The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Testimony Taken Abroad
Testimony of Alfred Six
7 May 1961
The Competent Court of Justice for Kressbronn/Bodensee
Re: Request for Legal Assistance
The main hearing in the criminal proceedings against the Accused Adolf Eichmann is at present taking place in this Court.
In the context of this main hearing, I request you to extend legal assistance to this Court by the examination on oath of the following witness:
Professor Dr. Alfred Six, Kressbronn/Bodensee, Weinbergstr. 14.
The witness is to be examined as to the following allegations of the Accused:
(1) that the Accused, Adolf Eichmann, as a Section Head in a Department of the Head Office for Reich Security under the National Socialist government in Germany, had no independent decision-making powers relative to the basic measures taken against the Jews;
(2) that, as a Section Head, the Accused did not have a special position and special authority in the Head Office for Reich Security, and was more prominent than other Section Heads only because of the significance of the measures adopted;
(3)that the Accused did not because of his personal disposition carry out the persecution and extermination of the Jewish People to a degree which went beyond the limits of the orders he received;
(4) that the Accused on his own authority was unable to approve exceptions to the general orders of the Reich Chancellor, the Reichsführer-SS, the Chief of the Head Office for Reich Security, or his immediate superiors.
To complete the testimony of the witness, I would request that the witness also be asked the following questions which were drawn up by Counsel for the Accused:
(1) Were you the Chief of Department II of the Head Office for Reich Security?
(2) Was the Accused subordinate to you, first as a Specialist Officer and later as a Section Head?
(3) Was a Section Head in the Head Office for Reich Security able at his own discretion to grant exceptions to orders from his superiors?
(4) In negotiations with Section Heads from other central bodies, was a Section Head in the Head Office for Reich Security able to act freely, or was he bound by strict instructions?
(5) During the period of your collaboration with the Accused, did he ever exceed the framework of the instructions he received?
(6) Did the Accused ever act contrary to an order given?
(7) Did the Accused, for reasons of personal conviction, have an anti-Jewish attitude?
(8) Did the Accused make anti-Jewish statements or proposals which were directed towards the extermination of the Jewish People?
I would also request that the witness be asked the following additional questions which were drawn up by the Attorney General:
(1) From when until when was the Accused directly subordinate to you?
(2) Was the Accused your subordinate in the Head Office for Reich Security?
(3) What were the guidelines by which the staff of the Security Service Head Office was accepted for employment?
(4) Was the staff of the Security Service Head Office required to have a minimum level of knowledge of National Socialist ideology and to approve of it?
(5) Could a non-anti-Semite be a member of the Jewish Affairs Section of the Security Service Head Office?
(6) Did you receive reports from the Accused about his activities and did you read them - (a) when he was your subordinate, (b) when he was no longer your subordinate?
(7) Who recommended the promotion of the Accused to officer rank?
(8) Why did you recommend his promotion?
(9) Did you read the Accused's report on his journey to Palestine?
(10) Was this report in keeping with National Socialist ideology?
(11) In the Head Office for Reich Security, did Section Heads receive assignments which did not conform to the law?
(12) What do you know about special assignments given by Heydrich to Eichmann?
(13) When were you appointed commander of the Moscow Advance Commando?
(14) What was the commando's assignment?
(15) Did you deal with tracking down Soviet Commissars in prisoner-of-war camps?
(16) Who gave you your orders about this?
(17) Were you present when the orders were issued in Pretzsch and Berlin? If so, describe what took place at this consultation.
(18) Did you know SS Gruppenführer Arthur Nebe?
(19) Were you in Minsk in 1941?
(20) If so - (a) did you see German Jews who had been deported there? (b) did you see executions in Minsk?
(21) What were your duties in the Foreign Ministry?
(22) What was your rank in the Foreign Ministry?
(23) When did you first hear of the Final Solution?
(24) Were you ever sentenced for your National Socialist activities, and if so, what was your punishment?
(25) Were you familiar with the activities of the individual Departments of the Head Office for Reich Security?
(26) In the Head Office for Reich Security was it usual procedure for a Section Head to bypass the Group Leader and go directly to the Department Chief or the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service?
(27) Do you know of cases, apart from that of Eichmann, where the Section Head had a higher rank than the Group Leader?
(28) Do you know of other Section Heads, other than the Accused, who received orders directly from the Chief of the Security Police?
(29) Were there Sections Heads apart from the Head of Section IVB4 whose offices were situated outside the Head Office for Reich Security?
(30) Was there any Section other than IVB4 which was housed in a four-storey building?
(31) Are you aware that Eichmann frequently went in person to see the Reichsfuehrer-SS and the Chief of the Security Police, and was that usual procedure for Section Heads of his rank?
(32) Did you take part in the meeting of Advisers on Jewish Affairs in Krumhuebel on 3/4 April 1944?
(33) What did you report on at that meeting?
(34) What were the Security Police duties which you were slated to carry out in Great Britain, it were to be conquered by the Reich?
I request that you summon to the examination of the witness the representative of the Attorney General of the State of Israel, c/o H.E. Ambassador Dr. F.E. Shinnar, Israel Mission, Cologne, as well as Counsel for the Accused, Advocate Dr. R. Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and to afford them, on their part, the opportunity to put any questions to the witness which might arise from his answers.
There is no objection on the part of this Court to the aforementioned representatives of the parties obtaining copies of the record of the examination.
Please forward the original of the record of the examination to this Court.
(-) Moshe Landau, President of the Trial Court
I ARs 180/61
The Court of First Instance, Tettnang
Transacted on 24 May 1961
Present: Assistant Judge Eisenbraun as Judge
Court Official Ms. Freese as Recording Clerk
In the criminal proceedings against Adolf Eichmann the following appeared when the matter was called:
Witness: Prosessor Dr. Six with Advocate Dr. Bungartz,Cologne, Mr. Erwin S. Shimron representing the Prosecution, who presented his power of attorney.
The representative of the Prosecution raised no objections to the presence of Advocate Bungartz.
The witness was acquainted with the subject matter of the examination and instructed as to the significance of the testimony and the obligation to make a truthful statement, as well as about the possibility of having to take an oath and the penalties for giving deliberate or negligent false sworn evidence. Moreover, he was informed that he could refuse to provide information on questions by answering which he could lay himself open to the risk of criminal proceedings.
Whereupon the witness was examined as follows:
Personal details: Alfred Franz Six, 51 years old, married, advertising consultant, residing in Kressbronn, Weinbergstrasse 14, not related and not connected by marriage to the Accused. I have not been deprived of the ability to take an oath.
Advocate Wechtenbruch appears for the Defence.
On the matter in question:
From mid-1937 until the outbreak of war in 1939 I was provisional head of the Deviant Ideologies Department in the Security Service Head Office. In addition, I was also head of the Aspects of Life (Lebensgebiete) and Press Departments. Until now I believed that Eichmann was subordinate to me in the Deviant Ideologies Department from mid-1937 until the outbreak of war in 1939. Having been shown exhibits Nos. 1169 and 1513, I consider it correct that Eichmann was transferred to Vienna in 1938, and that after this transfer he was no longer my subordinate. Eichmann was a Specialist Officer in the Deviant Ideologies Department. Without anything to refresh my memory, I am unable to say from when until when Eichmann was in the Head Office for Reich Security. However, I do know that he worked there and that he was head of the Jewish Affairs Department or Jewish Affairs Section. I myself no longer remember since when Eichmann was again in Berlin.
Normally a Section Head in the Head Office for Reich Security did not have any special powers. Normally the department was represented externally by the Department Chief and not by the Section Heads. It was not customary for Section Heads to sign, particularly in correspondence with other offices, authorities and ministries. The Department Chief would sign in such instances, with the addition of "i.V." - (in Vertretung - on behalf of). In correspondence within the department, the Section Head could sign, with the addition "i.A." (im Auftrag - by order of). Virtually from 1939 onwards, there were also Group Leaders to whom certain powers of the Department Chief were transferred, if they were appointed his representatives on a temporary or permanent basis. These Group Leaders were responsible for the individual Section Heads in their group. Normally the Section Head employed a secretary, and sometimes, if he had a great deal of work involving card files, a Specialist Officer (Sachbearbeiter).
Eichmann's Section occupied a special position. More people were employed in this Section than in the other Sections, but from my own memory I am unable to say today how many people were employed there. I do not remember having ever been in the offices of Eichmann's Section. There was considerably more work to be done in this Section than in the other Sections. It was also a known fact that there were far more official journeys made in this Section than in the other Sections.
If Eichmann was able to sign correspondence with outside bodies, particularly ministries, on his own, without any counter-signature (something which I am not aware of according to my own recollection), then this was definitely an extension of his powers as a Section Head. Even if correspondence with a ministry about a particular matter continued for an extended period, communications were never sent by one Section Head to another Section Head; it was always a communication from the Head Office for Reich Security to the ministry or the minister, and vice versa.
I do not know from my own recollection whether Eichmann conducted negotiations abroad, and if so with whom. In order to be able to conduct negotiations abroad with representatives of a foreign state, it was first necessary to obtain the approval of the minister responsible, and the German envoy in the state concerned had to be present. From my own knowledge I am unable to say whether Eichmann had wider or less wide powers than other Section Heads.
Asked whether, and if so what, the witness knows about the timing, the extent and the nature of Jewish persecution, and more particularly about the so-called Final Solution:
The so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Question was based on a decision by Hitler which was announced to a certain circle at the Wannsee Conference in 1942, and then turned into a plan of action by this circle. I know of this from the documents which were shown to me by the prosecution at the Second Nuremberg Trial. I was not present at the Wannsee Conference; this was a secret conference. I was also not informed officially of the result of the conference.
During 1943, I did receive reports at the Foreign Ministry from the foreign press for my information, about concentration camps, gassings and other measures against the Jews. These reports were so concrete that from 1943 on I no longer had any doubts that persecution measures were being carried out against the Jews. From the end of 1943 onwards, most of the highest-level ministerial civil servants must also have been aware of such press reports. What I thus heard about the methods of persecution of the Jews was enough for me. It was known that Eichmann himself dealt with concentrating the Jews, and it was clear to me that Eichmann was the person who could have given me information about the details of the persecution of the Jews, had I wanted to know anything about it. I am not aware to this day of the various tasks and powers which Eichmann had in the persecution measures. I do not know how far his own decision-making power extended, and I am also not familiar with the techniques for implementing the particular persecution measures. I cannot say from my own memory who was Eichmann's direct superior for these measures, apart from Department Chief Müller.
do not know whether Eichmann was able to grant exemptions. Had I wished to obtain an exemption or something similar for a Jew, I would not have gone to Eichmann, as he was an exponent of the other side. I would first have gone to a head of a foreign mission, and perhaps then to Schellenberg, who had a reputation for being able to arrange such exemptions. I was able to succeed in doing this several times. As to whether Eichmann himself ever granted an exemption, I do not know. Given the structure of the Head Office for Reich Security, it was impossible for a Section Head to grant exemptions from the orders of his superior on his own authority or over the head of his superior. Very many members of the Head Office for Reich Security were removed from their posts, and this was certainly one of the reasons why everybody was very careful not to exceed their authority. There were no instructions giving Section Heads prior permission for making exceptions. This applies to the Head Office for Reich Security generally, and not specifically to Eichmann's Section.
I am not familiar with Eichmann's various powers. However, there is no doubt that he had wider powers than other Section Heads. This was the general view in the Head Office for Reich Security. The general impression was that Eichmann was not only under Müller's orders, but that he was somewhat on the same level as Müller. Müller was known as one of the worst instigators, and I would say that the two were very well matched. Under a different superior than Müller, Eichmann's powers would probably not have been as extensive as they actually were. It was known that Eichmann had access to Heydrich and Kaltenbrunner, although I cannot now give any actual facts to attest to that. I also saw Eichmann in Heydrich's antechamber - as far as I remember, definitely once or twice. I went to see Heydrich every three or four weeks at the conferences of Department Chiefs. Eichmann did not take part in these conferences. It was known that Kaltenbrunner had a personal preference for dealing with counterespionage matters. In addition, as the war continued and the domestic political situation worsened, Mueller had increasingly to deal with domestic policy matters. That may have contributed to Eichmann's becoming increasingly independent. Before he worked in the Head Office for Reich Security, Müller worked under Himmler in the Political Police in Bavaria, and before that he was a police commissioner. Himmler brought him into the Secret State Police. Mueller was not originally a National Socialist, but rather a dedicated Political Police specialist. In my view, that was another reason why Eichmann's superior considered Eichmann to be particularly suited for his job, as he was a National Socialist of long standing. I believe that Heydrich in particular attached value to Eichmann's Section being in the hands of a National Socialist of long standing. In my opinion, Mueller and Eichmann teamed up fairly well. The main occupation of Müller himself was persecuting or combatting Communists. I know that in all discussions Müller talked about the Communist danger. As far as I remember, he did not in these discussions talk about the Jewish danger. However, today I am unable to remember any details. Müller was known as the Communists' Müller. While I was working with Eichmann in the Security Service Head Office, I found him to be a relatively simple, intellectually uninteresting and not particularly gifted, but very snappish, SS man. His duties then were fairly low-level. His superior at the time, Wisliceny, was a rather robust man, who kept him well under control. I believe that Eichmann's later development was basically influenced by the essential feature of his character, i.e., a simple way of thinking and the urge to find favour with his superior. Eichmann believed absolutely in National Socialism. Essentially, the world was fulfilled for him by means of the Nazi outlook on life. His whole attitude meant that Eichmann would not exceed the limits of the instructions he received. I would have noticed if Eichmann had exceeded his instructions when I was working in the Security Service Head Office. I am not, however, able to remember anything of this kind. I believe that, when in doubt, Eichmann always acted in accordance with Party doctrine in its most extreme interpretation. I myself did not have sufficient contact with Eichmann to be able now to provide information about his personal inclinations. Eichmann was an unconditional National Socialist, and his view of the world was determined by National Socialism. I assume that, in his own area, Eichmann felt himself to be the executor of those points of the programme which referred to it. As long as Eichmann was subordinate to me, I do not remember him making any anti-Jewish statements or proposals. It was not in his nature to make proposals which went further than the anti-Jewish measures envisaged at that time.
Until 1939 I was the head of Central Departments II1 and II2 in the Security Service Head Office. From 1939 until I left for the Foreign Ministry I was, with interruptions, Head of Department VII in the Head Office for Reich Security.
In the Security Service Head Office, Eichmann was subordinate to me from 1937 to 1938, but not directly. Wisliceny was Eichmann's direct superior. I no longer remember the name of Wisliceny's direct superior, whose direct superior I was myself. In the Head Office for Reich Security, Eichmann was not my subordinate, neither did he have any other official relationship with me.
As of 1938, the general guidelines for appointment to the Security Service Head Office were: National Socialist attitude on the part of the applicant, prior knowledge of a specialized area, and, as far as possible, academic qualifications. The pre-1938 staff of the office were mainly SS members of long standing. Formally, the members of the Security Service Head Office had to be convinced National Socialists. Exceptions were made in the case of sought-after experts. Eichmann was certainly not such an expert.
Apart from the report on his journey to Palestine, I am not familiar with and do not remember any of Eichmann's reports from that period when he was subordinate to me in the Security Service Head Office. Eichmann did not make his journey to Palestine on his own - he went with Hagen; as far as I know, the report on this journey was written by Hagen. I must have read the Palestine report, I suppose. However, I no longer remember the contents of this report. When Eichmann was no longer subordinate to me, I ceased to receive any reports from him. From document No. 2, which has been shown to me, I see from the reference Hg, and also from the title, that the report was in fact written by Hagen. As I can see from looking at document No. 2, the report is very superficial. Today, I do not remember whether I approved the report at the time or not. As I have said, I no longer remember the contents of the report.
As a Section Head, Eichmann was entitled to make use of the rank of an SS Führer. On 15 September 1937 he was recommended in a Führer minute by the Section Head of the Central Department for an appointment as SS Untersturmführer. I approved of this recommendation. I said then that there were no objections to the promotion, as Eichmann satisfied the normal requirements. Once Eichmann had been proposed for promotion by his immediate superior and his colleagues, the promotion was more or less a foregone conclusion.
I am familiar, from the Nuremberg Trials, with documents which show that in the Head Office for Reich Security illegal assignments were ordered. These included such things as the Venlo news reconnaissance actions, and the attack on the Gleiwitz broadcasting station. There were no such cases involving my activities in Department VII of the Head Office for Reich Security, as is shown in the decision of the Second Nuremberg Military Tribunal. Neither do I, nor did I at that time, know of any unlawful orders which involved the sphere of Section IVB4. Legal thinking at the time held that the killing of persons without the sanction of martial law and without legal proceedings was unlawful. There was controversy about the question of the unlawfulness of killings in areas which were under martial law.
According to the American attitude, any such killing was unlawful, while the Accused at Nuremberg pleaded that they were acting under the compulsion of superior orders. There does not appear to have been any homogeneous attitude to this question in law, in the light of what I have gathered from the documents and statements presented at the Nuremberg Trials. I still remember what I stated in my trial in Nuremberg. The statement I made then is my attitude to the matter. During the War I also did not consider mass shootings or mass executions without any legal proceedings to be lawful, and I said as much at Nuremberg. During the War there were also some other officers who professed the same point of view. During the War it was at least possible to try and be transferred away from an Operations Unit. I myself made such a successful attempt. It was also possible in some other cases which were referred to at Nuremberg. In the last resort, everyone could take the ultimate way out, by shooting himself. When I was transferred back, I was not demoted and did not suffer any disadvantages except for the fact that, until his death, I had a continual feud with Heydrich. There doubtless were cases where transfers from an Operations Unit involved disadvantages. However, I cannot now remember individual cases. In any case, no one was shot because of this, as far as I am aware.
There was also the possibility of volunteering from the Head Office for Reich Security to serve at the front or to be released for some other duty. I was to be stationed again on the front from mid-1942 on, but just before I was due to leave, I was released to join the Foreign Ministry. After six months of intelligence work in the Foreign Ministry, I was appointed Envoy, First Class, as an assistant director in the ministry. Thus I did not suffer any disadvantages in connection with this transfer, either. However, that was probably due to Heydrich's death. I am acquainted with instances where Security Service Leaders were released on their own request by the Head Office for Reich Security for other duties.
I know nothing about special assignments from Heydrich to Eichmann.
At the beginning of July 1941, I was appointed - on Heydrich's orders - Commander of the Moscow Advance Commando. The task of the Advance Commando, in co-operation with the fighting forces, was to secure valuable files and the contents of archives and libraries in Moscow. The commando consisted of twelve to fourteen interpreters. According to reports submitted, it first carried out such duties in Smolensk. After the advance to Moscow was delayed in August 1941, I managed to be recalled to Berlin. After my departure, Nebe put the Moscow Advance Commando under his control (see Documents Volumes 2-4, Six, in the Second Nuremberg Military Tribunal).
I did not deal with tracking down Soviet Commissars in prisoner-of-war camps, nor did I receive any orders to this effect which I failed to carry out. This point was the subject of the criminal proceedings against me at the Nuremberg Military Tribunal. In the judgment of the Military Tribunal, I received confirmation of the fact that this was not my assignment. However, the Ludwigsburg Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes determined unequivocally a year ago that an SS Führer of the same name had carried out such shootings in Northern Russia.
I was not present at the discussions in Pretzsch and Berlin before the outbreak of the war with Russia, because at that time I was still on active service (Reich Division, 1st Artillery Regiment). At that time the regiment was stationed on the Polish-Russian border in the deployment zone. The leader of Operations Unit B, Nebe, who had seconded several interpreters to me for the Moscow Advance Commando, gave me the same explanation when we met in Minsk about the task of the Operations Units that Ohlendorf gave at Nuremberg.
I got to know Nebe around 1937 or 1938. I knew him as the chief of the Berlin Criminal Investigation Police. My relations with him were extremely bad, and this was generally known. According to what Nebe said, the Commissars were considered to be a threat to the safety of the troops behind the lines. I gathered from his comments that the Commissars were to be shot by the Operations Units. Nebe did not talk about shooting the Jewish civilian population. I did not consider the Jewish civilian population to be a danger to the safety of the troops.
I came to Minsk on 4 July 1941 together with the fighting forces, while fighting was still going on. I remained there about a week and left around 12 or 13 July 1941. A prosecution document in the Nuremberg Trial shows the precise date of my departure. I did not see any Jews - whether German or others - at Minsk who had been deported to Minsk. I consider it out of the question for such deportations to have taken place at that time, as the town had been evacuated by the Russians and fighting was still taking place in the immediate vicinity. There were no mass executions in Minsk during my stay there. I know nothing about any connection or organizational co-operation between Eichmann and the Operations Units.
I do not know what the "Brown Folder" is.
I was the head of the Politico-Cultural Department of the Foreign Ministry until the end of the War.
In the Second Trial of the American Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, I was sentenced to twenty years in prison. The sentence was commuted, by way of pardon, to ten years. The verdict says that it cannot be stated with scientific exactitude that I participated actively in the SS murder programme, but that I was nevertheless a member of this criminal organization and was guilty on all three counts.
My knowledge of the individual Departments of the Head Office for Reich Security is based on the organization work plan and is to be gathered from the information I have indicated above.
I am not aware of other cases where the Section Head had a higher rank than the group leader.
I do not know whether Eichmann received direct assignments from the Chief of the Security Police. It was not customary for Section Heads to receive assignments from the Chief of the Security Police directly. I am not aware of such instances, either.
As it developed, the Head Office for Reich Security was housed in various buildings in Berlin according to the Departments. Müller's entire group (Department IV), except for Eichmann's Section, was housed in the building of the Secret State Police in the Prinz Albrechtstrasse. Eichmann's Section was in the Kurfürstenstrasse. I never saw the building in which this Section was housed. My Department was also housed in a four-storey building. This was necessary because of the extent of the archives and the library. I do not know whether Eichmann himself had access to Himmler.
I was present at the meeting of Information Office XII in Krumhübel. I gave a lecture on the organization of world Jewry. I presented in detail the contents of this lecture when I was in the witness box at Nuremberg. I would refer to this document. According to a piece of evidence produced as a copy, I am said to have called the aim of German policy on Jews "the physical extermination of Jewry." With the same arguments that I advanced then, I challenge the authenticity of this piece of evidence also today. As far as I know, the participants at that meeting were exclusively from the German representations abroad. There were no Specialists on Jewish Affairs. I remember that Ambassador Schleier and Legation Counsellor von Thadden were present. Eichmann was not present, nor was anyone from the Security Police. As far as I can remember, the purpose of the meeting was to counter Jewish propaganda abroad. The so- called Final Solution of the Jewish Question was not discussed at this meeting. I believe that, apart from Schleier and von Thadden, the participants in the meeting did not have information about the current situation of the Final Solution.
In September 1940, I was due to land in England together with the German airborne troops. The task assigned to me was that of an adviser on Military Police and Security Police matters to the Supreme Commander who was to be appointed by the Luftwaffe. Field Marshal Milch had required Heydrich to provide someone suitable. My name was given to him, and I had presented myself to him. There were no instructions for the activities planned for Great Britain.
Read, approved and signed
(-) Alfred F. Six
The witness was sworn.
In witness whereof