The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 1, 2007


The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 68
(Part 1 of 9)

Session No. 68
23 Sivan 5721 (7 June 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the sixty-eighth Session of the trial open.

Decision No. 72

We confirm the request of the Attorney General and will permit the
exhibition of films to illustrate the evidence of the Prosecution
witnesses, on condition that the films will be sufficiently authenticated.

For reasons of security, because of the blacking-out of the hall during
the screening, the public, with the exception of journalists, will not be
permitted to be in the Courtroom at the time of the screening.

Attorney General: I would ask Mr. Dinur to mount the witness stand.

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Dinur: Yes.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Yehiel Dinur.

Attorney General: Mr. Dinur, you live in Tel Aviv, at 78 Rehov Meggido,
and you are a writer?

Witness Dinur: Yes.

Q. You were born in Poland?

A. Y

es. Q. And you were the author of the books Salamandra, The House of
Dolls, The Clock Above the Head and They called Him Piepel?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the reason that you hid your identity behind the pseudonym "K.
Zetnik," Mr. Dinur?

A. It was not a pen name. I do not regard myself as a writer and a
composer of literary material. This is a chronicle of the planet of
Auschwitz. I was there for about two years. Time there was not like it is
here on earth. Every fraction of a minute there passed on a different
scale of time. And the inhabitants of this planet had no names, they had
no parents nor did they have children. There they did not dress in the way
we dress here; they were not born there and they did not give birth; they
breathed according to different laws of nature; they did not live - nor
did they die - according to the laws of this world. Their name was the
number "Kazetnik".* {*23Kazett=Konzentrationslager - Katzetnik: inmate of
a concentration camp} They were clad there, how would you call it...

Q. Yes. Is this what you wore there? [Shows the witness the prison garb of

A. This is the garb of the planet called Auschwitz. And I believe with
perfect faith that I have to continue to bear this name so long as the
world has not been aroused after this crucifixion of a nation, to wipe out
this evil, in the same way as humanity was aroused after the crucifixion
of one man. I believe with perfect faith that, just as in astrology the
stars influence our destiny, so does this planet of the ashes, Auschwitz,
stand in opposition to our planet earth, and influences it.

If I am able to stand before you today and relate the events within that
planet, if I, a fall-out of that planet, am able to be here at this time,
then I believe with perfect faith that this is due to the oath I sworn to
them there. They gave me this strength. This oath was the armour with
which I acquired the supernatural power, so that I should be able, after
time - the time of Auschwitz - the two years when I was a Musselman, to
overcome it. For they left me, they always left me, they were parted from
me, and this oath always appeared in the look of their eyes.

For close on two years they kept on taking leave of me and they always
left me behind. I see them, they are staring at me, I see them, I saw them
standing in the queue...

Q. Perhaps you will allow me, Mr. Dinur, to put a number of questions to
you, if you will agree?

A. [Tries to continue] I remember...

Presiding Judge: Mr. Dinur, kindly listen to what the Attorney General has
to say.

[Witness Dinur rises from his place, descends from the witness stand, and
collapses on the platform. The witness fainted.]

Presiding Judge: I think we shall have to adjourn the session. I do not
think that we can continue.

Attorney General: I did not anticipate this.

Presiding Judge: [After some time] I do not think that it is possible to
go on. We shall adjourn the Session now, and please, Mr. Hausner, inform
us of the condition of the witness and whether he will at all be able to
give his testimony today. And I would ask you to do so soon.

[The Session was resumed.]

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, in view of the unfortunate
incident that has taken place, I shall have to arrange the evidence on
Auschwitz differently. It was intended that Mr. Dinur should give us a
general description, so that the other witnesses could supplement it on
various partial aspects. I ask the Court's indulgence if the picture now
will not be presented in the manner in which we originally planned. The
witness Dinur will not be able to continue his evidence, I understand. He
has been taken away from this building and his state of health will not
permit him to continue.

I call Joseph Zalman Kleinman.


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