The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-061-05

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-061-05
Last-Modified: 1999/06/07

Q. It says here that ten thousand have already been handed
over to the Germans, six to seven thousand are to be
delivered into the hands of the Germans, and the remaining
six to seven thousand were shot to death by members of the
Hungarian Arrow Cross, and the others perished as a result
of the hardships and

exhaustion.  If this is the case, these people were shot by
the Arrow Cross?

Presiding Judge: He said: "By the Hungarians."  I don't know
whether this was translated.

Dr. Servatius:  I understood the witness to say that the
Hungarians merely escorted them, and that he did not say in
his evidence that the Hungarians were the ones who shot

Presiding Judge: The witness was not questioned on that

Dr. Servatius:  Perhaps there was a mistake in the

Witness Breszlauer:   I said: I was not present.  As far as
I know, these people were shot by the Hungarians who
escorted them.  I said specifically that I was not present,
but as far as I was aware, and according to information
which reached me, as far as I was aware, they were shot by
the Hungarians who accompanied them.

Q. Further on, you mention a captain by the name of Peterfy
and a lieutenant-colonel named Bartha.  What were the roles
of these two officers?

A. Peterfy was a major, he was in charge of the reception of
these people, and the other man, Bartha, was in charge of
handing the people over to Wisliceny.

Q. What part did Wisliceny play in this affair?

A. He received the people on behalf of the Germans.

Q. What treatment did those Jews who were called up for
work, or who were mobilized for work, receive as long as
they were in German hands?

A. There were Jews there who worked for the German army.
They dug, they prepared trenches.  There the treatment was
much better.

Q. And so this corresponds with what you said in your
report, to the effect that the Jews who worked in the
interior provinces of the country were treated fairly and
were given good food - is that not right?

A. Yes - those who worked with the regular German army.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, on which page of the report
does this appear?

Dr. Servatius:  On page seven, in the middle of the page.

Witness, you conclude your report (on page 11) with the
sentence: "The present objective of the Hungarian Government
is, undoubtedly, the complete extermination of the Jews."
Is this statement correct?

Witness Breszlauer:   I was referring to the Szalasi
government.  As far as I was aware, this was their

Dr. Servatius:  I have no further questions to this witness.

State Attorney Bach:  As far as you were aware then, and as
far as you know today, under whose influence did the Szalasi
government operate?

Witness Breszlauer:   Under German influence.

Q. And do the following words also appear in your report? I
draw your attention to page seven, where you write: "The
conclusion must be reached - in the light of everything we
noticed and observed on the roads - that in actual practice,
the administration of the country and its institutions was
in the hands of the Germans."

A. To my knowledge, as far as I understood the situation at
the time, the Szalasi government served as the most
appropriate instrument during this period for German aims.

Q. And immediately after that, you add: "Only by means of
contact and agreement with the Germans will it be possible
to avoid the final deportation of the Jews of Budapest,
along the lines of deportation from the provincial and
district towns."

A. Yes.

Q. Can you tell us whether this was the position at the

A. These were my impressions - it corresponded to what I
knew and what I learned; and this was what I expressed in
this report.

Judge Raveh:   Dr. Breszlauer, with regard to these
protective buildings, when approximately did they begin to
crowd people into them?

Witness Breszlauer:   These buildings for Jews?

Q. Yes.  For Jews who were taken into protection.

A. Under protection was one matter - the marked buildings
were something else.  The matter of protection came at a
later stage.  Later on they concentrated the Jews there; if
I am not mistaken, this was on 25 November.

Q. Which are you talking about now - of the concentration or
of the buildings which were under protection?

A. I don't understand the question.

Q. I want it to be clear what kind of houses existed.

A. Until 25 November, as far as I remember, there were
houses which were marked as Jewish houses.

Q. That is to say, where the Jews of Budapest were
assembled, so that they could be concentrated there.

A. Yes.

Q. Who assembled them there?

A. This was still during the period of the previous
government; it ended on 25 June.

Q. And when did it begin?

A. Two or three days before that.

Q. In other words, this was an operation of a few days?

A. Yes, it was an operation of a few days.

Q. How many Jews, roughly, were concentrated into these

A. About 150,000 persons.

Q. After that came the brick factory.  Were people taken out
of these houses, or were other Jews concentrated there?

A. When Szalasi came to power, they removed people from
their houses, they seized them...

Q. From these houses?

A. Yes.  They removed the people and robbed the houses.

Q. And transferred them to the brick factory?

A. Yes.  They transferred them to the brick factory and to
various other places, in Tisch, and in the Tattersall, and
there were several places where they were concentrated, but
mainly in the brick factory.  This was before the call-up,
and thereafter there was the general call-up.  Apart from
this, they were also taken from the streets.  Sometimes
people were taken away for purposes of robbery.

Q. Approximately how many Jews were there in the brick

A. I visited it several times.  That was the place from
which the people were taken away, and they numbered several

Q. In other words, it was not always the same people?

A. They were taken away and others were brought in.

Q. Were they taken away for this march or for other

A. Both for the march and for other work requirements.

Q. And those who were taken for other work requirements -
where were they taken to?

A. I went there on a particular day - I found two hundred
doctors there, only doctors.  They took them from the brick
factory for work in the vicinity of Budapest.

Q. For this march, did they take people from the brick
factory only, or from other places also?

A. From other places as well, from the Tattersall and from
Kisok - that was a sports field.

Q. You said from the streets as well?

A. From the streets also.

Q. For the march?

A. Yes.

Q. In other words, there were Jews who were still living in
places other than from the marked houses and apart from
these points of concentration.  Not all the Jews were in
these marked houses and these places of concentration?

A. On the 20th, there was a general curfew, and on the 21st
they were let out for a few hours.

Q. Of which month?

A. The month of October.  And then they began seizing these
people off the streets.  They found people walking around
without the badge, people were required to produce

Q. I am not sure you understood my question.  My question
was whether on the eve of the march, before that operation
began, all the Jews of Budapest were concentrated in these
marked houses, or in points of concentration, such as the
brick factory and the Tattersall, or whether there was still
a substantial number of Jews who were living - let's say -
in private homes?

A. A very small number.  There were some people who were in
hiding who had not gone into the houses, but their number
was small.  Most of them were concentrated in these houses.

Q. Were the Jews who were under protection also concentrated
in special houses, or did I not understand you correctly?

A. At that stage they were in Jewish houses.  At a later
stage, they were concentrated separately.

Q. But in special houses?

A. Yes, in special houses - only for people having
protection.  They wanted to distinguish between these
persons and others.

Q. And when did this concentration take place?

A. About the end of November, they took the people from the
marked houses and transferred them...

Q. The end of November was already after the march?

A. At the same time.

Q. And approximately how many people were concentrated in
these houses of Jews under protection?

A. In buildings of the Swiss consulate - these were seventy
large buildings, and afterwards another six were added for
us - there was great congestion, and according to our
estimate there were about twenty-five to thirty thousand

Judge Halevi:  Dr. Breszlauer, until when did you remain in

Witness Breszlauer:   Until the end, until the liberation.

Q. Until when did the march continue?

A. In November, and still at the beginning of December.

Q. What brought the foot march to an end?

A. The military situation - it was no longer possible to
march to the border.

Q. What do you mean by the "military situation"?

A. The Russians were approaching...

Q. Not from the direction of Vienna, but from the East.

A. But they had already also crossed this road, where
exactly I don't know, but I do know that this was the cause
of the march being stopped in December, more or less by the
end of December.

Q. How long did the Szalasi government remain in power?

A. At the end of December or the beginning of January, the
government left and went to Vienna.

Q. And who was in charge?

A. Excuse me?

Q. Who exercised the power of government?

A. There were Seconds-in-Command and Acting Holders of
Office.  In Budapest, there was an officer who had become a
senior officer.  I don't remember his name for the moment.
He remained behind and ruled Budapest after Szalasi's

Q. Are you referring to a Hungarian?

A. Yes.

Q. Until when were the Germans there?

A. The Germans were there until the last moment.

Q. Did you have any contact with the Accused or with his

A. No, I had no contact, neither with him, nor with  his

Q. Were you in contact with Becher or with his office?

A. No, I had none. This group which operated within the
organization set up by Krausz, as far as I knew, also had no
contact with the Germans.

Q. You spoke about Wisliceny and said that at the
Hegyeshalom border he refused to accept sick people, or what
were the categories he refused?

A. Persons who were not fit for work.

Q. He refused to transfer them to the German side, but there
were no arrangements there for returning them to Budapest?

A. There were no arrangements, and they were not sent back.
But on this point I must make a correction.  The dispute
between the Hungarians and the Germans was: Who was going to
do away with these people, and where would it be done?

Q. How did you know that?

A. When I got back to Budapest, I searched in particular for
these people.  And these were a large group whom I met near
Komarom.  I wanted to know where these people had
disappeared to.  I went to the Jewish houses, I went
everywhere and failed to find a single one of these people -
I could not find even one of them who had been returned.
And I learned later also from Batizfalvy that they had been
done away with.  There were several people with whom I was
in contact, and they all told me that there had been this
argument as to who should do away with them.

Q. Who sent back those persons to whom you issued
certificates at Hegyeshalom?

A. They came to Budapest by rail.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.