At the Eichmann trial today Judge Michael Musmenno - a United States judge - told the Court that during an investigation he carried out on behalf of the U.
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Background: At the Eichmann trial today Judge Michael Musmenno - a United States judge - told the Court that during an investigation he carried out on behalf of the U.S. Navy just after the war several Nazi leaders told him about Eichmann and his actions. He said he spoke to Hermann Goering, for instance, in the course of this investigation.
"Did the subject of atrocities come into the conversation with Goering and, if it did, what did he say?" the Judge was asked.
"He said that he was not aware that the programme of Jewish extermination had reached the reported proportions. The persons mostly responsible for that programme were Hitler, Bormann, Goebbels, Heydrich and Eichmann." The Judge added later that Himmler was also responsible, he had been told.
Asked with Ribbentrop had told him about Bichmann the Judge replied: "Ribbentrop said he resented very much Eichmann's interference with his Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also said that he was very sorry that Hitler had put so much authority into Eichmann's hands in the programme of extermination."
Judge Musmanno then related what General Kohles, the Luftwaffe's Chief of Staff, had told him about the treatment of captured Allied fliers during the war.
Kohler said that Hitler was in a constant rage and passion, fulminating against everybody and everything and, in the course of these fulminations, demanded that all Allied fliers be executed. Kohler said that he refused to obey this order and went to Kaltenbrunner about it because the order was that the captured Allied fliers were to be turned over to the SD for execution.
"He went to Kaltenbrunner who agreed with General Kohler", the Judge continued. "Kaltenbrunner said that the Allied fliers should not be shot but that he was having one great difficulty - and that was Eichmann, who was in charge of the Jewish extermination programme and who insisted that all Allied fliers of Jewish parentage be executed."
The Judge later told the Court that Kohler said he saved these pilots by scattering them through many prisoners-of-war camps among the many, many, many thousands of prisoners and in this way they could not be readily identified as the fliers.