The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-053-04

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

Q. Are you able to tell the Court something about attempts
to mislead the Jews of the town regarding their ultimate

A. Yes. When the deportations began, a Gestapo officer said
to me - I will use his actual words in German: "Ihr lebt ja
hier wie die Schweine, Ihr werdet nach Deutschland
ueberfuehrt, wo Ihr in normalen Verhaeltnissen leben werdet
mit Euren Familien." (You are indeed living here like pigs;
you will be transferred to Germany, and there you will lead
a normal life; you will be transferred with your families).
And then he said: "Ihr werdet dort arbeiten" (You will work

Q. Can you tell the Court about a false order which appeared
to show some concern for Jewish education?

A. Yes. Once we received a letter from the Gestapo. The
Ghetto Committee received the letter through the Council,
which stated that it was not good for the children to be
wandering about the ghetto area without studying the Torah
or receiving an appropriate religious education. Therefore
they gave us an order to see to it that the children
studied. I was given the letter for my attention. I did not
understand - and I was unable to understand - the  purpose
of the letter.

Presiding Judge: In what capacity did you receive this

Witness Foeldi:  I was one of three former officers of the
Austro-Hungarian and Czech army, and the three of us were
charged with organizing and attending to the fair
distribution of food, etc., and also with keeping order, as
far as it was in our power. I received this letter and I did
not understand the Gestapo's concern for the Jewish
education of the children. But, anyhow, I asked the Rabbis
who were in the ghetto to attend a meeting. There I read out
the letter. The senior Rabbi suggested that we send our
thanks to the Gestapo for its concern and request authority
to send a number of men to the synagogue where we could take
out the books which would enable us to provide for education
and studies. We never received any reply or reaction.

State Attorney Bach:  Did you ever see in this place, in
Uzhgorod, the officer Marton Zoeldi?

Witness Foeldi:  Yes.

Q. Perhaps you would tell the Court, who was Marton Zoeldi?

A. He was an officer of the Hungarian gendarmerie. In 1942,
when there were the riots in Subotica, and it became known
throughout the world that 4,000 Jews were killed there, he
was the prime mover of this whole operation. Subsequently,
when an end was put to this whole campaign in Subotica, he
fled to Germany and joined the Gestapo. On one occasion we
heard in the Uzhgorod Ghetto that Marton Zoeldi would be
coming. I was alone in the office when he walked in and
moved around. Suddenly he asked me: "What is your name?" I
told him: Martin Foeldi."  He gave me a slap in the face and
said: "How dare you have such a name when there is a
difference of only one letter between my name and yours - my
name is Marton Zoeldi and you are Martin Foeldi?" That is
how it began. This was the first time my face was slapped
since I became an adult.

Q. How did the presence of Zoeldi affect the manner of the

A. It had an adverse effect. Even prior to this the
arrangements were not good, and no deportation was carried
out without acts of cruelty. But after he had been there a
day or two, everybody was afraid of him, including the
officers of the Hungarian Police. We felt that they feared

Q. Do you know anything about Zoeldi's function within the

A. No.

Q. In what office, in what place did he work as a rule?

A. It was only after the War that I got to know that he was
Eichmann's right-hand man.

Presiding Judge: You said earlier that he had been in the
Hungarian Gendarmerie?

Witness Foeldi:  Yes, but he fled after the riots.

State Attorney Bach:  He added that he subsequently joined
the Gestapo.

Presiding Judge: Was he in uniform?

Witness Foeldi:  Yes.

Q. In what uniform?

A. In the uniform of the German army.

State Attorney Bach:  When did the deportations in Uzhgorod

Witness Foeldi:  Approximately on 14 April 1944, or 20

Q. Did the "ghettoization" of the transports begin then?

A. The deportations from the ghetto began then.

Q. Where to?

A. At that time we did not know the destination - merely
that the deportations had begun.

Q. Are you sure it was in April?

A. No, I made a mistake, it was in May.

Presiding Judge: In what year?

Witness Foldi 1944.

State Attorney Bach:  In what manner were these deportations
carried out?

Witness Foldi We received a notice from the Council, for the
members of the Council were not inside the ghetto. We
received this notice to the Ghetto Committee that we were to
draw up a list of people - as far as I remember, of 1,500 to
2,000 persons. Inside the ghetto there was a loudspeaker and
we requested those persons who wished to leave together to
come to the office to register. Whole families reported, or
one member of a family who gave us a list of all the members
of the family, their relatives and friends. There was an
official there, he was also a Jew and in fact one of us, who
recorded and drew up the list. On the following day there
was a roll-call and all the people were divided into
sections of 50 or 52 persons - approximately 1,500 to 2,000
people in all.

Q. Was there any distinction at all made between men, women
and children?

A. No, no distinction.

Q. All of them were taken?

A. Yes, they were all taken. Old men and women, women and

Q. In what kind of trains were they transported?

A. In freight trains. We saw the trains from inside the
ghetto. Although it was far away, one could see the trains.

Q. How many people were there in each freight-car?

A. Seventy to eighty persons.

Q. At what rate were these deportations carried out?

A. Almost every day or two days.

Q. Almost every day or two days a train left with 1,500

A. Yes. Every two days would be more accurate.

Q. When did you go?

A. I left with the last transport.

Q. Which members of your family went with you?

A. All my family. And apart from that, we three officers who
had been on the committee.

Q. Were you officers in the Austro--Hungarian army?

A. Yes, and we were on the Ghetto Committee.

Q. Who were the members of your close family?

A. My wife, son, daughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, my
brother-in-law, his wife and little girl.

Q. Where were you transported to?

A. We went via Csap and Kosice. At Kosice we knew that we
were on the border between Slovakia and Hungary. And we knew
that from that point onwards we would know that if we went
to the right after Kosice this would mean that we were going
to the east, to Poland. If we continued in a straight line
we believed we would remain inside Czechoslovakian

Q. In fact, where did you go?

A. We travelled to Auschwitz via Obysovce-Presov.

Q. When you arrived at Auschwitz, did someone in a certain
conversation want to tell you what was happening in

A. When I arrived?

A. Yes, or shortly before that. I am referring to a
particular encounter when someone wanted to tell you what
was happening there.

A. The moment we reached Auschwitz some people came in - we
did not know who they were for we had never seen uniforms
such as theirs. We were given an order to get down, but
quickly, and to leave all our effects and belongings inside
the freight-car. We alighted and it was in such a hurried
manner and at such a fast pace that we did not realize what
was happening. They said to us that the men should stand on
the right side with children over the age of 14, and the
women on the left with the young boys and girls. They, the
women began walking while we were still standing, and
suddenly they were almost completely out of view. I stood
there with my son who was only 12 years old. After we had
started walking forward, I suddenly came up to a certain
man. I did not know who he was. He was dressed in a uniform
of the German army, elegant, and he asked me what my
profession was. I knew that being a lawyer by profession
would not be very helpful and, therefore, told him that I
was a former officer. He looked at me and asked: "How old is
the boy?" At that moment I could not lie, and I told him: 12
years old. And then he said: "Wo ist die Mutti?" (And where
is your mother?) I answered: "She went to the left." Then he
said to my son: "Run after your mother." After that I went
on walking to the right and I saw how the boy was running. I
wondered to myself how would he be able to find his mother
there? After all, there were so many women and men, but I
caught sight of my wife. How did I recognize her? My little
girl was wearing some kind of a red coat. The red spot was a
sign that my wife was near there. The red spot was getting
smaller and smaller. I walked to the right and never saw
them again.

Q. Did they take all the women with the children to that

A. I noticed that also amongst the women they made some kind
of division. The younger women were walking separately
without boys or girls, and the older women walked in a
separate group. After the event we heard of a case where
"Haeftlinge" (detainees) the old hands, if I may call them
that, came along. It happened occasionally that one of them
would say to a young woman: "Give the child to granny and
you go to work." There were individual instances of this
kind - a cousin of mine also handed over her boy and girl to
a grandmother and went to work, but she was killed there.

Q. Dr. Foeldi, how long were you in Auschwitz?

A. I was in Auschwitz for only ten days.

Q. While you were there, can you tell the Court something
about the postcards which you were obliged to write?

A. Yes. It was during the first days that we were given an
order - we received a postcard and a pencil and they
dictated to us the wording of the postcard.

Q. Who dictated?

A. He was some kind of Kapo or SS man. I do not remember
exactly any longer - we were standing against a wall,
writing, and from behind they dictated to us the contents of
the postcard.

Q. What did they tell you to write on this postcard?

A. I do not remember it word for word, but it was more or
less as follows: "I am at my ease and I am going out to
work. I am feeling well." I do not remember the postcard
exactly, but I subsequently found in my sister's possession
the card I had sent her in Budapest.

Q. Did they tell you to write the name of the place where
you were?

A. Yes. Waldsee. I must add that, while we were still in the
ghetto we had already received such a postcard from the
first transports.

Q. You received a postcard from Waldsee. What did you think
of that?

A. We began searching for the place and found some resort
place by that name in Austria.

Q. How did the receipt of these postcards at the time effect

A. That put our minds at ease. We thought, at any rate, that
they were well and, secondly, that this was a wonderful
place in Austria - so we thought.

Q. Dr. Foeldi, can you identify this postcard? [Hands a
postcard to the witness].

A. Yes. It says here: "I have arrived safely. I am fit and
in good spirits, and feel fine." And here is my first name
and that of my wife. I added my wife's first name in order
to give a hint that I was together with her.

Q. Is it written in your handwriting?

A. Yes.

Q. And to whom did you send this postcard?

A. To my sister in Budapest.

Q. And afterwards did she return this postcard to you, and
is that why you have it in your possession?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: Are you producing this postcard in

State Attorney Bach:  Yes.

Presiding Judge: Again, we shall hand the postcard back to
the witness - we have a copy here. The postcard is marked

What name did you sign?

Witness Foeldi:  The first name and surname we used within
the family - Martin is Marcel and Bizi - Elizabeth.

State Attorney Bach:  Did they dictate the contents of this
word by word or merely the general content?

Witness Foeldi:  Word by word.

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