The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-104-03

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-104-03
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Q. I am not saying that you gave the orders for the foot
march.  I am saying that the order came from the Security
Police, but that you were the person who thought it up; the
suggestion came from you.  Is that correct?

A. No, that is hardly possible, because when the foot march
took place, I was in Berlin.

Q. "No" will do.  Look at page 62 of your statement to
Sassen, a passage where there are all sorts of corrections
in your handwriting.  Just look at this.  Is it true that
there are many corrections there in your handwriting?

A. Yes, there are corrections in my handwriting.

Q. So would you now please read this out.


     "When during my deportation - i.e., the transports
     carrried out by me - of the Jews from Hungary
     transferred to me by the Hungarian executive, it should
     read, the Allied air force bombed the Gyoer Railway
     Station to pieces, one of the railway junctions in
     addition to the many, many other stations on the
     Budapest-Vienna line which they bombed to smithereens,
     so that for weeks it was impossible to run any
     transports whatsoever over this route, at that point,
     in order, so to speak, to show my iron fist to the
     Allies and also to tell them at the same time, it is
     not going to change anything even if you destroy the
     lines of communication to the Reich and bomb them to
     pieces, we will still march, I have ten thousand Jews
     from some eastern provinces or other..."
Now there is a correction, which I cannot read...

Attorney General A correction in your handwriting, correct?
"And perhaps also Budapest, on the urging of Secretary of
State Endre."

A. "On the urging of Secretary of State Endre."

Q. "In accordance with my proposal" - in your handwriting?

A. I do not know.  In any case, it says here

" accordance with my proposal, and since I was no
longer able to run a transport by rail from there, I had
them march from Budapest to the Lower Austrian border in a
foot march.  I had the order from the Chief of the Security
Police and the Security Service to this effect.  It is true
that I could never have issued such an order myself.  I did
propose this."

Q. You did propose this, correct?

A. I admit that much, yes.

Q. Yes, you admit that much.  Carry on.

Presiding Judge: I wish there to be an indication in the
record at this point that this "yes" can also refer to the
accuracy of the text he is reading.  In parentheses.


     "I must admit as much, because otherwise all of the
     stations would have been smashed to pieces, and I was
     responsible to the Reichsfuehrer for ensuring that, as
     far as it was not a question of Jewish con...that as
     far as Jewish contingents were concerned, Hungary
     should not become an area for red partisans, because
     clearly the Reichsfuehrer had learned a lesson from the
     dreadful events in Warsaw, and had recognized the
     formidable nature of the foe who was resolved to stop
     at nothing."

Attorney General: Did you say something like that?  Did you
say that?

Accused No, things got mixed up here, as follows: I wound up
my Operations Units, I withdrew to Berlin, and then from
Berlin I received orders from the Chief of the Security
Police and the Security Service, on the insistence of Higher
SS and Police Leader Winkelmann, to return to Budapest
again.  There I visited the Hungarian Government, and there
I proposed the foot march.

Presiding Judge: Proposed?

Accused:    Yes, that is to say, held negotiations on the
foot march, and in fact my assignment was to establish food
depots along the Budapest-Austrian border route and...
marching rations.

Attorney General: All right, that will suffice.

Presiding Judge: The question we are dealing with is whether
you proposed the foot march?

Judge Halevi:  Could I possibly see the handwritten text?

Attorney General: I would suggest to the Court that this be
done after I have finished with all the passages, in order
for the Court to be able to form an impression from the
corrections which he has made to the various parts.  It will
be important to judge in accordance with the corrections
made and according to the conspicuous effort which appears
from the manuscript itself that the handwritten corrections
were not haphazard, and that these passages, which the
Accused admits as having come from him, underwent treatment
and correction on his part.

Presiding Judge: We shall come to that later. For the moment
we have a more limited question - to decipher what is
written.  So let us limit ourselves to that.

Attorney General: Perhaps in the mat copy, which is not
shiny, it will be easier for the Accused to make out his own
handwriting.  It says there: "In accordance with my
proposal," does it not?

Accused:    I can make out the rest: "And perhaps also on
the insistence of Secretary of State Endre in accordance
with my proposal," it says.

Presiding Judge: Those are the words which you could not
make out before, are they not?

Accused:    It is only the first three words I was unable to
make out, I did make out the rest.

Attorney General: And after you carried out the foot

Presiding Judge: Just a moment, he has not yet replied to
the last question.

Now I understand from what you have said that you are the
person who made the proposal for the foot march.

Accused:    That is not correct, Your Honour.

Presiding Judge: What is correct?

Accused:    I had to make proposals with regard to
implementation, i.e., setting up food depots, rest areas, I
mean the technical aspects, advising on the technical
aspects of the foot march.  Those were my orders, and I was
sent with these orders from Berlin to Budapest, after the
Higher SS and Police Leader had proposed the foot march to
the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service.
This is also confirmed by the documents.

Attorney General: So I gather that the matter of the
technical implementation of the foot march, that at least
was in your hands.  You admit this, don't you?

Accused:    This was supposed to be in my hands, but this
did not come about, because the German agencies were not
allowed to set up these depots.  German agencies were not
allowed to accompany these transports, German agencies were
not allowed to choose who was to go on the march, but the
Hungarian authorities...

Q. That will do, please just say "yes" or "no."  Was the
technical implementation in your hands or not?

A. No, that did not come about.

Presiding Judge: So far I have permitted far too much
unrest; from now on there will be silence!
Attorney General: So would you tell us why you said to
Krumey, when he told you about the foot march: "You have not
seen anything and you do not know anything"?

Accused:    Because the whole foot march had nothing to do
with us, it had been taken out of our hands and was run by
the Hungarians themselves from A to Z - that is to say, up
to the Austrian border, without any German agency.

Q. And from the Austrian border?  And after that?

A. From the Austrian, at the Austrian border, it was taken
over by the Special Operations Units, by the Senior
Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in
Hungary, Special Operations Units, Vienna Field Office.

Q. Your unit, correct?

A. That was neither my unit at that time, nor the unit of

Q. A unit of which you were the commander?  Right?  A unit
which was under your control?

A. No, not any longer.  I had in fact wound up the commando
in Budapest, this was a residual unit, the balance which was
subordinate to the...the Inspector of the Security Police
and the Security Service in Vienna.

Q. All right.  And I am telling you that not only did you
carry out the foot march, that you also received
congratulations about this from Endre, from Veesenmayer and
from Winkelmann, and that you even had a drink of brandy of
mares' milk to celebrate it.  Right?

A. If I had had anything to do with this, the four-delegate
commission would have...

Q. I am asking you whether this is true or not.

A. No, this matter has been connected with all the Hungarian
business, and in terms of origin and facts has nothing to do
with that.

Q. Would you then please open the booklet at page 98 - there
are corrections in your handwriting there, are there not?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you then please read out the section I have marked.

A. Nothing is marked here.

Q. Very well.  Please read what I am giving you now; it is
marked on there.  Start with the words, "On 23 November..."
Before that there is a question to you.  Please read this.


     "On 23 November, in other words, several days later,
     you are said to have expressed your rage, your fury
     about certain gentlemen who were unable to judge
     whether people who had been seven or eight days on the
     road should be considered to be able-bodied or not,
     because in fact various contingents which had somehow
     been able to get through to you remember
     something along these lines, because that could
     indicate that at that time you had somehow heard of
     some supervisory mandate for Juettner and Hoess?"

Attorney General: And then comes the reply.


     "What I can tell you about this is that I know very
     precisely that at that time there was crossfire from
     left, right and centre.  I know this, but I forget
     today from whom ...neither does, I don't know,
     it is is also possible...I do not
     remember, there was crossfire from many offices, from
     so many offices, that I just do not remember.  You
     might just as well include Juettner, too.  It really
     does not matter any more, there were so many offices.
     For weeks I had to deal with that, I had to deal with
     it for weeks on end.  There was just one thing: The
     Reichsfuehrer never called me to task.  He never made
     any reproaches to me, nor did the Chief of the Security
     Police - I have already told you - nor did my immediate
     superior, Gruppenfuehrer Mueller.  The people with whom
     I had to deal in Hungary, i.e., Police Leader
     Winkelmann, did not either; he even congratulated me on
     this elegant execution.  Reich Plenipotentiary
     Veesenmayer congratulated me on the elegant execution,
     and Dr. Enderle... "
Attorney General: Yes, it says Enderle, but it should be


     "...congratulated me on the elegant execution.  with
     Endre, I must say, I celebrated it with a drink, and it
     was brandy made of horses' milk, mares' milk, that was
     the first time I had drunk it, and that is why I
     remember it - that is why I can still remember very

Attorney General: "...great pleasure on the part of the
prominent representatives of the Hungarian Government...


     "...about this matter, which on this day - I do not
     remember whether it was the first time, in any case on
     this day I drank a brandy made of mares' milk and I
     still remember the business."

Q. Did you say that?

A. If I am now made to read out these things, I would ask to
be given the opportunity to comment at length on them
without saying just "yes" or "no," on the matters connected
with the foot march, because otherwise it all gets confused,
because otherwise the confusion will never be cleared up.

Q. No, no, no.  I am interested in knowing whether or not
you said to Sassen what you have just read out.

A. I do not know.  I gather from this that it was something
that came about in an expansive mood inspired by wine and an
alcoholic atmosphere, and it is truth mixed up with fiction,
and this is what I would now like to explain properly here.
After being compelled to read this, I also have the right, I
believe, to ask to be allowed to describe this matter as it
happened.  I cannot be made responsible for the whole foot
march, as the documents also prove, but I will willingly
admit what my part in this was, because I had to do this.

Presiding Judge: You will be given the appropriate
opportunity later to explain and comment, just as in the
past you have been given many opportunities to explain.  But
would you now please reply to the questions you are being

Attorney General: [To the interpreter] I think there is a
minor error in the translation here...

Presiding Judge: We can always fall back on the text in
German which is being taped as it comes verbatim from the

Attorney General: Now please tell me - did Veesenmayer,
Endre, Winkelmann congratulate you on executing the foot
march "so elegantly" - "yes" or "no"?

Accused:    As far as I remember, the first thousand...

Q.  I am asking you a simple question - be so good as to
reply!  Did the gentlemen here named congratulate you on the
"elegant execution"?

A. No, that is not true - that is a literary embellishment
of this entire matter...

Q. All right, all right.  Did you drink mares' milk brandy
with Endre in celebration of this "elegant execution," or is
that also a literary embellishment?

A. I did drink that with Endre, but a few months earlier, at
a party he held, where Winkelmann was also present - on his
estate in Hungary.  That was two or three months earlier.

Q. And your superiors did not tell you that they were
extremely satisfied with the execution of the foot march?

A. They could not have said this, because my superiors...

Q. "Yes" or "no"?  Be brief!

A. No, they could not...

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