Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-061-09 Last-Modified: 1999/06/07 State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 377. This, too, was shown to the Accused and was given the number T/37(156). This document was written on 21 November, and here there occurs a policy change regarding the "Fussmarsch." It says here, in a letter from Veesenmayer to Berlin, that the deportation of Jewish women on foot is no longer being permitted, in view of the shortcomings that were revealed on this march, and Hoess is not prepared to take anyone except men fit for work, up to the age of forty. It is their view that Jewish men and women who do not meet these requirements at the present time constitute - to use his words - an exceptionally heavy burden on his labour administration, so that he had even been considering the return of transports of unfit persons who were already on their way. If he abstained from doing so, it was only for political considerations. Presiding Judge: Is that the same Hoess? It says here: "Leiter Judeneinsatzes im Niederdonau Gebiet" (Official in charge of the placement of Jews in the Lower Danube Area). State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour, he had been given this appointment within the organization that dealt with these people. He was then working under Glueck. Presiding Judge: At all events, he was no longer in Auschwitz? State Attorney Bach: At that time, he was no longer in Auschwitz. In fact, at the end of October, the gas chambers really stopped operating, by order. Presiding Judge: But the camp was still in existence? State Attorney Bach: It was still in existence, and it was there, in fact, when Baer took over. Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1242. State Attorney Bach: And now, Your Honours, the following document deals with a complaint of the Swedish embassy, in the matter of Wallenberg. This is our document No. 1121. It says here in a cable to Veesenmayer from the Foreign Ministry: "The Swedish Minister called on me today and, on behalf of his government, communicated the following message to me: The head of the SS unit for the Solution of the Jewish Question in Budapest has advised, as was conveyed through a certain Mr. Eichmann to a worker of the Swedish Red Cross in Budapest, that it is his intention to put to death, by shooting, the person whom he called `the Jewish dog, Wallenberg'" (den sogenanten Judenhund Wallenberg zu erschiessen). Presiding Judge: Is this what the Swedish Minister writes? State Attorney Bach: Erdmannsdorff of the German Foreign Ministry writes this to Veesenmayer, and he informs him that the Swedish Minister had approached him with this complaint, that Eichmann had told him that he had wanted to shoot to death the person whom he spoke of as "the Jewish dog Wallenberg." There it says further: "The reference is to the counsellor to the legation, Wallenberg, who was attached to the Swedish legation in Budapest, and who dealt mainly with the granting of protective passports to Jews. The deputy to the head of the SS unit there, Droegger, expressed himself in similar terms." Later on it turns out that this was actually Dannecker. "They also advised us, according to the message, that a Jewish employee of the embassy had been shot, together with three members of his family, by unknown assailants." At the end it says: "I told the Swedish ambassador that we would investigate his information and that the expressions quoted by him could certainly not have been meant seriously, if they were uttered at all; the ambassador agreed that such a thing was possible, but he indicated the tense situation which prevailed in Budapest at the time, which was likely to give rise to serious incidents. I request an investigation and a cabled report." Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1243. State Attorney Bach: The answer was given in document No. 1122. Veesenmayer replies: "The embassy counsellor Grell advises that it was true that the commander of the unit for special operations of the SD for the Jews, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, and his deputy, SS Obersturmfuehrer Dannecker, had frequent and justifiable grounds for criticizing the members of the Jewish bureau of the Swedish legation in Budapest. This was particularly true of the Legation Counsellor, Wallenberg, who operated in an unacceptable manner for the benefit of Hungarian Jews who were mobilized for labour service on the borders. It was also determined that in doing so, they endeavoured to let them escape by totally illegal means from the obligation to work which was based on law, through issuing protective passports. It is possible that because of this feeling, the expressions which were quoted were used, not in the form of a serious threat, but in order to serve as a warning against further tactics of this sort. The Jewish employees mentioned are Hungarian nationals who possess Swedish protective passports. But a final account of the facts can only be furnished after Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, who is now away on his travels, can be questioned, and at the first available opportunity an additional report will be forwarded." Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1244. State Attorney Bach: With the Court's permission, I should now like to submit to Your Honours, as evidence, an affidavit of Vajna Gabor. He was Minister of the Interior in the Hungarian Government after the Szalasi revolution, that is to say, after October 1944. This is the man concerning whom I questioned Dr. Franz Tibor at the end [of his testimony]. He said that he had been sentenced to death after the War and was hanged. He swore to an affidavit before an Allied officer. In it, he describes a meeting with Himmler, and also with Winkelmann and with Eichmann, and also quotes remarks that were made to him by Kaltenbrunner about Eichmann's duties. He stresses here what Winkelmann's role was, but in particular he emphasizes Eichmann's exaggerated extremism. This document, in our view, is of particular importance and special relevancy. When we submitted previous statements of individuals, of German officers or of the Accused's former colleagues, we were always told by Defence Counsel that they believed he was dead and wanted to put the blame on him. All the arguments which the Court heard are well known. It is true, one might say, that when a Hungarian, such as this one, was interrogated, he would have an interest in ascribing the blame to the Germans, but it certainly would not be important for him, from his point of view, to say whether the blame should be cast on Eichmann instead of Geschke or Veesenmayer. Presiding Judge: This has nothing to do with the admissibility of the document - only with the question whether we should treat it with less or more belief in its correctness. State Attorney Bach: I merely wanted to point out that this is a document possessing substantial probative value, for that is the test which the Court must apply when deviating from the rules of evidence. Therefore, I argue that this statement has great probative value, particularly where it is made by a man occupying such a position. Incidentally, this affidavit was also submitted to the Accused and was given the number T/37(158). The number of our document is 511. In pursuance of similar decisions which have been given by the Court, I would accordingly apply for the admission of this affidavit as evidence in this trial. Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what do you have to say about it? Dr. Servatius: I am unable to see clearly where and before whom the Minister Gabor made this affidavit, and whether or not he was under arrest at the time. State Attorney Bach: In this instance, I am able to help Defence Counsel. It says here specifically, on the first page, that this declaration was made before "Purroy E. Thomsen, Major, Infantry, Investigating Officer," and thereafter it says, "Subscribed and sworn to before me at Freising, Germany, this 28th day of August, 1945." Presiding Judge: Does it emerge here whether he was under arrest or not? State Attorney Bach: This is not actually derived from the document, but it is possible. Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objection - I regard the document as irrelevant. Presiding Judge: Decision No. 64 We allow the submission of Vajnor Gabor's affidavit - for the reasons given in our Decision No. 7. This will be marked T/1245. State Attorney Bach: He first describes a visit to Reichsfuehrer Himmler. He went to him at the order of Szalasi in order to discuss the deportation of Jews from Hungary, and Himmler declared that the persons authorized to act on his behalf were Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmann, and more especially Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann. In paragraph three he says: "In the course of an interview with Berger in Berlin, Berger, in my presence, confirmed Himmler's requests and charged Kaltenbrunner with the task of dealing further with the details. Kaltenbrunner promised that a registration office would be set up immediately, and the Jews would be dispatched, as far as possible, by train. Kaltenbrunner insisted on their immediate extradition, with the utmost urgency, and said that the duty had been entrusted to Winkelmann, and particularly to Eichmann, to carry out this undertaking. He said that Eichmann was his personal representative who, in every matter, could count on his support (Kaltenbrunner's). Eichmann came to me at the Interior Ministry on a few occasions, accompanied by Winkelmann. Not only did he appear energetic - for most of the time he was quite arrogant, since behind him, as he himself used to say, he had the German might, and especially Kaltenbrunner. In Budapest, Eichmann also wanted to deport children, women and elderly men, a step to which I repeatedly expressed my opposition. Ultimately he declared: If so, the Germans will take it upon themselves to deport Jews." I also wish to submit a statement of the Regent Horthy. Presiding Judge: Do you have more than one of the same kind of document? Then we could take them all together, instead of giving a decision separately in each case. That is to say, at this stage, I see here one statement coming after another. State Attorney Bach: I still have this one, and after that two more passages from testimonies given at Nuremberg, but possibly I would have to give special reasons for them, in order to explain their relevance. But of this category of statements, this is, in fact, for the time being, the last statement, that of the Regent Horthy. This was also presented at the Nuremberg Trials, in the case against Weizsaecker. In fact, this statement is important only on two points. There is a description here of that meeting at Kressheim, which we have already heard about, before 19 March, on what, in fact, contributed to the taking over of power by the Germans. He recalls there the order which he gave on the matter of Kistarcsa, the sending back of the train that had already travelled to the border, so that from the Hungarian point of view, it completes the picture. He describes the role of the men of the Gestapo in the dispatch and deportation of the Jews from Hungary. Presiding Judge: Where did he make this statement? State Attorney Bach: It was actually his evidence, his interrogation. Presiding Judge: Was he not under arrest? State Attorney Bach: To the best of my knowledge - no. Presiding Judge: Is he no longer alive? State Attorney Bach: He is no longer alive. He died thereafter - I think it was a few years, two or three years ago. Judge Halevi: He died in Portugal, or somewhere like that. State Attorney Bach: I believe he died in Portugal. Judge Halevi: Was he brought to trial? State Attorney Bach: As far as I am aware, he was never arrested or brought to trial. Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any comments? Dr. Servatius: I do not have the document in front of me. I have no formal objection. I only know that Horthy himself was held under a most dignified arrest. He said, there, at Nuremberg: "I was invited, and I was kept in a villa" - but, in fact, he was under arrest. Presiding Judge: Decision No. 65 We allow the submission of Horthy's affidavit. This will be marked T/1246. Judge Halevi: Was this evidence in the trial of Veesenmayer or in some other case? State Attorney Bach: This was in Trial No. 11, the case of Weizsaecker, against members of the German Foreign Ministry, including Veesenmayer. On pages 2702 and 2703, there is an account of the meeting at Kressheim. How they actually kept him interned, how they treated him as if he were a prisoner; though they said that the train had left for technical reasons, they gave him to understand that he was under arrest. Meanwhile, the German army entered Hungary. The Kistarcsa affair appears on page 2713, on the lower half of the page. "About twenty-five kilometres from Budapest, there is a camp called Kistarcsa, and I heard that a particular transport had left there by train. I then gave orders to establish contact with the train and to halt it. The train was stopped at Hatvan and brought back to Kistarcsa." Above, on the same page, he also describes the episode which appears in Kasztner's report, that attempt which was made at an earlier date to bring the gendarmerie in their masses to organize a coup d'etat. This was still prior to Szalasi's coup d'etat. Presiding Judge: Here, there is mention of a General Baky. That is not the same Baky whom we know. Was he, in fact, a general or an official of the Interior Ministry? State Attorney Bach: I don't know whether he is the same Baky. It is difficult to imagine that it is the same man. At any rate, he called in the army, and with the army's help, he managed to prevent the coup d'etat. This was actually the first time the Jews of Budapest were saved. The second time was later, in August. There is a document which I can submit, which appertains to a previous episode, and which I forgot to submit then. This is our document No. 973. It also relates to the "Fussmarsch." This is a cable from Veesenmayer, dated 13 November 1944, where he reports to the Foreign Ministry. According to information supplied by Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, twenty-seven thousand Jews of both sexes had been deported to Reich territory. He believes it is possible to deport another forty thousand Jews who are fit for work. He thinks that after that there will remain in Budapest approximately one hundred and twenty thousand Jews, whose fate has not yet been finally decreed. And this matter depends, possibly, on the means of transportation that will be available to the Germans. Dr. Servatius: I would ask Your Honours kindly to note one other point in the previous document, on page 2713 in the last line. There it says - and I am reading from the English version which I have before me - "If I can remember correctly, the Minister and Plenipotentiary, together with SS General Winkelmann, came to see me, and they told me that they had made an arrangement with the government, according to which the deportation of the Hungarian Jews was exclusively in their hands." Presiding Judge: I have marked the Prosecution document No. 973 - T/1247. I wish to announce that the morning Session tomorrow, Friday, will begin at 7.30 and will conclude at 12.30, in accordance with our previous practice on Fridays. The next Session will be this afternoon at 15.30.
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