• Menu

  • Shop

  • Languages

  • Accessibility
Visiting Info
Opening Hours:

Sunday to Thursday: ‬09:00-17:00

Fridays and Holiday eves: ‬09:00-14:00

Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is not permitted for children under the age of 10. Babies in strollers or carriers will not be permitted to enter.

Drive to Yad Vashem:
For more Visiting Information click here

Malice in Action

Yaacov Lozowick

  1. Adolf Eichmann, Ich, Adolf Eichmann (Leoni am Starnbergersee: Druffel-Verlag, 1980), p. 415.
  2. Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem. A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Penguin Books, 1992 [New York, 1963]).
  3. Arendt, Eichmann pp. 287-288 (emphasis in original).
  4. On the Foreign Ministry, see Christopher Browning, The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1978); on the Propaganda Ministry, see Hans G. Adler, Der verwaltete Mensch. Studien zur Deportation der Juden aus Deutschland (Tübingen: Mohr, 1974), pp. 152-153.
  5. Bernhard Lösener, "Als Rassereferent im Reichsministerium des Inneren," Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, vol. 9, no. 3 (July 1961), p. 297.
  6. Interrogation of Adolf Eichmann by Captain Avner Less of Section 06, Prior to Eichmann's Trial, vol. 1, p. 436; vol. 2, p. 961 (ms.).
  7. Testimony of Albert Hartl at Nuremberg, November 24, 1947, Yad Vashem Archives (YVA), TR.3-857, p. 2934; Statement of Dr. Robert Serebrenik, July 21, 1960, YVA, TR.3-297, pp. 2-4.
  8. Vermerk über das Ergebnis der Staatsanwaltlichen Ermittlung nach dem Stande vom 30.4.1969 in den Ermittlungsverfahren gegen Friedrich Bosshammer, Richard Hartmann, Otto Hunsche, Fitz Wöhrn, 1-Js-1/65 (RSHA); Eichmann, Interrogation, vol. 2, pp. 952-958.
  9. YVA TR.10-767, pp. 752, 778.
  10. I-Js-1/65 (RSHA), Anklageschrift gegen Bosshammer, April 23, 1971, p. 568.
  11. Statement of Dr. Robert Serebrenik, July 21, 1960, YVA, TR.3-297, pp. 3-4.
  12. YVA TR.10-754, pp. 96-97.
  13. Lösener, “Als Rassereferent,” p. 303.
  14. Circular signed by Heydrich, POL S. IVB4b 940/41-6, YVA, TR.3-1064.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Circular by Heydrich, Pol. S IVB4b (940/41-6-) 1155/41-33, YVA TR.3-1174.
  17. This important chapter in Eichmann's biography was not widely mentioned until recently, but see now Götz Aly, "Endlösung". Völkerverschiebung und der Mord an den europäischen Juden (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1995). Aly's work convincingly shows that the actions of Eichmann and his staff from the end of 1941 on were analogous to their earlier task of uprooting and deporting Poles in order to replace them with German settlers. This points up the importance of Nazi völkisch ideology in its entirety, not only its antisemitic character. See also Leni Yahil, The Holocaust. The Fate of European Jewry 1932-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 136ff.
  18. Bureaucratically labeled "Evakuierungsangelegenheiten" and "Judenangelegenheiten." YVA TR.10-754, p. 96.
  19. Ibid., p. 99.
  20. Ibid., p. 100. The Reichsvereinigung was the compulsory organization of all Rassejuden ("Jews by race") in Germany; it was established in February 1939 and supervised by the Gestapo. In terms of the Nuremberg racial laws, a person with two Jewish grandparents was a "first-degree Mischling" or "half-Jew"; one Jewish grandparent classified an individual as a "second-degree Mischling" or "quarter-Jew."
  21. Ibid., p. 101.
  22. So-called "Greuel-Propaganda"; ibid., pp. 105-109.
  23. Adler, Verwalteter Mensch, pp. 503 ff.; Yahil, The Holocaust, pp. 290-291.
  24. Circulars signed by Heydrich, November 27, 1941, December 11, 1941 and by Müller, December 3, 1941, IVB4a, 1146/41-32, YVA TR.3-739.
  25. YVA TR.3-1283, circular signed by Suhr, IVB4a 1033/41-39. The suggestion to collect money from the Jews on the eve of their deportation was sent by Epstein to Gutwasser, the IVB4 official responsible for the finances of the Reichsvereinigung. Sometime after November 3, 1941, Gutwasser told Epstein to put his suggestion in writing. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1985), pp. 467-468.
  26. Other financial sources at the RSHA's disposal included the office Vugestap in Vienna, where Gestapo agents were able to purchase expropriated Jewish property, the Emigration Fund in Prague and the Donations Office through which the Gestapo raised funds from individuals in the deportation centers, and monies from the Reichvereinigung. The Jews themselves financed the costs of their deportation. See Adler, Verwalteter Mensch, pp. 563-564. 630; Avraham Barkai, From Boycott to Annihilation: The Economic Struggle of German Jews 1933-1943 (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1989), pp. 180-183.
  27. YVA TR.10-767a, p. 178.
  28. Circular signed by Suhr, YVA, TR.3-1265. The precise date is unclear; in any event, it was prior to March 1, 1941.
  29. Adler, Verwalteter Mensch, pp. 172-174. The first German Jews to be slaughtered by the thousands were those deported in November to Kovno (Kaunas) and Riga. Members of Einsatzgruppe A murdered them in the period November 25-30, 1941. Gerald Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1994 [1985]), pp. 78ff.; see also Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust (London: Michael Joseph, 1982), pp. 80-81; Martin Broszat, "Hitler and Genesis of the Final Solution," Yad Vashem Studies 13 (1979), p. 93.
  30. Protocol of the meeting, YVA, TR.3-1193.
  31. It is not clear for what the 50 marks were intended; they were not returned to the deportees when they reached their destination but were also not meant to finance the deportations; Adler, Verwalteter Mensch, pp. 547-548.
  32. YVA TR.10-767b, pp. 258-259, 666-669; Eichmann, Interrogation, p. 421. In addition to provisions for ten days, the RSHA station in Würzburg allowed the officers to take along some extras: two bottles of schnapps, three cans of concentrated milk, two packages of cheese, a half kilo of butter, twelve sausages, and tobacco. None of this was itemized in the meeting on October 23, 1941; Adler, Verwalteter Mensch, p. 452.
  33. Adler, Verwalteter Mensch, pp. 354-379.
  34. Ibid., p. 87.
  35. Circular signed by Eichmann, IVB4 2093/42g (391), January 31, 1942, YVA, TR.3-1278.
  36. Report on the meeting, filed at the Düsseldorf RSHA station, YVA, TR.3-119.
  37. A full and detailed list can be found in Yaacov Lozowick, "Malicious Clerks. The Nazi Security Police and the Banality of Evil" (Hebrew), doctoral diss., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1995, p. 78.
  38. Eichmann to RSHA Düsseldorf, IVB4a 2093/42g, YVA, TR.3-1663.
  39. YVA TR-10-1277 = Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen in Ludwigsburg (ZStL), RSHA Vernehmungsniederschriften 415 AR 1310/63 E5, vol. 5, September 19, 1967, p. 7.
  40. YVA TR.10-515, p. 36; Eichmann, Interrogation, vol. 1, pp. 142-143; Raul Hilberg, Sonderzüge nach Auschwitz (Mainz: Dumjahn, 1981).
  41. Eichmann, Ich, Adolf Eichmann, p. 142.
  42. Eichmann, Interrogation, vol. 1, p. 143.
  43. Staatsanwaltschaft Wien, 15St 1416/61, Anklageschrift gegen Franz Novak, June 3, 1964, p. 37.
  44. YVA TR.10-515, p. 36. For one instance where Novak's assistant Hartmann notified Düsseldorf by phone, then sent a cable signed by Eichmann, see YVA TR.10-767c, pp. 705- 706, IVB4a-2 2093/42g (391), April 18, 1942.
  45. YVA TR.10-515, pp. 25, 39.
  46. YVA TR.10-767b, p. 390.
  47. Eichmann, Interrogation, vol. 1, pp. 605-606.
  48. Ibid., pp. 191-192.
  49. Müller to Himmler, IVB4a 2093/42g (391), YVA TR.3-192.
  50. YVA TR.10-767b, pp. 258-259.
  51. Nuremberg Document NG-2586-G. In 1939, there were 64,000 first-degree and 43,000 second-degree Mischlinge in Germany. Hilberg, Destruction, p. 418.
  52. Circular signed by Eichmann, January 31, 1942. It is impossible to determine who wrote the letter, YVA, TR.3-1278.
  53. For a description of the entire series of "Final Solution" conferences, see Hilberg, Destruction, pp. 416-430.
  54. Protocol of the meeting, YVA, TR.3-446.
  55. Suhr to Rademacher, February 17, 1942, IVB4a 2162/42 (373/42), YVA, TR.3-1188. Suhr himself signed.
  56. IVB4 to Auswärtiges Amt, IVB4b 354/42-4-, signed by Eichmann, YVA, TR.3-1190.
  57. YVA, TR.10-515, p. 40.
  58. Documents on the Holocaust (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1981), p. 80.
  59. Circular signed by Müller, IVB4a 2093/42g (391), YVA TR.3-1280.
  60. Hilberg, Destruction, p. 463. This demonstrates one thing more: the Jews of Berlin (at least those employed by the community) were not deported by IVB4 but, rather, by the local Gestapo. That also explains why the Aryan wives of Jewish prisoners chose to stage a protest in front of the Gestapo building in Rosenstrasse in February 1943, demanding their release–and not outside Eichmann's offices. See Kurt J. Ball-Kadouri, "Berlin is 'Purged' of Jews; The Jews in Berlin in 1943," Yad Vashem Studies 5 (1963), pp. 279-280; see also Robert M.W. Kempner, "Der Mord an 35.000 Berliner Juden," Gegenwart in Rückblick. Festgabe für die jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin (Heidelberg, 1970), p. 181; and the film by Daniella Schmidt, "Rosenstrasse - Wo Frauen widerstanden" (1990), copy in Yad Vashem Film Archive (V-1038).
  61. YVA TR.10-767c, p. 954.
  62. YVA TR.3-106, protocol of the meeting.
  63. Adler, Verwalteter Mensch, pp. 290-291; see also Louis De Jong, Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereld Oorlog, vol. 7, pp. 291-296.
  64. Kempner, “Der Mord an 35,000 Berliner Juden,” pp. 121-122.
  65. YVA TR.10-767b, pp. 564-567, IVB4a 3093/42g (391).
  66. Ibid., IVB4a 2018/42g (908), p. 297.
  67. Ibid., IVB4b 3066/40g (159), January 19, 1945. That is the background to the attempt to deport the remaining Jews of Dresden in February 1945, an initiative thwarted at the last minute by the Allied bombardment of the city. Victor Klemperer has strikingly described these events in his journal, Ich Will Zeugnis Ablegen bis zum Letzten. Tagebücher, 1942-1945 (Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 1996), pp. 657ff. Under the Nuremberg Laws, so-called Geltungsjuden were first-degree and second-degree Mischlinge married to Jews or themselves members of the Jewish faith.
  68. Telegram signed by Eichmann to RSHA stations in the West, IVB4a-3 2264/42g (1008), YVA TR.3-707.
  69. YVA TR.10-767c, pp. 713, 717-718.
  70. Hunsche to Auswärtiges Amt, IVB4b-4L.16105, January 26, 1943, YVA TR.3-968; Hunsche to AA, IVB4b-4 F.5864, July 8, 1943, YVA, TR.3-1060.
  71. IVB4a-3 1354/42, February 2, 1943, signed by Eichmann, addressed to the Foreign Ministry, YVA TR.3-135.
  72. IVB4a 3208/42, November 10, 1941, YVA TR.3-744. The letter would have been prepared by Günther, Wöhrn, Moes, or Kryschak.
  73. Representative of the Foreign Ministry in Riga to Berlin, April 20, 1943, YVA TR.3-746; Günther to von Thadden, July 6, 1943, TR.3-748.
  74. Eichmann to von Thadden, IVB4a 3208/42, YVA TR.3-750.
  75. Günther to von Thadden, IVB4a-3 3771/42g (1546), July 23, 1943, YVA TR.3-306.
  76. Röthke to IVB4, November 12, 1943; Eichmann to BdS Paris, December 17, 1943, IVB4a-3 (390/43g), YVA TR.3-1589.
  77. Eichmann to von Thadden, IVB4a-3, YVA TR.3-566.
  78. Supplement to indictment of Wöhrn, 1 ks 1/69 (RSHA), May 21 1969, pp. 131-136, YVA TR.10-652.
  79. YVA TR.10-652, pp. 76-81.
  80. Ibid., pp. 81-84.
  81. Ibid., pp. 88-91.
  82. ZStL AR 518/59, vol. III, p. 503.
  83. YVA TR.10-767c, pp. 1058-1062. For examples, see telegram signed by Eichmann to RSHA Zichenau, IVB4a 3205/41g (1111), April 14, 1942, YVA TR.3-1254; telegram signed by Eichmann to RSHA Zichenau, IVB4a 225/42g (1178), May 23, 1942, TR.3-1255.
  84. Further discussion of the Nazi abuse of the German language can be found, for example, in Nachman Blumenthal, "On the Nazi Vocabulary," Yad Vashem Studies 1 (1957), pp. 49-66 ; idem, "From the Nazi Vocabulary," Yad Vashem Studies 6 (1967); Shaul Esh, "Words and Their Meaning: 25 Examples of Nazi Idiom," Yad Vashem Studies 5 (1963), pp. 133-168 . See also the classic study by Victor Klemperer, LTI. Lingua Tertii Imperii. Notizbuch eines Philologen (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1995 [1946]).
  85. Testimony of Wisliceny at Nuremberg, November 14, 1945, YVA, TR.3-856.
  86. Project proposal of the Madagascar Plan, p. 13, YVA TR.3-172.
  87. Affidavit of Wisliceny, November 18, 1946, YVA TR.3-773, p. 5.
  88. Peter Black, Kaltenbrunner (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), p. 263.
  89. YVA, TR.10-767c, pp. 1060-1061.
  90. Arendt, Eichmann, p. 86.
  91. YVA, TR.10-767b, pp. 601-604.
  92. YVA, TR.10-767, p. 599.
  93. Protocols of interrogations in the RSHA inquiry, ZStL 415 AR 1310/63 E5, vol. III, June 7, 1967, p. 3, YVA TR.10-1277.
  94. YVA, TR.10-754, pp. 485-486; Significantly, she went to Eichmann, not Günther. She believed Eichmann was more fatherly a bureaucrat. It should not be forgotten that she was intervening here on behalf of a half-Aryan child, not for the sake of Jewish children.
  95. Ibid., p. 484.
  96. YVA, TR.10-767c, p. 1110.
  97. Ibid., pp. 1108-1110.
  98. YVA TR.10-767b, pp. 644-647.
  99. YVA TR.10-767c, p. 1064.
  100. Ibid., pp. 946-948.
  101. YVA TR.10-767, pp. 995, 1100.
  102. YVA TR.10-1277, vol. V, Walter Singer, February 13, 1968.
  103. Ibid., vol. II, October 19, 1966.
  104. Ibid., vol. V, February 13, 1966.
  105. Ibid., February 15, 1968, p. 3.
  106. Ibid., vol. II, Fritz Gross, February 15, 1968; vol. III, Siegbert Kleeman, February 19, 1969.
  107. Ibid., vol. III, September 8, 1966, p. 7.
  108. Ibid., pp. 7-8.
  109. YVA TR.10-767c, p. 1097.
  110. Ibid., p. 1082.
  111. Eichmann, Ich, Adolf Eichmann, p. 409.
  112. Statement of Liselotte Pereles, January 14, 1961, YVA TR.3-1431; YVA TR.10-767c, pp. 970-989.
  113. YVA TR.10-767, pp. 991-998. 
  114. Descriptions culled from YVA TR.10-652, pp. 632-641, TR.10-767, pp. 989-991, 995, 1070, 1105-1106.
  115. YVA TR.10-1277, vol. III, February 19, 1969, p. 4.
  116. Ibid., April 4, 1967, p. 4.
  117. YVA TR.10-652, p. 641.
  118. YVA TR.10-767c, p. 1083.
  119. ZStL II 206 AR-Z 46/61, vol. 15, p. 702. Vggn. Angeklagten Josef König, October 8, 1962.
  120. That is precisely the matter. A formulation such as "the criminal Allies are murdering our children" was typical of the Nazi propaganda machine when it wanted to uplift spirits. As if they were saying: "We do some nasty things, but our enemies are worse, their vile actions justify our response." It is possible to feign innocence only where there is naiveté, and the lack of such naiveté is clearly in evidence.
  121. Leon Wieseltier, "Final Comments," in: "The 'Willing Executioners'/'Ordinary Men' Debate," Symposium, U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, D.C.), April 8, 1996.