The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-03/tgmwc-03-26.14
Last-Modified: 1998/04/12

Q. During the collection period were these Jews called upon
to furnish their own subsistence?

A.  I did not understand the question exactly.

THE PRESIDENT:  Colonel Brookhart, does it matter, if they
were "brought to the "final solution"" which I suppose means

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BROOKHART: Your Honour, this witness will
testify that 280,000,000 drachmas were deposited in the
Greek National Bank for the subsistence of these people and
that this amount was later appropriated by the German
Military Administration. That is all I have hoped to prove
by this question.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BROOKHART (to the Witness):  Is that a
correct statement of your testimony?

A.  Yes. The cash which the Jews possessed was taken away
and put into a common account at the Bank of Greece. After
the Jews had been evacuated from Salonika this account was
taken over by the German Military Administration. About
280,000,000 drachmas were involved.

Q. When you say the Jews taken to Auschwitz were submitted
to the "final solution," what do you mean by that?

A.  By that I mean what Eichmann had explained to me under
the term "final solution," that is, they were destroyed
biologically. As far as I could gather from my conversations
with him, this annihilation took place in the gas chambers
and the bodies were subsequently destroyed in the

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BROOKHART:  If Your Honour pleases, this
witness is able to testify as to actions in Hungary,
involving approximately 500,000 Jews.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on, then. You must use your own
discretion. I cannot present your case for you.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BROOKHART: I have no desire to submit
cumulative evidence.

Q. Turning to actions in Hungary, will you briefly outline
the actions taken there and your participation?

A.  After the entry of the German troops into Hungary,
Eichmann went there personally with a large command. By an
order signed by the head of the Security Police, I was
assigned to Eichmann's Command. Eichmann began his
activities in Hungary at the end of March 1944. He contacted
members of the then Hungarian Government, especially
Secretaries of State Endre and von Baky. The first measures
adopted by Eichmann in co-operation with these Hungarian
Government officials were the concentration of the Hungarian
Jews in special places and special localities. These
measures were carried out zone-wise, beginning in Ruthenia
and Transylvania. The action was initiated in mid-April

In Ruthenia over 200,000 Jews were affected by these
measures. In consequence, impossible food and housing
conditions developed in the small towns and rural
communities where the Jews were assembled. On the

                                                  [Page 285]

strength of this situation Eichmann suggested to the
Hungarians that these Jews be transported to Auschwitz and
other camps. He insisted, however, that a request to this
effect be submitted to him either by the Hungarian
Government or by a member thereof. This request was
submitted by Secretary of State von Baky. The evacuation was
carried out by the Hungarian Police.

Eichmann appointed me Liaison Officer to Lieutenant-Colonel
Ferency, charged by the Hungarian Minister of the Interior
with this operation. The evacuation of Jews from Hungary
began in May, 1944, and was also carried out zone by zone,
first starting in Ruthenia, then in Transylvania, Northern
Hungary, Southern, and Western Hungary. Budapest was to be
cleared of Jews by the end of June. This evacuation,
however, was never carried out, as the Regent, Horthy, would
not permit it. This operation affected some 450,000 Jews. A
second operation was then...

Q. Before you go into that, please, will you tell the
Tribunal what, if anything, was done about organising an
Einsatz Group to act in Hungary on the Jewish question?

A.  At the beginning of March, 1944, a so-called
Einsatzgruppe consisting of Security Police and S.D., was
formed at Mauthausen near Linz. Eichmann himself headed a so-
called "Sondereinsatz-Kommando" (Execution Squad) to which
he detailed everybody who, in his department,  had occupied
some position or other. This "Sondereinsatz-Kommando" was
likewise assembled at Mauthausen. All questions of personnel
devolved on the then Standartenfuehrer, Dr. Geschke, Leader
of the Einsatzgruppe. In technical matters Eichmann was
subordinate only to the Chief of the Security Police and the

Q. What was the meaning of the designation "Special Action
Commando Eichmann" in relation to the movement into Hungary?

A.  Eichmann's activities in Hungary comprised all matters
connected with the Jewish problem.

Q. Under whose direct supervision was Special-Action
Commando Eichmann organised?

A.  I have already said that in all matters of personnel and
economy Eichmann was subordinate to Standartenfuehrer, Dr.
Geschke, Leader of the Einsatzgruppe. In technical matters
he could give no orders to Eichmann. Eichmann likewise
reported direct to Berlin on all the special operations
undertaken by him.

Q. To whom?

A.  Either to Gruppenfuehrer Mueller, or, in more important
cases, to the Chief of the Security Police and S.D., i.e.,
to Kaltenbrunner.

Q. During the period in which Hungarian Jews were being
collected, what, if any, contact was made by the Joint
Distribution Committee for Jewish Affairs with Eichmann's

A.  The Joint Distribution Committee made efforts to contact
Eichmann and to try to ward off the fate of the Hungarian
Jews. I myself established this contact with Eichmann, since
I wanted to discover some means of protecting the half
million Jews in Hungary from the measures already in force.
The Joint Distribution Committee made certain proposals to
Eichmann and, in return, requested that the Jews should
remain in Hungary. These proposals were particularly of a
financial nature. Eichmann felt himself, much against his
will, obliged to forward these proposals to

                                                  [Page 286]

Himmler. Himmler thereupon entrusted a certain
Standartenfuehrer Becher with further negotiations.
Standartenfuehrer Becher then continued the negotiations
with Dr. Kastner, Delegate of the J.D.C. But Eichmann, from
the very first, endeavored to wreck the negotiations. Before
any concrete results were obtained he attempted to face us
with a fait accompli: in other words, he tried to transport
as many Jews as possible to Auschwitz.

THE PRESIDENT:  Need we go into all these conferences? Can
you take us on to the conclusion of the matter?

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BROOKHART:  The witness is inclined to be
lengthy in his answers. That has been true in his pre-trial
examination I will try...

THE PRESIDENT: You are examining him.


Q. Was there any money involved in the meeting between Dr.
Kastner and Eichmann?

A.  Yes.

Q. How much?

A.  In the first conversation Dr. Kastner gave Eichmann
about 3,000,000 pengoes. What the sums mentioned in further
conversations amounted to, I do not exactly know.

Q. To whom did Dr. Kastner give this money and what became
of it?

A.  It was given to Eichmann, who then turned it over to his
trustee; the sum was, in turn, handed to the Commander of
the Security Police and the S.D. in Hungary.

Q. These actions that you have described involving
approximately 450,000 Jews being moved from Hungary -- were
there any official communications sent to Berlin concerning
these movements?

A.  Yes, as each transport left, Berlin was informed by
teletype. From time to time Eichmann also dispatched a
comprehensive report to the R.S.H.A. and to the Chief of the
Security Police.

Q. Now, with reference to the Jews that remained in
Budapest, what, if any, action was taken against them?

A.  After Szalasi had taken over the Government of Hungary.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Brookhart, we have not yet heard have
we, what happened to these Jews from Hungary? If we have, I
have missed it.

LIEUTENANT-COOLANT BROOKHART: I will ask that question now,

Q. What became of the Jews to whom you have already referred
-- approximately 450,000?

A.  They were, without exception, taken to Auschwitz and
brought to the "final solution".

Q. Do you mean they were killed?

A.  Yes, with the exception of perhaps 25 to 30 per cent.
who were used for labour purposes. I here refer to a
previously mentioned conversation on this matter between
Hoess and Eichmann in Budapest.

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