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Last-Modified: 1999/06/09

Attorney General: No.  I was informed by Mr. Shimron, who
represented me at these interrogations abroad, that such a
decision is in the file, that is to say, that he should be
shown the questions.

In any case, the Accused was represented at the examination,
so that, if the matter came to the attention of his
representative, he should have had the proceedings set
aside, he should have objected to the examination.  This is
not something new.  If Mr. Dieter Wechtenbruch, who without
doubt saw what had happened and knew about it, thought that
this was so vital that the examination should not be
continued and that it vitiated the entire hearing before the
Bremen judge, the place to submit this argument was there,
before the examination started.  But it is impossible to
come along today, because there may be aspects which do or
do not suit Counsel for the Defence, to come along and say
"the whole procedure is invalid from the outset."

Presiding Judge: Would you like to comment, Dr. Servatius?

Dr. Servatius:  I do not know when it became known that
these questions were forwarded in advance, so I must assume
that this came out during the examination and was then noted
at the end of the record, at the request of my assistant.
Something invalid cannot become valid merely because of lack
of protest.  The fact is that this is a flagrant breach of
procedure; nowhere in the entire world would it be accepted
that a cross-examination can be held under such
circumstances, where a district judge forwards the questions
to the person to be examined three days in advance.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 88

We do not consider that the disclosure of the contents of
the questionnaire to the witness Becher several days before
he gave his testimony in the German court invalidates this
testimony in principle, but we shall naturally bear this
fact in mind in assessing the testimony.

I mark this statement VI.  Dr. Servatius, do you wish to
quote any passages from this testimony?

Dr. Servatius:  Yes, Sir.  First of all, page 40:

     "Question: What do you know about the foot march which
     took place in November 1944 of part of the Jewish
     population of Budapest?
     "Answer: From my own knowledge I am unable to say who
     gave the orders for the foot marches of part of the
     Jewish population of Budapest to the Austrian border in
     the autumn of 1944."

It continues - I shall omit one sentence.  The last sentence

     "On my journeys between Vienna and Budapest, I saw
     these foot marches myself.  They were accompanied by
     men in Hungarian uniforms."

Page 5, on Veesenmayer's position: "I am unable to say
anything as to what powers Ambassador Veesenmayer had as
Reich Plenipotentiary in Hungary.  It was my impression that
Veesenmayer was the official interlocutor between Germany
and the Hungarian Government" up to the sentence that the
German offices implemented things directly.

On page 6, in reply to the question as to whether Eichmann
in Budapest was able to issue instructions or orders to
Veesenmayer, Winkelmann and Geschke:

     "I am not familiar with the complicated organizational
     aspects and structure of authority in detail.  However,
     I cannot imagine that Eichmann's office was able to
     issue instructions or orders to Ambassador Veesenmayer,
     or the Chief of the Security Police and the Security
     Service.  As to whether Eichmann nevertheless issued
     instructions and orders, I cannot say anything."

Also on page 6, in reply to the question as to whether
Eichmann initiated the Brand operation and sent Brand to

     "I am unable to say whether it was Eichmann who planned
     to send a Jewish negotiator to Constantinople, or
     whether he decided that this should be Joel Brand.
     When - at the very insistent urging of Jewish circles,
     particularly Dr. Wilhelm Billitz - I decided to make
     representations to Himmler in order to help the Jews, I
     took advantage of the `ten thousand trucks in return
     for freeing Jews' project to ask for an appointment
     with Himmler.  Today, I am unable to say whether - and
     if so, to what extent - I discussed with Himmler the
     details of sending a negotiator.  Himmler ordered
     Eichmann, through Winkelmann, to keep me informed of
     the negotiations.  That is why I was present when
     Eichmann dispatched Brand to Constantinople.  That was
     the first time I met Brand, and as far as I remember, I
     had no further meetings with him in Hungary."

I continue on the same page - the eighth question: "Did the
Accused try not to obstruct the implementation of the
operations referred to, but rather to facilitate things, by
proposing to his superior a lesser consideration in return
than that demanded by Himmler?"  I shall quote the reply:

     "I do not know anything about Eichmann proposing to his
     superior a lesser consideration than that demanded by
     Reichsfuehrer Himmler.  Nor do I remember whether
     immediately on the arrival of the agreement, ten per
     cent of the Jews were already to be released for
     emigration, in accordance with a promise given by
     Eichmann to Brand."

Page 9, fourteenth question:

     "Did you endeavour to have the management of the Weiss-
     Manfred Works in Hungary transferred to yourself?"


     "I did not endeavour to obtain my appointment to manage
     the Weiss-Manfred Works.  As I remember it today, I
     never wished to remain in the management of the concern
     after the War either."

On page 10, sixteenth question:

     "Did you confiscate factories and other enterprises?"


     "I cannot remember having confiscated factories or
     other enterprises.  I consider it to be out of the
     question.  I also consider it impossible that my staff
     would have carried out such confiscations."

Dr. Servatius:  In this connection, I shall submit an
affidavit showing that the confiscations were all made in
the name of the witness, and that the notices put up in the
factory were signed by Obersturmbannfuehrer Becher.

Page 13, twenty-second question:

     "After the War, did you act as interpreter during the
     interrogation of fellow detainees in internment or
     prison camps or prisons?

Answer: "No."

Twenty-third question:

     "During the time you were imprisoned, did you speak
     about persecution of the Jews and the responsibility
     for such persecution with your fellow detainees,
     Veesenmayer, Winkelmann, Geschke, Juettner and others?"

     "As far as I remember, during the years in which I was
     interned I spoke with many people also about this
     problem, including General Winkelmann when we were both
     imprisoned in Budapest (1945-1946), and later General
     Juettner in the witnesses' wing of the Palace of
     Justice in Nuremberg.  I do not remember any
     conversations with Veesenmayer, with whom I was also
     imprisoned in Budapest, and later in Nuremberg.  As far
     as I remember, I did not come across Geschke in

The twenty-fourth question asks whether there was any
subsequent contact with the above-mentioned persons; he says
no, not in person, but there was correspondence; at the
bottom of the page it says:

     "I corresponded with Winkelmann and Juettner with
     regard to matters other than the Jewish problems.  My
     correspondence with Winkelmann ceased in 1948, and that
     with Juettner in 1952."
Twenty-fifth question:

     "During your imprisonment did you talk to Dr. Kasztner
     about Jewish matters?"

     "Dr. Kasztner told me that he was in Nuremberg in order
     to give evidence as a witness in the Wilhelmstrasse
     trial, and on this occasion I had a meeting with him -
     as far as I remember this was in August 1947.  If I am
     not mistaken, I had another talk with Dr. Kasztner
     around April 1948, when I was still in what was known
     as the open witnesses' wing in Nuremberg.  During this
     meeting we naturally talked about our joint rescue
     efforts.  I was taken from the prison for an
     interrogation and met Dr. Kasztner at that time.  Of
     course, I endeavoured to get in touch with Dr. Kasztner
Question twenty-six - whether Dr. Kasztner came to see
Becher after his release from prison.  He replies that he
neither saw nor spoke to Dr. Kasztner, but he did exchange a
few letters sporadically with Dr. Kasztner.

The next question is whether Joel Brand came to see him, the

Answer: "Mr. Joel Brand wrote to me on 16 May 1955 and asked
to come and see me.  As far as I remember, he came to Bremen
in June 1955, together with the writer Weissberg-Cybulski."
A book was to be written.

On the next page, in the top half: "...I did talk to the two
of them about some of the events of that period, but I
indicated that I was not inclined to co-operate with them on
this book."  It also says that Brand wanted to obtain an
affidavit - probably for purposes of reparations - which he
could not give, and Brand was very disappointed.

Then at the bottom of the page, twenty-eighth question,
about Mr. Andreas Biss: "After the War, were you in touch
with Mr. Andreas Biss?"

Answer: "Yes.  I do not remember when Mr. Biss first wrote
to me.  I did speak to Mr. Biss several times, and also had
a conversation with him - he was Dr. Kasztner's
representative on the Budapest Rescue Committee - about our
joint work."  At the top of the next page it says: "I think
that my last personal meeting with Mr. Biss was at the end
of 1960, or the beginning of 1961."

At the bottom of page 16:

     "I have been shown Dr. Kasztner's sworn evidence of 13
     September 1945 before the International Military
     Tribunal (IMG Volume XXXI, No. 47, in the Israeli
     Prosecution documents), insofar as the evidence refers
     to me.  If differences as to motives are seen in Dr.
     Kasztner's testimony, I am unable to provide any
     explanation of that."

Presiding Judge: You have just now read out something from
Becher's testimony in which he refers to sworn evidence by
Dr. Kasztner.  He mentions that, and says that there were
differences as to motives in that.  This is not clear
without looking at this sworn evidence.  If you wish to
learn anything from that, we shall have to look at this
evidence of Kasztner's.

Dr. Servatius:  Yes, indeed, it should have been submitted;
apparently it was submitted during interrogation.

Presiding Judge: I do not, however, see that we have
received a copy of it together with this record of the
interrogation.  You will have to see to that.

Dr. Servatius:  I shall provide this copy.  The same
question will arise again in connection with another
passage, on page 20.

Forty-first question: "Do you still maintain as accurate
your statements made in 1947 and 1948 as they have been
joined together in Prosecution document No. 774?"

"Having looked yesterday evening at the records of
Interrogation No. 929 of 7 July 1947 and 929 B of 10 July
1947 (though only slightly, because of the short time
available to me), I can declare that the statements made in
them correspond to the truth.  Having looked at these
records, I remember especially that my description of the
conversation with Eichmann before Himmler is accurate."

Then there is the passage of interest to me:

     "Due to lack of time, I only glanced also at the other
     records submitted to me yesterday: one without a
     number, dated 28 July 1947; No. 1858 of 29 August 1947;
     No. 2294 of 1 November 1947; No. 2710a of 2 March 1948;
     and No. 2710c of 22 June 1948.  I have only a vague
     recollection of these interrogations.  As can be seen
     in these records, in part I expressed myself on matters
     which I knew by hearsay only, and about which I heard
     only during my internment."

Presiding Judge: These records have apparently all been
submitted.  We have a thick file, I gather it is T/689.
Apparently it contains everything shown here to Becher.  But
obviously we can still check this properly.

Attorney General: If I might make a comment - there are two
files, one is T/689 and the other T/690.
Presiding Judge: Thank you.

Judge Raveh:   But the documents referred to here are in

Attorney General: Yes. Our number is 774.

Presiding Judge: If anything is missing, you can submit it

Dr. Servatius:  Thank you very much.  I shall submit any
further documents, if it should be necessary.

Dr. Servatius:  On page 22, question forty-three: "Why did
you complain to Himmler about Eichmann, and how did Eichmann
sabotage your activities?"

Answer: "It was not always clearly evident how Eichmann
counteracted my measures."

I omit the next sentence.  Then: "I am, however, unable to
remember details any longer."

The last paragraph of the reply on page 22, before question

     "As far as co-operation in practice between
     Kaltenbrunner and Eichmann, and Gruppenfuehrer Mueller
     and Eichmann, is concerned, as I remember things today,
     my impression is that in many instances Eichmann worked
     directly with Kaltenbrunner, but that in the main the
     co-operation was between Eichmann and Mueller.  I am
     not able to give any examples of Eichmann and
     Kaltenbrunner working together directly in some cases."

On page 26, on question 49:  "When did you suggest to
Himmler that a stop be put to deporting Jews?"

     "I am no longer able to say when I first suggested to
     Himmler to put a stop to deporting Jews.  I should
     imagine that I put this proposal insistently around
     June 1944."

On page 31, the last question: "Do you know whether the
Accused contravened Himmler's orders to cease deportations?"
Answer: "Today I do not remember whether I knew then of such

That concludes my comments.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Hausner, please.

Attorney General: I have marked various passages.  Counsel
for the Defence has already drawn the Court's attention to
some of these, and I would therefore ask the Court to skip
those, since there is no point in repeating them.

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