Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Appeal/Appeal-Session-04-09 Last-Modified: 1999/06/15 I come now to the last part of my reply - I hope that I shall be able to conclude shortly - concerning Hungary. The "master himself," as Himmler called him, was sent to Hungary. Eichmann said that this was just an expression, Session 98, Vol. IV, page 1698. The instruction he was given and the duty assigned to him were to comb Hungary and transfer its Jews to Auschwitz. He admitted this in T/37, pages 1879, 2212, 3273, 3274. He was also accompanied by all his assistants who had already completed extermination operations in the rest of Europe. It was necessary to act speedily because the Soviet front was approaching across the Carpathians, and the day after the entry of the Germans, on 20 March 1944, his messengers - Krumey and Wisliceny - had a meeting with the Jewish leaders and informed them that from now on, the Unit headed by Eichmann would handle all Jewish Affairs. The Unit was called "Sondereinsatzkommando Eichmann." Krumey testified - and his testimony in these proceedings is on pages 15-16 - that he received instructions from the Accused concerning how to run the meeting with the Jewish representatives. What happened at the meeting we know from the report about it, T/1155. This is a report by the Jewish participants concerning the meeting of 20 March 1944. We also know from Freudiger's testimony, Session 51, Vol. III, pages 934-935. As early as 31 March 1944 Eichmann had a personal meeting with the Jewish leaders and reassured them that all of the Germans' actions were currently intended simply to deal with the problems arising under the emergency conditions, and after the War the Jews would become as free as they had been previously, and the Germans would go back to being as pleasant as they had always been. We know this from T/1156, which is an extract from Munczi Erno's book, which was confirmed by an affidavit by Dr. Erno Boda (T/1156). And while he was conducting these reassuring negotiations, Eichmann sent Novak, his transport officer, to make arrangements for transporting the Jews to Auschwitz. He admitted this too. Session 103, Vol. IV, page 1770. President: Where did he send Novak? Attorney General: He sent Novak to Vienna, to the meeting at which arrangements were made fro transports from Hungary to Auschwitz. It is true that there were other people in Hungary as well. It is true that Winkelmann was there, it is true that Geschke was there, it is true that they had general duties, and it is true that in administrative terms Eichmann was subordinate to them. It is also likely that in the first few months, in the first few weeks at least, until Eichmann managed to establish relationships with Endre and Baky, Winkelmann and Veesenmayer handled the various affairs, and of course they were also active in persecuting Hungarian Jewry, and the District Court made an explicit finding about Veesenmayer's part in the criminal activites, Paragraph 117. Consequently in April-May 1944, in the documents on which Counsel for the Defence based himself, N/72, N/73, N/74, N/76 there appear, primarily in respect of the Hungarians, Winkelmann and Veesenmayer. Later, and in particular after Kaltenbrunner's visit to Budapest, Eichmann's status grew and he became the central figure in the tragedy of Hungarian Jewry. We know about this from the Kasztner Report, T/1113, from the testimony of Freudiger in Session 51, of Joel Brand in Session 56, and of Hansi Brand in Session 58. The forces of the Hungarian Gendarmerie (T/1158-T/1166) which carried out the dirty work for Eichmann's Operations Unit, also indicate the control exercised by the Accused's Unit over the entire operation. For example, in T/1158, on the second page, it says that the command of the transit camp consists - among others - of the Hungarian police officer, the Hungarian Gendarmerie officer, and Hauptsturmfuehrer Abromeit. Abromeit was from my Unit - said Eichmann, in Session 103, Vol. IV, page 1767. T/1159, first paragraph, refers to an announcement by the Gendarmerie in collaboration with advisory German bodies. T/1160 refers to a Joint Hungarian-German Committee that prepared the plan for deporting the Jews, to begin on the 15th of the month and finish on 11 July. 15 May to 11 June. President: What is the date of T/1160? Attorney General: 9 May 1944. President: When did the evacuation start? Attorney General: The deportation began on 15 May and finished on 11 June. Justice Silberg: Are you referring to the ghettoization? Attorney General: The deportations to Auschwitz began on 15 May. Justice Silberg: Only three weeks were set aside for that? Mr. Hausner, you said: from 15 May to 11 June. Attorney General: The operation which was planned for this period was supposed to finish on 11 June. T/1161, top of the second page, refers to the fact that on that morning the local commanders of the German Security Police received an instruction by telephone from the Commander in Budapest to the effect that in areas where the Jews were being rounded up, Jews should not be conscripted for labour duty. In T/1162, at the end, Officer Ferenczy states that Germans must run the selections now, that they are experts in this field. In the same document there is a reference to a German attached to the Gendarmerie, the Gestapo officer called Zoldi. In T/1163 in the third paragraph it says: The German Security Police, led by German officers, will take over operations in the camps in Hungary and the technical implementation of the loading operations in the future. The outside guard details will be provided by the Hungarian executive branch under its own command. In Paragraph 6 it says: "It is the wish of the German Security Police, for tactical reasons, that meetings in the Ministry of the Interior should take place only a few days before the commencement of the cleansing operation in a particular region, and only a very limited circle should participate." This was in order to avoid leaks. In paragraph 8 it says: "On 25 June the German Security Police arrested these members of the labour service in Ungvar, confiscated their call-up orders and delivered them to Obersturmbannfuehrer Adolf Eichmann." In T/1164, second paragraph, commanders of the camps are already appearing who are officers of the German Security Police. In T/1165 in the third paragraph it says that Dr. Bela Berend, a member of the Jewish Council in Budapest, had been arrested. The Gendarmerie officer reports: I brought him together with others for interrogation to Munkacs. After interrogation, I handed him over to SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. The Appellant's claim that his duties in Hungary were limited to ensuring that foreign Jews would not by some mischance be included in the transports is utterly unfounded. It takes an enormous amount of effrontery to claim that this was the only part he played in this murderous operation. Incidentally, we know from Veesenmayer's telegram to the Foreign Ministry, T/1188, that this role, of ensuring that Jews with foreign nationality would not be loaded on to the trains and would not be included in the transports was given to a special person from the Embassy who was included in the Eichmann Sonderkommando. This is Veesenmayer's telegram to the Foreign Ministry. When Von Thadden visited Budapest, he received the information he required about Jewish affairs from Eichmann and his Section, and not from Winkelmann and Geschke. We learn this from his memorandum, T/1194. He writes about the talks he had with Eichmann, who gave him a general report at noon when he was the guest of Eichmann and his colleagues. After the success of the first organizational operations, the May deportations began at a dizzying pace. Eichmann admitted that during the period of deportations in Hungary, he visited Auschwitz. From one of the Holocaust witnesses, Ben-Zvi (Session 71, Vol. III, p. 1301) we know that at that time the crematoria were working night and day in order to be able to swallow all the victims. In the meanwhile, Eichmann's contacts with Endre and Baky became ever closer, as Veesenmayer indicated approvingly in a telegram he sent to the Foreign Ministry (T/1193, T/1193). He says this was what made it possible to carry out the operations of rounding up and deporting the Jews. All the evidence in the Prosecution documents, all the witnesses, prove incisively and unequivocally that Eichmann was responsible for all the stages in the deportation of Hungarian Jewry, because he was eager to annihilate the Jews of that country to the very last person, and that it was only the military developments and Horthy's withdrawal which frustrated his plan, at least in part. In the written submissions of the Appeal the Appellant argued - and this was not repeated in the oral pleadings - that he did not have responsibility for the deportation arrangements. Apparently he was referring to Grell's letter from the Embassy in Budapest to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, T/1125. This was a result of a hitch which occurred during the deportations. President: To which document are you referring, Mr. Hausner? Attorney General: I am talking about T/1125, Grell's letter to the Foreign Ministry, in which he says that in the wake of a particular incident which occurred, Eichmann is not responsible for the deportation arrangement. But that this is not true we know from Veesenmayer's telegram to the Foreign Ministry, T/1124, and Guenther's letter to the Foreign Ministry T/1126. President: What is said in these two documents? Attorney General: That he was also responsible for these arrangements and apparently by this time Eichmann was able, simply by arguing on the basis of an absence of formal responsibility, to evade responsibility for measures which fell under his control. From the Kasztner Report and from Wisliceny's comments about this Report, T/1116, we know about the unrelenting struggle against halting the deportations. President: Is T/1116 from Wisliceny? Attorney General: These are Wisliceny's comments on the Kasztner Report. Justice Agranat: What do we know about it? Attorney General: That he fought against halting the deportations. Yesterday I read out to the Court the translation of T/1215, which refers to the 8,700 families. T/1216 is a document which the President mentioned when Counsel for the Defence claimed that Eichmann wrote to Guenther about the energy needed for the Germans to counter emigration. But the important document is T/1217. In the second paragraph it proves that Eichmann not only said in Budapest that he would protest against Hitler's instruction to let 8,700 families go, but that he actually did protest. President: What is document T/1217? Attorney General: T/1217 is a telegram from Veesenmayer to the Foreign Ministry. In the second paragraph it says that the Reichsfuehrer-SS, as reported, protested on the basis of information provided by Eichmann against the sending of Jews to Palestine through Romania. In the first paragraph of this document, it refers to the fact that as a result of personnel changes in the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior, Eichmann saw the new Minister of the Interior and decided to begin evacuating Budapest Jewry on 25 August. Thus the argument was about bringing the date of the evacuation forward, because Eichmann, as it says here, wanted to start the evacuation on the 20th. President: What is the date of T/1217? Attorney General: It is dated 14 August 1944. After he failed in his machinations to get the Jews of Budapest deported, he announced that he saw himself as being superfluous in Hungary and proposed removing his Unit from there. Veesenmayer wired his Foreign Ministry about this on 24 August 1944. And so yesterday, in reply to a question from Justice Silberg, I said that the suggestion to evacuate the Special Operations Unit was made in August. And this is document T/1219. Justice Agranat: This was simply a proposal. Attorney General: But in fact the Special Operations Unit was disbanded later (T/1215). President: What is the date of exhibit N/89? Attorney General: 24 October 1944. President: On 24 October Eichmann was not in Budapest. In his argument. Dr. Servatius based himself on T/89 and says that Reich Plenipotentiary Veesenmayer makes the following announcement there: "Upon the urgent and repeated request of SA Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmann, I have asked Szalasi to lend us for at least half a year, at least 25,000 Jewish forced labourers - Winkelmann's request, in fact, was for 50,000 Jewish forced labourers, but the Hungarian authorities objected." And this was on 24 October 1944. Attorney General: Yes. Following the political upheaval, Eichmann turned up in Budapest again. President: Was Eichmann in Budapest on 24 October? Attorney General: Yes, he had returned. President: When did he return? Attorney General: In the middle of October. President: The learned Counsel for the Defence based himself on this document in order to show that this was not only a matter for Eichmann, but for Winkelmann too, that Winkelmann was not satisfied with 25,000, but asked for 50,000. Attorney General: When Eichmann returned, he called Kasztner to see him and told him: You see, I am here again. But now there are no more trains, now people will go on foot (T/1113 page 109). Counsel for the Defence referred to T/89, dated 24 October 1944. But on 18 October 1944 - in other words, six days earlier - Veesenmayer reported to his Foreign Ministry (T/1234) that with the change in the political situation, the Jewish Question had also entered a new phase. Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann was conducting negotiations to receive 50,000 Jews. And on the same day, in a further telegram, Veesenmayer reports... Justice Agranat: Was this also a telegram from Veesenmayer? Attorney General: Yes. Another telegram dated 18 October, T/1235, following on the former one. He says that during the negotiations between Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann and the new Hungarian Foreign Minister, it was agreed that 50,000 Jews would be obtained for transfer to the Reich. And in paragraph 5 it says that Eichmann is planning - as stated in the utmost secrecy - that after he gets these 50,000, he will get a further 50,000 Jews for transfer to the Reich. In point of fact, there is no contradiction whatsoever between the documents. And the affidavit by the Hungarian Minister of the Interior in the Szalasi Government, Vajna Gabor, will prove this. President: Which affidavit is this? Attorney General: This is an affidavit which Vajna Gabor, the Minister of the Interior in the Szalasi Government, gave to the American military authorities, T/1245. In paragraph 1 he says that Himmler informed him that in Hungary operations would be carried out under Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmann and mainly Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichman. Paragraph 4: "That Kaltenbrunner demanded the immediate handing over of the Jews and said that both Winkelmann, and especially Eichmann, were authorized to carry out this operation. Then on one occasion Eichmann accompanied Winkelmann to the Ministry of the Interior, and not only was he outstandingly zealous, but also outstandingly insolent, because he claimed that German power, and in particular Kaltenbrunner's power, were behind him. In Budapest Eichmann wanted to remove the children, the women and the men. I objected to this. And finally he said: If that is the case - the Germans will take it upon themselves to deport the Jews." Naturally Vajna Gabor had no reason to single out Eichmann as being specially responsible compared with other Nazi commanders. From General Juettner's testimony as given in this trial we know that he was sent to Eichmann's office when he wanted to protest about the foot march. And in Krumey's evidence in this trial it says that when he approached Eichmann about the march, Eichmann told him: "You saw nothing." Becher also, when examined in Nuremberg, T/689, says that the operation was carried out by Eichmann and that this was plain murder. There are several items of testimony, I am referring to the evidence of 10 July 1947, page 5. President: Very well, we shall adjourn here. Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I assume that the Attorney General will complete his arguments tomorrow. May I apply for my closing argument to be postponed until the day after tomorrow, in order to allow me to read the record, because it was difficult for me to follow everything in the translation, and I would also like to consult with the Accused. President: In other words, Thursday. Dr. Servatius: Yes, Your Honour. President: First of all let us check whether the Attorney General will conclude tomorrow morning. Attorney General: Yes. I am prepared to conclude, if the Court would agree to sit in the afternoon, I am prepared to conclude in twenty minutes. President: No. In any case the learned Counsel for the Defence has requested a day's break. Very well, that is accepted. Tomorrow morning we shall hear the conclusion of the Attorney General's arguments, and then we shall recess until Thursday morning. On Thursday morning we shall hear the final reply of the learned Counsel for the Defence. Is that acceptable? Dr. Servatius: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
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