The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-017-03

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-017-03
Last-Modified: 1999/05/30

Q. You and the other people.

A. We, the officials, received transit passes so that we
could go out to lunch, and also be able to return after
lunch. I went to my friend Ticho - there my wife and son
were waiting for me, but my son did not allow me to go out
again for fear that something might happen on the way.

Q. Do you remember what happened that evening at 6 o'clock?

A. While we were there, the lady caretaker came and told us
that Gestapo men had already been there and asked about
Ticho. She had said that no one was at home, whereupon they
said they would return at 6 o'clock. My friend Ticho had an
iron safe upstairs. We asked him whether there was any money
in the safe. He said "Yes." We told him to get rid of the
money, for otherwise they would take the money as the first
thing, as they did in every other place.

Q. Do you remember Mr. Marschfeld?

A. After he stated that he had money, we prevailed upon him
at last. We had thought that as a Captain in the Reserves
with a decoration, he would be protected against these SA
men and the Gestapo. Finally he took the money out and his
wife wanted to transfer the package of money to a neighbour,
a retired Colonel and an old Austrian. At that moment, when
she was on the point of going to the door to press the
handle, we heard the bell ring. She still had the presence
of mind to throw the package into a drawer of the sideboard
in the dining room. The bell rang and there appeared three
SA men and one of the Gestapo. One of them stood at once
before the door, the others went right through all the other
rooms. Present there were Dr. Marschfeld, a Viennese lawyer,
Ticho, I myself and my wife and son, who was at the time
fourteen years old. They asked which one was Ticho. He gave
them his name, etc., and they said: "All right, you come
with us." "And who are you?"  "Dr. Marschfeld, a lawyer from
Vienna." "And who are you?"  "I am Moritz Fleischmann, an
official of the Palestine Office and I have a transit pass."
"You can tell all about it over there." However, they could
not agree  among themselves whether they should take with
them the fourteen year old boy. My wife ventured a lie and
said that he was just over twelve years. This saved him and
they did not take him with them. We were taken to the Police
Commissariat on the Juchgasse in the Third District. The so-
called population of Vienna, that is to say, the mob,
pursued us everywhere. From there we were taken to the
Sophien Saal, where the greater part of the Jewish
population of the Third District had already assembled. What
happened there, on the part of the Viennese population, was
something the like of which was never heard of: yelling,
shouting, beating. We were loaded onto trucks and driven
away. We did not know at first where to, but as we crossed
the Danube River, I realized that we were passing through
the Karajangasse. The street was full of people seeking only
our lives and our blood. At the entrance we were awaited by
SS men armed with steel rods.  They forced us, some 300 men,
into a classroom for about 40. The classroom was half
painted with oil paint. We could only stand there, huddled
together in winter coats soaked with rain. The water was
pouring off the walls like in a urinal.

Q. What time were you put into the classroom, approximately?

A. About 7 o'clock. I was bleeding, and there were others
who received even more severe injuries from these steel
rods. We got there by 7 o'clock and were cramped into the
room, I bleeding and others with more severe wounds. There
we had to stand till 1 o'clock. At about 1 o'clock we were
thrown out into the courtyard, and had to stand there in the
cold and the damp, until 10 o'clock in the morning without
receiving any food or anything.

Q. What happened at 10 o'clock?

A. Afterwards, at about 11, Eichmann appeared and at the
same time Dr. Lange of the Metropol Hotel. Eichmann
delivered a violent, raving speech and said that now he
would know what he had to do.

Q. You said:"Together with Eichmann entered Dr. Lange of the
Metropol Hotel." You knew him - Dr. Lange?

A. I did not say "together" but "at the same time." Dr.
Lange was also there." Whether they came in together, is
unknown to me. I did not know Dr. Lange but inquired
immediately after his name.

Q. Tell me, Mr. Fleischmann, what was in the Metropol Hotel
at that time?

A. In the Metropol Hotel were the Gestapo Headquarters. Q.
Do you recall where Eichmann's office was at that time?

A. At that time it was already in Prinz Eugen Strasse.

Q. Do you remember which building?

A. In what was previously the Rothschild House.

Q. Please continue, what happened after this speech?

A. I was held there for a few days. After four days a number
of us - officials of the Palestine Office and of the
community - were released.

Q. When you left Karajangasse what did you observe during
those days?

A. Before I left Karajangasse I charged my colleagues to try
and impress upon their memories as many names as possible in
order to notify the wives where their husbands were, what
happened to them and if they were still there.

The others, and I, on the instruction of Dr. Lange - had to
sign a death note, a note under the threat of punishment of
death, that I would not reveal a word what had happened to
me and where I had been taken to.
Q. You ultimately left and went home, is that not so?

A. I did not go home, but to the house of Ticho, for they
lived alone. A few days later - after 20 November -  a
friend of mine who lived near the Danube, died, and his
wife, his young wife, jumped straight into the Danube. I
went to the funeral in Marc Aurel Strasse. In a tram car I
saw an SA man who wanted to alight and in fact he got off. I
have a good memory and the man was known to me. I knew that
he was one of the SA men who came to arrest us on 10
November. I went after him and said to him: "Gruess Gott" [a
form of greeting]. He said "I must surely know you." I
said:"You arrested us on 10 November at Nadinggasse 20." He
said: "Are you at home already?" I said: "Yes, I am already
back at home." I said to him: "But my friend is still in
Dachau. Can something be done here?" He said: "Come with
me." We entered a gate near Cafe Atlas-Hof which is on Franz
Josef Quay. He gave me his address on the back of a pack of
cigarettes,and said: Come to me together with Mrs. Ticho at
6 o'clock to District 3, Hetzgasse 6." I told this to my
friend's wife who was of course very apprehensive as to the
outcome of it all. I said:"Do come, I have no fear. At 6
o'clock I was at the house of the SA man, together with Mrs.
Ticho. It looked poor - right into the kitchen, facing it a
closet and on the other side a single room.  The SA man
lived with his wife opposite the closet. He said: "What do
you want then?" I said: "Look here, I don't care much about
it - you look here, you have seen the house, my friend wants
to emigrate. He shall certainly do so if he only can. Why
should this house go to another? You shall get it if he gets
away - the bedroom, the beautiful bedroom is your own." He
said: "I will come tomorrow to see it." He liked it.

Q. What happened in the end?

A. Some four days later he telephoned me at the Palestine
Office. He said: "Mr. Fleischmann, has Mrs. Ticho been
summoned to the Metropol yet?" I said "No not as far as I
know." At noon, when I went home, Mrs. Ticho told me that
she had received a summons to the Metropol Hotel for the
next day. Thereafter he came every few days to check whether
everything was in order. About 14 December he called me
again at the Palestine Office and asked whether Mr. Ticho
was already at home. I said "No." He said "He should be at
home already." An hour later Mrs. Ticho called me to say
that Mr. Ticho had just arrived home.
Q. Mr. Fleischmann, in the end did you manage to emigrate
from Austria?

A. Several times obstacles were out in my way, for even when
things had already started moving, new demands would crop
up. A certain Fleischmann was discovered who 25 years
previously had been in a home for mentally sick and whose
expenses had not yet been paid. So they demanded a few
thousand marks in order to get something. There was a
certain Sturmbannfuehrer of Salzburg who was about to be
married and who wanted my house. He wanted it for a cheap
price, that is to say, he wanted me to vacate immediately,
which I rejected. I was summoned to the Gestapo to
Obersturmbannfuehrer Kuchmann. As I stood there outside the
door of Obersturmbannfuehrer Kuchmann, there stood an Oberst
(Company Captain) more than six feet tall without a collar,
facing the wall. While I was waiting outside, a number of SS
men asked him who he was,etc., to which he answered that he
was Captain Weiss, owner of some decoration. They said: "You
have brought ruin on our compatriots." Five SS men took this
giant and threw him from wall to wall until he remained
lying there. Only after this was I allowed to go in to
Obersturmbannfuehrer Kuchmann.

Q. Eventually you received permission to leave?

A. I waited for my Vatik (veteran Zionist) Certificate -
which allegedly I had received already once - and which
Moshe Schapira said I would receive with the next schedule.
It took a while. I did not accept the certificate

Q. Mr. Fleischmann, one more question. On what day did you
leave Austria?

A. After I heard that the British and French consulates were
closed on 22 August,  and I heard from people who came to me
that they were not handling persons who were not British
subjects even if they possessed permits. I took out tickets
for a journey on 28 August 1939, via Vienna and Rotterdam to
London. On 27 August, on a Sunday morning Loewenherz was
then at the Congress in Switzerland, it became known that
the last train was leaving for Belgium and Holland, that is
to say, for England at 1 o'clock. I telephoned the airline
from which I got the tickets, as it was forbidden to hand
over tickets to anyone who did not have a complete exit-
transit-entry permit.

Presiding Judge: Sir, we are obliged to limit ourselves. Do
not forget that there are still many witnesses who have to
be heard in this trial. Dr. Servatius, do you have any
questions to the witness?

Dr. Servatius:  I have no questions.

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much, Mr. Fleischmann, you
have completed your testimony.
Who is the next witness?

State Attorney Bar-Or:  The following witness is Dr. Franz
Meyer. His evidence will relate to Prosecution Document No.

Presiding Judge: What is this prosecution document you have
mentioned just now?

State Attorney Bar-Or:  I mention this number for the
information of the Defence. Defence Counsel will not find a
copy of the document if I do not give the number.

Presiding Judge: [to witness] Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Meyer:  Yes.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness:  Franz Eliezer Meyer.
Presiding Judge: Please proceed, Mr. Bar-Or.
State Attorney Bar-Or:  You were born in Breslau, Germany,
were you not?

Witness Meyer: Yes.

Q. You finished the Gymnasium in Breslau in 1914?

A. In 1915.

Q. Were you in the German army in the First World War?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you return to Breslau - after the War or on
completion of your military service?

A. No. My service was ended in the middle. I fell ill and
they sent me back at the end of the year 1915. After that I
went to University and thereafter they called me again to
the army in 1917.

Q. What were the studies in which you graduated at the
University of Berlin?

A. I obtained a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Science,
but I also dealt with other subjects, Sociology, Economics,

Q. Dr. Meyer, were you active in the Zionist Organization in

A. Yes.

Q. Since when?

A. Even as a young man. I was amongst the first. I began to
be active approximately during the period of 1913 in the
Blau-Weiss.* {*First Jewish youth movement in Germany,
founded in 1912.} Afterwards, when I began studying at the
University, I was a member of the K.J.V.** {**Kartell
Juedischer Verbindungen an association of Zionist university
students' organizations in Germany.}

Presiding Judge: And Blau-Weiss already existed in the year

Witness Meyer: Yes.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  I am speaking now of the years 1922-
1923. What form did your activities take?

Witness Meyer: There was a programme in the Zionist
Organization of Germany of a compulsory year. And I was an
official or secretary in the Arbeiterfuersorgeamt, an
institution which dealt with assistance to Jews of East
Europe who came to Germany during the First World War.

Q. All this activity was in Breslau?

A. No. It was in Berlin.

Q. Did you return to Breslau?

A. Yes.

Q. When?

A. In the middle of 1923.

Q. Did you continue then with your public activity?

A. Yes, although I was at that time a partner in my father's
factory. I was also a member of the Executive of the branch
of the Zionist Organization. Afterwards I was also

elected to the Jewish Community Council as a delegate and
later as a member of the Executive.

Q. What happened to you in 1933? Did anything happen?

A. Certainly. Something happened to all of us. With me it
happened that approximately in February of that year the
Chairman of the Zionist Organization in Germany, Mr. Kurt
Blumenfeld, came to me in Breslau and asked me to move to
Berlin and to become active within the framework of the
Zionist Organization in Berlin in the office at
Meineckestrasse, seeing that both he and the late Dr. Georg
Landauer were then leaving Germany. He said to me that it
was necessary for me to accept the responsibility for this

Q. Did you agree?

A. Yes.
Q. When did you move to Berlin?

A. Officially on 1 April of that year, but actually on that
day, the day of the boycott, I was still in Breslau...

Q. Are you referring to 1 April 1933?

A. Yes. On that day I was in Breslau. It seems to me that
previously I was on a visit to Berlin and thereafter I
commuted between Breslau and Berlin and back. My family was
in Breaslau. I returned there for weekends.

Q. What were your duties?

A. I am afraid that I shall add to the confusion that has
already appeared in the press as if everyone was a President
or Director. Consequently I do not wish to exaggerate here.
Perhaps I would only indicate the structure of the Zionist
Organization at that time. After Mr. Blumenfeld left Berlin,
the chairman in his stead was Dr. Siegfried Moses, at
present the State Comptroller. I was the Acting Chairman or
Geschaeftsfuehrender Vorsitzender, as they called it then.
In addition to this I was the director of the Palestine
Office in Berlin, which was then still a integral part of
the Zionist Organization of Germany, and this was together
with Mr. Arthur Rau, presently the legal adviser to the Bank
Leumi here.

Q. Did you devote yourself in the years subsequent to 1
April 1933 to special work in the framework of the Zionist

A. Yes. First of all it was my function to maintain contacts
with the other Jewish organizations. Apart from the duties
which I mentioned previously, I was chosen in the summer of
1933 as one of the members of the Executive Committee of the
Representation of German Jewry - "Reichsvertretung" I served
as one of the representatives of the Zionists. In those
years the development of organizational affairs with us was
such that the powers of the individual organizations
gradually passed over to the centre, the Reichsvertretung,
that is to say, that I was in the capacity of Chairman of
the Committee for Emigration of Jews. My function was the
same function, emigration to Palestine, that is to say that
I still derived authority from the Jewish Agency and I was
also the representative for all these matters within the
establishment of the Reichsvertretung. In 1936 I moved from
the management of Meineckestrasse, the centre of the Zionist
Organization, to Kantstrasse, the centre of the
Reichsvertretung, and I was the colleague of the late Dr.
Otto Hirsch as one of the directors of the Reichsvertretung.

Q. Did you come into contact with the Gestapo in those years

A. Yes.

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