Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Appeal/Appeal-Session-03-08 Last-Modified: 1999/06/15 Attorney General: Stahlecker was the commander of the entire Operations Units. But there were also deputy commanders. Justice Silberg: Nebe and Rasch were also commanders. Justice Agranat: Was each of them the head of an Operations Unit? Attorney General: This was in 1941. They were commanders of Operations Units. We shall get to them in a moment. There is no disagreement whatsoever about this. The Accused admits this. Justice Silberg: My comment concerned the location only. Attorney General: There is no disagreement whatsoever that Minsk and Riga were the camps of Nebe and Rasch respectively. Justice Silberg: Rasch was in Kiev. But this does not matter. Attorney General: At the same meeting it was decided to establish the Theresienstadt Ghetto, and matters relating to this ghetto were discussed extensively. In his examination-in-chief, Eichmann tried to describe the deportation of the Jews to Lodz as an act of mercy. When pressed in cross-examination, he was forced to admit that once the transports to the East started, he knew that the Lodz Jews would also be doomed. In Session 92, Vol. IV, page 1615, I asked him: "...These are the minutes of 10 October 1941, are they not? - in which a decision is taken about deportations to Minsk and Riga." "A. Yes, and I have already said that once these transports started rolling, the `Final Solution' could obviously no longer mean Madagascar." And in Session 98, Vol. IV, pages 1703-1704: "Q. And when you suggested at the meeting on 10 October 1941, that Jews be sent to the camps for Communists run by Nebe and Rasch, you knew perfectly well that it was your proposal that Jews be sent to the areas where the Operations Units operated, for extermination, is that not true? "A. Yes, I must admit that, but with the qualification that I did not make the suggestion about sending them to Minsk and Riga, but I received the order that Minsk and Riga were to be the final destinations, unlike the first deportation order, which was to the Generalgouvernement or to Lodz. "Q. It says here that you set the absorption capacities of the camps for Nebe and Rasch. "A. Yes, if it says so there, then it is correct... ". How did you know that there were possibilities of absorption or room in Nebe and Rasch's camps - did you go there? "Q. No, but that was ascertained in each case in writing, by enquiries. "Q. What correspondence was there between you and the Operations Units? "A. There was no correspondence; when the deportation arrangements were made and the destinations had been established and fixed, a telegram had to be sent, in order to ascertain the absorption capacity, the numbers, and then it was determined how many were to be deported and the time was ascertained, and the timetable was then prepared accordingly by IVB4. This can also be seen from the documents." 7And on page 1704: "Q. And now, when on October 10, that is after the first wave, it says here - and this is what you said - that Jews may be sent to the Communist camps of Nebe and Rasch, that means they are to be sent to localities where - even if not on the spot, nevertheless in the very near future - death awaits them. This is what appears as a record of what you said. Is it correct? "A. Yes, that is also correct. And even if I had known that they were to be killed on the same day, I could not have done anything about it, because the orders I received laid down the destinations." In his testimony he claimed that the Jews whom he sent to Lodz, including by trickery, he sent because he wanted to save them from a worse fate, i.e. being deported to the East, where he knew that this meant death. He said this in Session 78, Vol. IV, on page 1416. The transport to Lodz took place in September 1941, and so when he sent the Jews in October 1941 to Minsk and Riga he definitely knew that he was sending these people to an immediate death. Of course, his motives about deporting the Jews to Litzmannstadt were also based on lies, because he knew that from there too they would eventually be sent to their deaths. And he uses deceptive stratagems suitable to "horse daelers," as defined by the head of the Lodz camp, "in order to smuggle and cram into the Lodz Ghetto several thousand extra Jews and Gypsies in order to rid the Reich of Jews even faster." So what we have before us, according to all the evidence, is not a transport clerk and not a marginal figure, but a central pillar, a chief operations officer of the entire operation. Perhaps he did not give orders on a daily basis to the people who opened the boxes of Zyklon `B' and sprinkled it on the hundreds of victims crammed in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, who stood there naked, men, women and children, with the spectre of death staring them in the face. Perhaps the person who opened the boxes and threw the crystals was not subordinate to Eichmann. But he ensured that the Jews would be in those gas chambers. That was his work and that was his mission - to bring them in, to the last man. There is also some evidence that has survived and which we have, proving a wicked extremism which has no match. There were 8,700 families in Hungary whose departure Hitler himself was prepared to allow, in return for simply receiving from Horthy all the 300,000 Jews of Budapest. The Court will find an account of this affair in paragraph 155 of the Judgment, sections (d) and (e). Naturally Hitler's intentions were in no way humanitarian, but he calculated that it was better to receive 300,000 Jews from Horthy, and let 8,700 families go, rather than perhaps jeopardizing the operation for ridding Hungary of Jews. But even a concession of this nature by the Fuehrer himself angered Eichmann so much that he fought against this decision in three ways, as we know from T/1215. President: T/1215, I believe, is a telegram from Veesenmayer. Attorney General: It is a telegram from Veesenmayer about how Eichmann wishes to foil the saving of the 8,700 families. First of all - he will protest through Himmler against the Fuehrer's decision; secondly - if this fails - he will expel the Jews so quickly that there will no longer be 8,700 Jewish families left in Budapest, and it will not be possible to make the formal arrangements for their emigration; and if any Jew nevertheless manages to escape - then Eichmann will catch up with him in France and seize him there. And in this case he already had an order from the Fuehrer himself; and had it not been for his obsessive eagerness to bring about the death of every single Jew, he could have accepted the idea that 8,700 families would be saved. Eichmann was not prepared to accept this concession, either. President: Veesenmayer's telegram was dated 25 July 1944? Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour. President: Mr. Hausner, do you have this telegram in front of you? Attorney General: Yes I do. President: Would you read it, please? Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour. President: Because you will remember that Dr. Servatius argued in respect of this telegram and other telegrams which incriminate the Appellant that they were written out of malice. And the question that arises, assuming that we wish to investigate Dr. Servatius' argument that no reliance can be placed on these exhibits, is this: if this was written in July 1944, when Veesenmayer definitely did not know that in 1961 Eichmann would be tried, and perhaps at that time he did not know that trials would be held in Nuremberg, the question that arises, then, is what was Veesenmayer's motive in writing things that were not true in this letter. Attorney General: This is my reply to the Defence argument concerning the testimonies. If today it can be argued that Veesenmayer or Winkelmann or Grell or others wish to distance themselves from the extermination operations, and to make others responsible for this - this cannot be done using contemporary reports of the period. In his letter Veesenmayer describes operations of that time, and reports about them to his Department. I will read from the second part: "...SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann has indicated that, as far as he is aware, Reichsfuehrer-SS is in no way in agreemeent with emigration to Palestine of Hungarian Jews." President: Is the reference to Himmler? Attorney General: The reference is to Himmler. "He says that the Jews in question are all biologically valuable material, many veteran Zionists, whose immigration to Palestine would therefore be most undesirable. With reference to the Fuehrer's decision about which he has been informed, he intends to report to Reichsfuehrer-SS, and if necessary, to request a new decision from the Fuehrer." "In any case it was agreed with Eichmann that, if authorization is given for further evacuations of Jews from Budapest, it should be attempted to carry these out as suddenly and fast as possible, so as to make sure that the Jews eligible for emigration would already have been evacuated before the formalities are completed." The relevant representations (i.e. the embassies) had previously been informed that the planned operation could apply only to such Jews as were still in the country. In order to achieve this goal, they would try to persuade the Hungarian Interior Ministry to speedily reject the Swiss proposal that the emigration of the Jews designated to leave the country should be concentrated in special camps. As far as this plan was concerned, Eichmann considered interfering with the transports while they were being moved to French territory. President: When you come to deal with Hungary, I assume you will also deal with the documents provided by Dr. Servatius? Attorney General: I shall not forget to do so. President: If I am not mistaken, Dr. Servatius showed a telegram according to which Winkelmann was trying to transport 50,000 Jews. When you deal with Hungary... Attorney General: I shall not omit this, Your Honour. Another chapter which reflects his extremism and zeal is the story of Kistarcsa. This is described in Paragraph 113 of the Judgment. The arguments of Counsel for the Defence in this connection are entirely unfounded. What happened? Horthy stopped the deportations. Eichmann sent off a train from the Kistarcsa transit camp with the intention of sending them to Auschwitz. The Jewish representatives went to Horthy, used their connections and influence, and Horthy ordered the Hungarian authorities at the border to stop the train. The train was returned to Kistarcsa. There was great rejoicing - as Freudiger testified. And then Eichmann decided - as Wisliceny told Freudiger - that he would not allow that "old fool" Horthy to thwart his schemes, his plans. President: Does this come from Freudiger's testimony, Session 52, Vol. III, page 948? Attorney General: Wisliceny told Freudiger, and Freudiger testified here. Novak, one of his men, turned up at Kistarcsa, they began loading Jews on to trucks. They told the crippled people that they could leave their walking sticks and crutches there, that they would not be needing them any more. And the trucks drove off, and the Jews were loaded on to a train. President: What is the Prosecution arguing, whose were the trucks? Attorney General: They were Hungarian Police trucks. Novak carried out the deportation. This is in T/1247. President: Mr. Hausner, may I ask you to be careful when indicating exhibits, because if there is a mistake on one exhibit, this will make things difficult for us. Attorney General: I shall do my best, and I shall ask my colleagues to check what I say. President: Is this T/1247? Justice Sussman This is a telegram from Veesenmayer. Attorney General: I apologize, I am referring to T/1147, this is a picture of Novak. President: Who was identified by Freudiger? In which session was he identified? Attorney General: This was in Session 53. President: According to the Judgment this was in Session 52, Vol. III, page 947 or 948. Attorney General: Freudiger testified in two sessions, both Session 52 and also Session 53. T/1147 was identified in Session 53, Vol. III, page 959. President: Is this the identification? Attorney General: Yes. Mrs. Szenes also testified about the way in which the SS men carried out the deportation. She was one of the deportees. She went to Auschwitz, and she survived. Grell confirmed that he learned that Eichmann managed to deport Jews from one of the camps, against Horthy's wishes, by means of a ruse, T/691. And what was this ruse? All the Jewish leaders in Budapest were ordered to report on the same day to Eichmann's headquarters in the Hungarian capital. They kept them there on various pretexts the whole day, until Hunsche was called to the phone. What was said by the caller was not heard by the Jewish representatives; but they heard Hunsche's reply. He said, "Well, very well." And he told the Jews, "You may go." They knew that something had happened. They began to rush about. Brody got out of Kistarcsa and reached Budapest, where he searched for the Jewish Rescue Committee, but found no one. And when finally it became clear what had happened, from what Brody told them, and the Jewish representatives again began to use their connections, it became clear what the meaning had been of Hunsche's "Well, very well": the train had crossed the Hungarian border. Justice Silberg: Is that the same Kistarcsa from which a transport left for Auschwitz in April? Attorney General: Yes, of course, Kistarcsa was a transit camp which was already referred to in the very first deportations from Hungary. Justice Silberg: Already before 15 May? Justice Agranat: There were deportations even earlier than this. Attorney General: Yes, which went to Podolsk. President: When Eichmann's unit entered Hungary in March or April? Attorney General: They arrived on 19 March. President: In March 1944, and then contacts started with the Jewish representatives, shortly after this the deportation to Kistarcsa took place?
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