The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-104-02

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-104-02
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Attorney General: Yes.  This is the municipality of Vienna,
in connection with fortification works.  And you received
orders to send the children there - to send the Jews  there?

Accused:    Yes, as part of this agreement between
Kaltenbrunner and Blaschke I received orders to leave these
partial contingents in Austria...according to the timetable
the train went only as far as Austria, and no further.

Q. You knew for what purpose the Jews were transported
there, didn't you?

A. Yes, because in fact I had to detach part of the commando
for labour duty...

Q. "Yes" will suffice.  But you said to Kasztner that this
was a chance of rescue, and you even demanded money from him
for receiving and provisioning the Jews there, didn't you?

A. I am not aware of the last point, but it may in fact be
true that I told Kasztner the plain truth and said to him,
they are going to stay in Austria and work there.  And in
fact that is what actually happened.

Q. And did you not demand that the Budapest Jews pay for
their provisioning, and did not the Budapest Jews pay for
this, for everyone who was sent, allegedly to be saved, to
Austria, to Strasshof?

A. I did not dispute this; all I said was that I do not
remember this at the moment.  If it exists in writing
somewhere and is laid down in an official document, then of
course it is true.

Q. You told us here that you have a vague memory of a
deportation train which left, but came back again.  What do
you remember about this matter?

A. I remember a train leaving and coming back; I do not know
anything further.  Anything else is pure imagination on my
part and an attempt to somehow work this out.  I had hopes
that Novak would know more about this, because a witness
stated here that Novak was at the camp.  I said that Novak
could be questioned, because my feeling is that possibly,
since Novak handled transport matters, he might have
detailed recollections of this.  But Novak said that he
never visited this camp, and now I have thought about things
further, I had said...

Q. Just a moment, before you give us your comments.  Your
assignment was to ensure that the trains left Hungary, not
that they returned, at least that they did not return with
the people loaded into them.  Correct?

A. Yes, that is correct, as part of drawing up the

Q. Now, when one train came back contrary to instructions
and contrary to plans, you must have done something.  So
what did you do, what action did you take?

A. May I outline this matter as I have worked it out for
myself and reconstructed things?  I do not actually remember

Q. No, no...

Presiding Judge: We do not wish to hear speculations.  What
we want to hear is what you remember.  The Attorney General
wants to help you recall things, and that is why he asked
when the train, loaded with people, came back, what action
did you take?  Do you or do you not remember this?

Accused:    No, I do not remember it.  I cannot say anything
at all about this on the basis of my own memory, but I would
gladly help in somehow finding some possibility - some
possibility of clarifying things here.

Presiding Judge: (To the Attorney General) Are you
interested in this, Mr. Attorney General?

Attorney General: No.  When it comes to interpreting
documents, I can also do this myself.  I am only interested
in what the Accused actually remembers.

Are you aware that witness Grell stated that your Special
Operations Units once carried out a deportation behind the
back, and without the knowledge, of Germany's official
mission in Hungary?  This is at the bottom of page 4.  He
says that he received notification of this through official

Accused:    I would not wish to query this nor to place any
emphasis on it, because the loading operations were never
ever carried out by German units, but by the Czech
gendarmerie, so that if a train departed behind the back of
the Regent, the loading and implementation must have been
carried out by the Hungarian gendarmerie, and not by the
German units in Hungary.

Q. I assume you meant Hungarian - when you referred to the
Czech gendarmerie, you meant the Hungarian gendarmerie,
didn't you?

A. Excuse me - yes, of course.

Q. Yes, but Grell says that this was done by your office,
the Eichmann Special Operations Units, naturally in
conjunction with the Hungarian gendarmerie - this is Grell's
statement at the bottom of page 4.  It reads as follows:

"I once learned in the course of my duties that the Special
Operations Units, behind the back of the legation and the
top Hungarian Government authorities, had, in conjunction
with the Hungarian gendarmerie and the Secretaries of State
at the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior, deported a camp
outside Budapest, contrary to the agreements made at the
time between the German Reich Government and the Hungarian

So perhaps you now remember something?  There is a reference
here to your Special Operations Units.

A. No, that is not correct; the facts regarding competence
do not fit this, and in addition, Grell himself, in fact,
said that in 1945 truth was not strictly observed.

Q. I should like to point out in this context that the
documents to which I have just referred were statements by
Grell from 1961.

A. Nevertheless, I can only say...I have admitted quite
different matters, both voluntarily and on questioning by
you, Mr. Attorney General, and nothing could prevent me from
admitting these matters as well, if I could remember them.
Nothing would prevent me from so doing.

Q. I can find several motives which induced you to make
these admissions.  As I have already said, I could find
several motives which induced you to dissociate yourself
especially from the Kistarcsa matter.  Do you remember
Jewish functionaries in Budapest being rounded up at the
Special Operations Units offices and detained there for a
whole day?   A. Yes, I first heard and saw this here.

Q. Do you remember this?

A. No, I do not remember it.  I need not even have been in
Budapest; I was in fact often absent, but it sounds so new
to me - this is the first time I have heard this, that
something along these lines is supposed to have taken place.

Q. Do you know why?  Because the previous time the Jews went
to Horthy, and Horthy caused the train to be returned from
the border, and so this time they were detained at the
office sufficiently long for the train to cross the
Hungarian border, and then they were sent home. And then
they immediately ran to Horthy, but by then it was already
too late.

A. And if I were to consider all of this as facts, there is
one thing I cannot understand: Where did the trucks come
from?  I did not have any trucks available to me.

Judge Halevi:  Did you not say that at that time the
Hungarian gendarmerie had a large number of trucks

Accused:    The gendarmerie always had a large number of

Q. Is that not enough for you?

A. I wanted to explain earlier,the way I see it...

Q. You are saying - let us for a moment assume that all of
this is true, that you do not know where the trucks came
from, correct?  So the answer is very simple: The Hungarian
gendarmerie made the trucks available, did it not?

A. I had originally assumed that, Your Honour, but not the
Eichmann Special Operations Units, I did not have any.

Q. The trucks were not yours, but the Attorney General asked
you whether you ordered this operation, and you said there
were no trucks.  The question, very simply, was: Did you
order this operation?

A. No, I do not know anything about that either, nothing
whatsoever.  I had hoped that Novak...

Judge Halevi:  Very well.

Attorney General: Is it true that you always got worked up
when Jews escaped deportation, or were rescued?

Accused:    That is new to me.  Then I should, for example,
have got worked up when Freudiger, for instance, left with
the entire group.

Q. Would you, however, please read out to us another two
passages from the Sassen Document, or rather from your words
to Sassen, page 594 - where there is a correction by you.
You added "Heydrich or Kaltenbrunner" - and on the previous
page, in the same connection, there is something.  Would you
please read out these two sections.  They are short ones.
First page 594 and then 593.

A. With the same qualification, if it please the Court, as I
was allowed yesterday.

Presiding Judge: Yes.

Attorney General: Would you, therefore, please read the
passage out aloud.

Accused:    Yes.

     "Nothing more is to be said about Belgium, and you also
     do not remember anything?  I would be interested to
     know what the man's name was, the Security policeman.
     There is no reference at all to this."

     "In that case there was probably no one down there.  It
     was a very meagre business in Belgium.  The only
     positive thing I can still remember is that I had to
     keep writing letters to Reder for Heydrich or
     Kaltenbrunner, who then signed them."

Q. Would you now please go back to the previous page.
Please read out the passage marked in red.

     "Of course it made me angry, if I was only sent Jews of
     this sort, because my orders were to make Belgium
     judenfrei (free of Jews).  According to the directives
     issued, therefore, Falkenhausen's and Reder's actions
     ran entirely contrary to the Reichsfuehrer's order.  I
     therefore had to take steps to counter this - so I had
     to trouble the Foreign Ministry, and therefore the
     Foreign Ministry intervened in Belgium, as it says
     here.  I would not in any way deny that this was how
     things developed."

Q. Did you say this?

A. I am not sure about the words.  The meaning is there.  In
such cases I received orders...

Q. Were you angry in such cases?

A. I said that I cannot go into the words.  I would ask for
the tape recording to be made available to me, then it will
become perfectly clear.

Q. Very well, then.

A. But I would nevertheless like to say that this was what
this meant in such cases, because I then received orders
which I had to draw up.  There are various documents of this
type in existence.

Q. And you also said further to Sassen that Hungary was the
only country where you were unable to keep pace with the
tempo of deportations.  About Holland you said, "it was
magnificent how well things rolled."  About Denmark you
said, "it was almost a scandal," and about Hungary you said,
"Hungary really offered the Jews to us like sour beer, and
Hungary was the only country where we just could not work
fast enough."  Did you say that?

A. I cannot remember the words, but the meaning...

Q. You did say that, didn't you?

A. I do not want to go into the words themselves - but the
meaning is correct, and in fact I have even said as much in
my Statement here.  Thousands of gendarmerie units were
operating, and the Reich Railways could scarcely provide the
rolling stock needed - I stated this as well...

Q. And here there are also corrections in your handwriting -
just look at this... In these comparisons of the tempo of
deportations, you say on page 310, the last line, and at the
top of 311 - just look at this - there is also a correction
in your handwriting - look at the bottom here...

A. Yes, slip 28 is missing here.

Q. Yes.  So the question was aendern (change) underneath the
word allen (all) - you drew a line and wrote "note 28," did
you not?

A. Yes, obviously, instead of the word allen, I would have
written slip 28, otherwise - if it were a short note - I
would have written this in by hand - slip 28 will...

Q. Very well; now please read out the comment below, where
there is no slip.


"I am speaking of all countries, we had the same thing in
Slovakia, we had the same thing in France, although there it
started out very hopefully.  We had the same thing in
Holland, where the transports did, however, roll at the
beginning, so that one can say that it was magnificent, and
where subsequently there was one problem after another.

Does that mean that it was magnificent how well the Dutch
official administrative apparatus co-operated?

It did not make any problems - at the beginning no problems
at all arose - but then mobilation occurred and then the
problems cropped up" - it says mobilation...

Presiding Judge: What does that mean?

Accused:    I do not know what that means... It does not
make any sense.

Presiding Judge: Never mind.


     "...then the problems cropped up and things became as
     tough as anywhere else, until finally a unit could be
     transported again.  But you can see it in all the books
     - that at the beginning ten thousand were deported at
     some speed - then there was a lull - then there was
     fighting - not with weapons - then another contingent
     went out with ten or fifteen thousand, or maybe just
     four, five, three, two thousand - then again there was
     fighting to be got through - then another part was
     prized off, and that is the way things went.  It was
     only with Hungary that it was different.  Hungary
     really offered us the Jews like sour beer, and Hungary
     was the only country where we just could not work fast
     enough.  I was constantly being put under pressure
     where I just could not round up the rolling stock for
     transports, however hard I tried, so that even the
     receiving localities had problems with accommodation.
     The Hungarian Government set such a pace!  It was in
     total contrast to Denmark, where the problems existed
     right from the very first day, something not found in
     any other country.  So, from this point of view, these
     two countries - Denmark and Hungary - were the only
     contrasting exceptions to the other European

Attorney General: Did you say that?

A. As I have said, this cannot be taken literally, because
in part it does not make sense and slip 28 is missing; but
the substantive content - that is correct.  I cannot say
anything else.

Q. The proposal for the foot march of Jews from Budapest to
Austria, this proposal came from you, did it not?

A. No, it did not come from me, it came from the Higher SS
and Police Leader and from Veesenmayer...

Q. I am telling you that the proposal originated with you,
and later you received the authorization for this from the
Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security

A. No, it was not like that...

Q. And you said to yourself, if the Allies have already
bombed the transport routes in the Reich, then the Jews will
just have to march on foot. Is that true?

A. In principle that was the basis of all considerations in
Hungary, but I was not the person who initiated the foot march.

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