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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-053-01

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-053-01
Last-Modified: 1999/06/04

Session No. 53
10 Sivan, 5721 (25 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the fifty-third Session of the
trial open. Dr. Brody, you are still giving evidence under

Witness Brody:   Certainly.

State Attorney Bach:  Dr. Brody, you said, this morning,
that on that particular day Lemeke gave an order to arrest
you as well, and you wanted to tell the Court something
about the order which the camp commandant, Vasdenyei, gave
concerning yourself. Would you please tell the Court what
happened in the course of that day?

Witness Brody:   When Vasdenyei gave the order to his clerk
Istvan Vass he nodded his head as a sign that I should be
taken out into the courtyard, but he accompanied me, not to
the courtyard, but to Vasdenyei's official apartment.
Consequently Lemeke imagined that I, too, was put into one
of the trucks and taken away. I can attribute the fact of my
presence here to Vasdenyei.

Q. So you came out of the camp safely?

A. Without harm. What is more, I ran to the tram in order to
inform the Jewish Council that people had again been seized.

Q. Can you tell the Court approximately at what time this

A. When I reached Pest, it was in the early hours of the
afternoon. I was astonished at the fact that at No 12 Sip
Street, instead of finding the Jewish Council in session, I
did not find any of the members of the Council.

Q. Were you told where they were?

A. Yes. Officials, who were there, told me that Eichmann,
some time before, in the early hours of the morning, had
ordered all the members of the Jewish Council to come to his
office in the Schwabenberg.

Q. When did you eventually manage to establish contact with
the members of the Jewish Council?

A. Only at night was I able, if my memory serves me
correctly, to contact Samu Stern and Ernoe Petoe, and they
told me that they had spent the entire day in the office -
they were watched and were not even given an opportunity to
use the telephone. They were allowed to go leave in the
evening, almost certainly after the receipt of a telephone
call to the effect that the train had left.

Q. Dr. Brody, do you know the man in this photograph?

A. This is SS Major Novak.

Q. Is that the same Novak you have been speaking about?

A. Yes.

State Attorney Bach:  I apply to submit the photograph.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1147.

State Attorney Bach:  Dr. Brody, in previous deportations
from Kistarcsa, each time a transport was to leave - who
determined the list of people who were to be deported from

Witness Brody:   The SS did not determine the list of names
of the deportees - except in the case of this last
transport. They only fixed the number of deportees, that
such-and-such a number had to be taken, but not one of the
hostages was taken.

Q. Perhaps you would explain to the Court who were these
hostages who were not taken?

A. Those 280 persons whom the SS arrested on that first day
when they went from address to address in accordance with a
list that had been drawn up in advance in Germany; these
people were placed in a special building which was given the
name "Pavillion B."

Q. Can you tell us how many transports you, yourself, saw
leaving Kistarcsa?

A. I cannot give you an exact figure, but at least 15 to 20
- I cannot give a precise number.

Q. How many were deported each time?

A. I would add that, after each deportation, I drew up a
list of the deportees and I submitted it to the Jewish
Council. These lists remained there.

Q. From whom did you obtain these lists?

A. In part Vasdenyei allowed me to draw them up, at my
request. There was also a detective-inspector by the name of
Vasarhey. Not only did they give me the list of deportees,
but they also gave me the lists of those people who were
brought there each day. These were the lists I submitted to
the Jewish Council and this enabled them to notify the
relatives of those who had been detained.

Q. You said, earlier that the SS determined the number of
deportees. How did you know that?

A. From the fact that in each case they stated how many
freight-cars were needed. The cars had to be ordered in
advance. From time to time they notified Vasdenyei that he
had to order twenty cars to be brought to the Kistarcsa

Apart from the hostages the SS men regarded the prisoners as
if they were chattels, and when the "stores" filled up they
were emptied out and new ones brought in.

Q. Dr. Brody, you told us this morning that you were glad
that those 280 Jews who had arrived at Sarvar were saved.
Can you tell the Court what eventually happened to those

A. We got to know that our joy was premature, since two or
three days later they, too, were deported together with the
other prisoners who were there - by the order of Hunsche.
That was the last transport under the regime of the Regent

Q. Dr. Brody, after 15 October 1944, were you arrested again
- or were you arrested at all?

A. After 15 October 1944, men of the "Arrow Cross" seized me
and on 18 October - they established units in an area which
was used for horse races  - and they brought me to
Nagyteteny to dig anti-tank traps and trenches.

Q. What happened to most of the people who were engaged in
this work?

A. The vast majority, most of them, perished there; the
remainder were taken to Hegyeshalom. On the journey there,
elderly people in particular, those who could not endure the
march, were shot in the course of the march by the men of
the "Arrow Cross."

Q. You said that there were thousands of people who walked
to Hegyeshalom. What happened to them there?

A. They were led onwards, and the majority of them died in
the village in the neighbourhood of Sopron. I escaped from
my unit.

Q. How did you succeed in escaping?  With whose help?

A. They led us to the island of Csepel - from Nagyteteny to
Budafok and later to Csepel and there they loaded us on to a
truck in order to take us to Pest. I concealed myself in
this truck, I jumped off the truck and I walked to my

Q. Were you previously a member of the Hungarian Parliament?

A. I was elected in 1947, on the platform of the Social
Democratic Party.

Q. You mentioned earlier that your brother was also deported
on one of the transports. Can you tell us what happened to
your brother and to other members of your family?

A. I rescued my brother. I went to Obuda, to a brick
factory, and there I came across an officer of the "Todt"
organization, who released him together with his children,
for a sum of 3,000 pengoe. I subsequently accompanied them
to a building which was under Portuguese protection, a
building of which I was in charge, and I concealed them
there. Twenty-eight members of my family were lost. May I be
permitted to point out that I secured this Portuguese
protection through a Mr. Sebestyen,* {*Pal Sebestyen - legal
expert in the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.}
Minister and Plenipotentiary, who served in the Foreign
Ministry, who, notwithstanding the fact that he did not know
me, gave me a letter of recommendation to the effect that,
as a token of appreciation for my activities in rescue work,
I should be given a Portuguese protective passport, and this
was done.

State Attorney Bach:  I have no further questions.

Dr. Servatius:  I have one question to the witness. If I
understood correctly, both the commandant Vasdenyei and the
Regent Horthy were helpful to the Jews.

Witness Brody:   Yes Sir, you understood me correctly.
Vasdenyei helped us right from the first moment, from the
time I was released. Thanks to him, children up to the age
of 14 were entrusted to me. Thanks to him, the establishment
of a hospital, in Bethlen Square, was made possible for the
sick people who were entrusted to my care. The important
role of the Regent Horthy lay in the fact that, as from the
month of July, he forbade all further deportations.

Q. Were the Hungarian gendarmerie and the Hungarian Gestapo
also helpful to the Jews?

A. I am not in a position to reply that question, since
there were in Kistarcsa neither personnel of the gendarmerie
nor members of the Hungarian secret police. The policemen on
duty there behaved very well.

Presiding Judge: Did you not have any experience beyond the
Kistarcsa camp?

Witness Brody:   Only through hearsay, and I want to testify
only as to facts.

Presiding Judge: Quite right.

Dr. Servatius:  Was it for that reason that you did not say
anything unfavourable to the Hungarians in your testimony
which you first gave in writing on 23 January 1961, and that
there you only spoke well of them?

Witness Brody:   I wrote only the truth in my testimony, and
only what I had personally witnessed, and now, too, I am
only speaking the truth. I have taken an oath on all this.
Hence I am unable to say anything on the basis of hearsay.

Dr. Servatius:  The witness has not, in fact, answered my
question, but I have no further questions.

Presiding Judge: I am not sure whether there has not been a
misunderstanding here. Was there anything in this written
statement about the Hungarian gendarmerie?

Dr. Servatius:  In his written testimony, he only spoke
favourably about Vasdenyei and about Horthy, and he does not
mention others. I asked him if he did not know of a more
negative attitude on the part of the Hungarian gendarmerie
and of the Gestapo, and he replied that he had no personal
knowledge of this; consequently I do not have any more

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bach, do you have any questions to the

State Attorney Bach:  I do not wish to re-examine.

Judge Halevi:  You said that there were transports,
deportations, from Kistarcsa before July 1944. My question
relates to those deportations which were prior to July 1944,
and I want to know who took the Jews from your camp and
loaded them on the freight-cars?

Witness Brody:   SS men.

Q. Not merely the SS commander, but also SS soldiers?

A. Yes.

Judge Halevi:  Thank you.

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much, Dr. Brody, you have
completed your testimony.

State Attorney Bach:  The next witness is Mrs. Elisheva

Presiding Judge: Madam, do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Szenes:  Not too well.

Presiding Judge: What language do you wish to speak?

Witness Szenes:  Hungarian.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Erzsi Elisheva Szenes.

State Attorney Bach:  Mrs. Szenes, you were born in
Slovakia, were you not?

Witness Szenes:  Yes.

Q. Did you study journalism as a profession?

A. Yes.

Q. And, in fact, you worked for a Hungarian newspaper?

A. Yes.

Q. Perhaps you would tell the Court, when the deportations
from Slovakia began, how you succeeded in escaping to
Hungary? Please describe, in a general way, the manner of
your escape.

A. In Slovakia, in Michalovce, they first of all arrested
the young girls. This severely shocked the families, since
they had not believed that they would actually take the
girls, the young women and the single women, first. I was
also among them. During those days I still managed to escape
and to hide. But later on, I nevertheless fell into their
hands and I was included in one transport which had already
been deported, but at the very last minute I succeeded in
getting away from there as well. I should say that, on 5
May, as far as I know, about 3,000 Jews were deported from

Q. In what year?

A. This was in the month of May 1942. The Jews were deported
from Michalovce and later on they sent postcards saying that
they had been deported to Lublin. On the postcards it said:
"Almost all of them are already in the Hradok." This was the
name of the cemetery in Michalovce. It also said: "We have
not yet met Wiesner." Wiesner was the baker, hence this
meant that they had hardly eaten any bread.

Q. Perhaps you would tell us how you managed to reach

A. The Hungarian writers sent a cabled application on my
behalf to Tiso, the President of the State, requesting that
I should not be deported, but they received a negative
reply. Thereafter I received advice from the well-known
writer Sandor Marai, that I should try to escape to Hungary.
I also want to add that the deportations from Slovakia were
carried out with absolute brutality. They hurled the girls
who were half-fainting on to buses and from there to freight-

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