Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Red Cross interview with Adolf Eichmann, April 1945

Source: The Red Cross and the Holocaust by Jean-Claude Favez, pages 305-306

Comment: Eichmann alludes to labour from Auschwitz being sent further East to dig trenches - gas chambers were not mentioned on either side.

Note dated 22 April 1945 by Otto Lehner about his meeting in Prague on 6 April with Erwin Weinemann, head of the SS in the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, and Adolf Eichmann, Himmler's plenipotentiary in all matters concerning the Jews (see p. 268 above).

At a reception held in Hradschin I had the opportunity to talk to these two men until late at night and to discuss the various problems.  What the International Committee of the Red Cross particularly wanted information about was not really the living conditions and amenities of the Theresienstadt ghetto so much as whether the ghetto was simply a transit camp for the Jews and to what extent deportation to the East (Auschwitz) had taken place.  As I discovered while in the Theresienstadt ghetto, the camp's representative, Dr Eppstein, an older of the Jews, had himself, along with many others, been deported to Auschwitz.  So I asked Dr Weinemann directly when the deportations had occurred and what their exent was.  Dr Weinemann replied that the last deporations to Auschwitz had taken place 6 months before.  They involved 10,000 Jews.  They were employed to work on further extensions to the Auschwitz camp, he said, and were mainly workin gin the camp administration.  Some were being used as trench-diggers in the East.