. Please bear this in mind in all your future replies. ” The defendant bowed and assented with a muttered “jawohl. “

Dr. Servatius questioned Eichmann about documents on the correspondence between the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem and Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Eichmann insisted that he met the ex-Mufti, who repeatedly praised the Nazi persecution of Jews, only once. He said the occasion was an introduction at a Nazi reception for the Arab leader. He said that other than acknowledging the introduction, he never spoke to the ex-Mufti. He did disclose that, after an agreement was made between the ex-Mufti and von Ribbentrop, three Iraqi majors came to the Reich Security office on a study mission and that they spent three days in his department in Gestapo Bureau IV.

Asked whether he had been offered a post as advisor on Jewish affairs to the ex-Mufti, he said there had not been any contacts between him and the Arab except at the introductory meeting.

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