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Interrogation of Adolf Eichmann

A: “I just know the following, that I only saw the following: a room, if I still recall correctly, perhaps five times as big as this one, or it may have been four times as big. There were Jews inside it, they had to get undressed and then a van, completely sealed, drew up to the ramp in front of the entrance. The naked Jews then had to get inside. Then the lorry was closed and it drove off.”

Q: “How many people did the van hold?”

A: “I can’t say exactly. I couldn’t bring myself to look closely, even once. I didn’t look inside the entire time. I couldn’t, no, I couldn’t take any more. The screaming and, and, I was too upset and so on. I also said that to [SS-Obergruppenfuehrer] Mueller when I submitted my report. He did not get much from my report. I then followed the van – I must have been with some of the people from there who knew the way. Then I saw the most horrifying thing I have ever seen in my entire life.

The van drove up to a long trench, the door was opened and bodies thrown out. They still seemed alive, their limbs were so supple. They were thrown in, I can still remember a civilian pulling out teeth with some pliers and then I just got the hell out of there. I got into the car, went off and did not say anything else… I’d had more than I could take. I only know that a doctor there in a white coat said to me that I should look through a peep-hole at them in the lorry. I refused to do that. I could not, I could not say anything, I had to get away.

I went to Berlin, reported to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller. I told him exactly what I’ve just said, there wasn’t any more I could tell him… terrible…I’m telling you… the inferno, can’t, that is, I can’t take this, I said to him.”


Bibliography

E. Klee and V. Riess W. Dressen, The Good Old Days (New York: The Free Press, 1988), pp. 219-220.