The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/06/07

State Attorney Bach:  Your Honours, after the failure in
Budapest, the Sondereinsatzkommando Eichmann was disbanded,
and this is borne out by our document No. 378, which was
submitted to the Accused and was given the number T/37(152).
This is a document signed by Grell on 29 September 1944.  It
appears that Eichmann was in Berlin after these events, and
after he returned from Berlin, he made a final decision
concerning the Sondereinsatzkommando, which was under his
command, as follows: "The Sondereinsatzkommando was formally
disbanded at a final parade yesterday.  Eichmann and the
leaders, whom he had brought with him from Berlin at the
time, were recalled, in principle, to the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt.  But they were instructed to
remain in Budapest for another week or so, on the assumption
- as is being rumoured - of an expected change of direction
in Hungary's internal policy."  Then it says that some of
the officers were transferred to the BdS (Befehlshaber der
Sicherheitspolizei - Commander of the Security Police) in
Hungary, or to the KdS (Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei -
Local Commander of the Security Police) in Budapest.
Hauptsturmfuehrer Wisliceny was to return to Bratislava, and
Hauptsturmfuehrer Dannecker was to remain in the
Sondereinsatzkommando as a sort of rear guard.  It should be
pointed out that the Accused, when questioned on this
document, denied its contents in his statement on page 1958
and said: "The Sondereinsatzkommando was never disbanded."

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1225.

State Attorney Bach:  The next document is our No. 870.  It
was submitted to the Accused and was given the number
T/37(273).  These are the directives relating to the
treatment of Hungarian Jews in Austria.  These were the
instructions of Krumey, of the Sondereinsatzkommando,
something called the Aussenkommando (Exterior Unit) Vienna.
This was a Sonderkommando attached to the Befehlshaber der
Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in Ungarn - Aussenkommando

As I have stated, the subject is the treatment to be meted
out to those Jews who were working in Austria.  Here the
Court will note, for example, in the first paragraph, that
the Hungarian Jews who were transferred through the Labour
Ministry are regarded as Gestapo prisoners.  Paragraph three
refers to the hours of work and states that these Jews may
also be employed beyond the usual hours of work.  In
paragraph four, it says the German labour laws do not apply
to the Jews.  Under paragraph six, the Jews are forbidden to
leave the camp.  In paragraph 16, it says that the Jewish
labour forces do not receive cash payment for their work.
Payment for the work had to be made to the
Sondereinsatzkommando.  In paragraph 23, there is reference
to the yellow star that all Jews must wear.  Paragraph 28
provides for various punishments applying to the Jews for
sundry offences, disciplinary offences, such as the
deportation of the entire family - the parents, husband,
wife and children of the offender - to the Laxenburg camp of
the Sondereinsatzkommando.

There is also an annexure here, dated 29 June 1944 - special
directives concerning the Jewish policemen.  "Every Jewish
policeman in the camp is to be responsible that no Jew
should come into contact with other members of the
population," and paragraph two refers to the punishment
which can be meted out to the Jews, and, particularly, to
these policemen, for each offence.  And here it says: "As
punishment, it is possible to impose (1) placement in a
concentration camp; (2) the death penalty."  Any Jew acting
in violation of these instructions or trying to escape from
the camp shall be placed immediately in a concentration
camp, or, in grave cases, he will be sentenced to death.

Presiding Judge: There are two other documents here - a
medical report.  Is this included here?

State Attorney Bach:  Yes, it is part of the same report, it
is of no special significance.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1226.

State Attorney Bach:  The following document is No. 1183,
dated 26 September 1944.  Here Grell reports that Ferenczy
came to him and informed him that the Jews had approached
him, stating that they were now prepared to move to labour
camps inside Hungary.  They were ready to renounce,
practically, their opposition to being deported from
Budapest and placed in camps in Hungary, the reason being
their fear that the Sondereinsatzkommando Eichmann was
likely to return and to transfer them to Germany.  Ferenczy
also reports on this conversation to the Germans.  They say
that the Jews were particularly fearful, because
Hauptsturmfuehrer Wisliceny had returned to Budapest.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1227.

State Attorney Bach:  The next document, our No. 559, deals
with a young girl, aged 17, named Gracia Kerenyi, who is
not, in fact, a Jewess, but of first degree mixed parentage.
Her father is a Christian, a well-known professor at the
university, and apparently her mother was Jewish.  This girl
apparently spoke out at school against the entry of the
Germans into Hungary.  And then, when the German forces
entered, they arrested her and decided to transfer her to
the Stapoleitstelle of Vienna, so that she should be placed
into what was called an educational camp.  And then - so
says the legation in Budapest - instead of being transferred
to the educational camp, she was in error sent to Auschwitz.
Meanwhile, it transpired that this family was a very
distinguished one, and the incident caused a great uproar,
that her father was a highly respected man, and that he did
not even have a negative attitude towards Germany.
Therefore, they strongly urged that the girl be brought
back.  Then it says that she is in Auschwitz and that,
meanwhile, she had become a bearer of secrets, and hence it
was impossible to return her.  The legation in Budapest now
enquires if this girl is, in fact, still alive.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1228.

State Attorney Bach:  The answer appears in the following
document, No. 560, and comes from the office of IVA4b,
signed by Guenther, and dated 4 November 1944.  Here,
Guenther advises von Thadden that this girl Kerenyi will be
transferred in a few weeks' time to the concentration camp
at Ravensbrueck.  In view of her hostile conduct towards
Germany, her release during the course of the War is out of
the question.  She had written a letter to her family,
delivery of which would be permitted.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1229.

State Attorney Bach:  Our next document is No. 388;  this
was submitted to the Accused and was given the number
T/37(155).  Wagner writes a memorandum on 12 October 1944,
and he refers to a report he had received from Veesenmayer.
In his report, Minister Veesenmayer explains that the
Hungarians had so far not honoured the obligations which
they had taken upon themselves for the solution of the
Jewish Question in Budapest as an internal operation of the
State of Hungary, and that apparently they had no intention
of fulfilling these obligations, in order to establish an
alibi.  He now says that "in case of an approach of the
front line to the German-Hungarian area of operations,
consideration would have to be given to a change, in
principle, of the attitude of the Germans and to the
question of carrying out the evacuation of the remaining
Jews on our own initiative, or by means of suitable pressure
on the Hungarian Government."  Below he adds: "In view of
the fact that the implementation of the measures against the
Jews is likely to be mainly dependent on the possibility of
the SS now being able to furnish the necessary units, an
instruction is requested as to what extent this question
must be cleared up, first of all, with the Reichsfuehrer-SS
or with the Head Office for State Security."

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1230.

State Attorney Bach:  Meanwhile, the first transport from
the Bergen-Belsen train had reached Switzerland from Bergen-
Belsen - those 318 Jews of whom we have heard.  In the next
document, our No. 449, there is a minute by Wagner, dated 16
September 1944.  He reports on a demarche by the Swiss
legation which says that on 22 August, 318 Jews arrived in
Basel, most of them possessing Hungarian citizenship,
without the required papers.  The Swiss wanted to know where
these Jews had come from, what sort of people they were, and
they asked that in future the Swiss Government be supplied
with particulars before such transports were dispatched.
From the conclusion of the report, it is plain that Wagner
was now requesting an explanation from the Head Office for
Reich Security.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1231.

State Attorney Bach:  Our next document is No. 450, which
was shown to the Accused and was given the number T/37(154).
Here Wagner refers to that previous document and says the
Head Office for Reich Security had informed von Thadden that
the transport of those 318 Hungarian Jews was an operation
for securing essential commodities for the war effort on the
part of the SS, and that the consideration given would be to
the advantage of the SS.  Details of the transaction were
not known in Berlin, since the discussion between the
Reichsfuehrer and the person entrusted with the
implementation of the transaction, Obersturmbannfuehrer
Eichmann, took place directly, and orally only.  For reasons
given by the Security Police, nothing was put in writing,
either, about this matter.  For the same reason, they said,
the Foreign Ministry could only obtain a verbal answer.  In
conclusion, he proposes, in connection with the Swiss
memorandum, that the sending of a reply should be held up
for the time being, and in the event of Switzerland's
raising the problem anew, they should answer them, after a
suitable period, by word of mouth, that the investigation
into the matter had not yielded any results.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1232.

State Attorney Bach:  The following document is naturally
connected with the document of Grell referred to previously,
from which we are able to judge that the German Foreign
Ministry really did not know the particulars of this
transaction except from rumours and from reports of the

Judge Raveh:   Is there an explanation for the second
paragraph, in connection with the severing of relations with
Turkey and the betrayal of Bulgaria?  Is there any
explanation for that?

State Attorney Bach:  I think that that, too, was camouflage
on the part of the Reichsfuehrer-Hauptamt.  Your Honour will
surely recall that in Veesenmayer's first report he said
that the matter concerned the dispatch of a number of Jews
to Turkey - that is what Winkelmann told him - and, in the
meantime, there was the severance of relations with Turkey,
and thus they assume that apparently there would be no such
negotiations any more.  We shall see, later on, that Himmler
tried to conceal these negotiations both from the Foreign
Ministry and from Hitler and the Hitler-Kaltenbrunner-
Mueller line of command.  We shall yet come across this in
other evidence, and it seems to me that this remark, too,
can be interpreted in the same light.  That is to say, it
was explained to them that it was not realistic, since they
had no contact with Turkey, and thus there would be no more
transactions of this kind.

Our next document is numbered 975.  This is a brief
comprehensive and summarizing report.  He says that on 19
March there were 800,000 Jews in Hungary, 430,000 Jews were
deported to the Reich territory, that in the Hungarian
labour services - the "Honved" - there were 150,000 Jews,
and 200,000 were in the Budapest region.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1233.

State Attorney Bach:  Our following document is our No. 525.
This is already on 18 October, after the coup d'etat of
Szalasi.  The document was shown to the Accused and was
given the number T/37(153).  Here, Veesenmayer sends a cable
and already reports on a change in the political situation.
He says that Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, who returned
that day from Budapest, began negotiations to secure fifty
thousand Jewish men from Budapest fit for physical labour,
and to take them on a foot march, in order to use them for
labour.  The other Jewish men in Budapest who were fit for
work would be employed immediately in building military
fortifications in the area, and the remaining Jews would all
be concentrated in ghetto-like camps on the outskirts of the
city.  At the end he also says that the order had been given
that all Jews were again required to wear the yellow star.
During the absence of the Sondereinsatzkommando, they had
removed the yellow badge, but now Eichmann had returned, and
they were again obliged to wear the yellow badge.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1234.

Dr. Servatius:  Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I would
ask that attention be paid to what appears in the first
sentence.  There it says: "Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann,
who returned to Budapest today, upon the request of the
Senior Commander of the SS and the Police here, and by order
of the Head of the Security Police."

State Attorney Bach:  In connection with this date of
Eichmann's return to Budapest after the success of the
Fascist coup d'etat of Szalasi, I should like to draw the
Court's attention to page 109 of the Kasztner report.  Here
it says: "Two days after the coup d'etat - this was 17
October - Eichmann arrived in Budapest in great haste by
plane from Berlin.  He summoned me to Becher's office, where
he spoke to me as follows: `So, you see, I am back here
again!  You no doubt thought that the story of Romania and
Bulgaria would repeat itself here?  Apparently you forgot
that Hungary still rests in the shadow of the destruction of
the Reich!  And our hands are long enough to be able to
grasp the Jews of Budapest as well...!  And so, take note:
This government operates under our orders.  I will
immediately get in touch with Minister Kovarcz, who is in
charge of Jewish affairs.  The Jews of Budapest will be
deported, this time on foot.  At present, we need all our
means of transportation for other purposes.  But, if you
will place at our disposal a suitable number of trucks, the
deportation can be accomplished also by means of these
vehicles... Or does it not suit you?  You are afraid - is
that it?  Then don't come any more with your American tales
- now there is going to be disciplined and prompt work! All
right?'"  (Jetzt wird hier gearbeitet, stramm und hurtig!

The next document, Your Honours, the last for the present
stage, is document No. 212, which was shown to the Accused
and was given the number T/37(108).  Here, Veesenmayer, on
18 October, reports on the outcome of the negotiations
between Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann and the new Hungarian
Minister of the Interior on the Jewish Question, and he
says: "Notwithstanding the fact that Szalasi has already
adopted a stand in principle not to continue permitting the
transport of Hungarian Jews in future into Reich territory,
the Minister of the Interior will try to secure an
exceptional approval for the proposed one-time temporary
delivery of fifty thousand Jewish men, fit for physical
work, who are needed for the fighter aircraft plan - the
'Jaeger Plan.'  Their transport will be carried out by foot
march, accompanied by German units."  After that, it states
that the Eichmann operational unit will participate as
consultants in carrying out the action in Budapest, and, in
other respects the operation will be carried out by the
Hungarian gendarmerie.  At the end it says that "Eichmann
intends, as we are confidentially informed, after a
successful conclusion of the proposal as mentioned, to
demand later a further fifty thousand Jews, in order to
secure the final objective of clearing the Hungarian zone,
while preserving Szalasi's stand in principle."

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1235.

State Attorney Bach:  Your Honours, in the context of this
foot march, I would ask the Court to listen now to the
evidence of Mr. Arye Breszlauer.

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

Witness Breszlauer:   Yes.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Arye Zvi Breszlauer.

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Breszlauer, you were born in

Witness Breszlauer:   I was born in a place which, until
1918, belonged to Hungary.  I was born in a small village,
Vysni Ridniczi, a small village in the vicinity of

Presiding Judge: Is that in Slovakia?

Witness Breszlauer:   In Eastern Slovakia.

State Attorney Bach:  Were you also in Hungary at the time
of the German occupation in 1944?

Witness Breszlauer:   At the time of the German occupation
of Hungary, I was in Budapest.

Q. Did you, at that time, take part in a particular activity
with the assistance of foreign legations for the purpose of
rescuing the Jews of Hungary?

A. At that time, in 1944, I did not participate in any
activity.  I was in hiding in Budapest for certain reasons.
At that time, there was also no possibility of taking
action.  After the occupation, the centre of activity was
Sip Street.  That was where the Judenrat, as they called it,
the Jewish Council, was located.  There I wanted to get
involved in work, to do something, and to find out what they
were doing generally.  There was great confusion there, and
I worked in a department which dealt with Jews in the border
areas.  There was talk there that certain people would
receive papers stamped by the Germans which would enable
them to visit various areas.  I had previously been a public
functionary in Carpatho-Russia.  I was a lawyer in the small
town of Uzhgorod in Carpatho-Russia.  I was promised that I
would get a document enabling me to visit there.  This took
time.  On 23 May, I was arrested and imprisoned and was
brought to the State Police on the Schwabenberg.  May I

Presiding Judge: Please answer Mr. Bach's question.  That
will be more helpful.

State Attorney Bach:  When did you commence that activity on
which I questioned you previously?

Witness Breszlauer:   I was imprisoned.

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