The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-053-03

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-053-03
Last-Modified: 1999/06/04

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Margit Reich.

Presiding Judge: Please reply to Mr. Bach.

State Attorney Bach:  In 1944 were you in Budapest with your

Witness Reich:  Yes, we lived in Budapest.

Q. When was your husband arrested?

A. On 29 June 1944.

Q. How much later did you learn that he had been transferred
to the camp in Kistarcsa?

A. I learned about it after we went to the Council.

Q. Did you receive a letter from your husband, from

A. I did not receive one from Kistarcsa, only when they
seized him and took him away - I received one postcard and
one letter from him.

Q. After a certain time a postcard reached you which had the
appearance of having been thrown out of a train?

A. It was thrown out. Yes.

Q. Where is the original postcard?

A. The original of that postcard is in Budapest with my
children. But if it should be necessary, I can bring it

Q. I show you a particular photograph. Perhaps you are able
to say whether this is a photostat of that postcard?

A. Of course. Yes, this is my husband's handwriting.

Q. Can you tell the Court what is written on this postcard?

Presiding Judge: Perhaps the interpreter will read the

State Attorney Bach:  I have no objection. Actually I have a
translation. I can also read the translation. On the first
side, it said: "May the hand sending this postcard be
blessed." And after that, it then says on the other side:
"My Dear. This is Wednesday afternoon. They have packed us
together - we are leaving. May God be with you, my dear
family, God be with you. I embrace you - many kisses. Your
father." And after that it says there, in a different
handwriting: "Thrown out at the Karacsond station, it got
wet but is nevertheless forwarded." This is written in a
different handwriting on the second side - all of it in

Presiding Judge: [To interprerer] Do you confirm this?

Interpreter: [After perusing the photostat of the postcard]

State Attorney Bach:  I apply to submit this document.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1148.

State Attorney Bach:  Did you subsequently receive some
further sign of life from your husband?

Witness Reich:  In addition to this postcard I received one
further letter.

Q. On what sort of paper was this letter written?

A. On toilet paper.

Presiding Judge: Do you still have it in your possession?

Witness Reich:  Yes. I can produce the letter.

State Attorney Bach:  [Shows the witness a copy of a letter]
Do you also recognize the handwriting here?

Witness Reich:  Yes. I can also read it. I remember that the
letter was torn in the way that it is torn here.

Q. And how did this letter reach you?

A. In the mail. And on it was written: "Blessed be the hand
which will post this letter."

State Attorney Bach:  With the Court's permission, I shall
read the translation here.

Presiding Judge: Yes. If she [the witness] wants to, she can
read it herself, but I would like to spare her this
emotional experience.

Witness Reich Yes. I understand.

State Attorney Bach:  "My dear wife and children. One
postcard I have already thrown out of the train. I shall
endeavour to write another letter. There is no doubt that we
are setting out upon a very long journey. May God help us so
that we may meet in joy, for one miracle already happened on
the Sabbath. Maybe God will help us again. We were not able
to take everything with us. What we have in the railway
waggon is a rucksack. The important people are in one
waggon, waggon No 60. The destination - Germany. At any rate
this is what we know. But, possibly, the German soldiers
accompanying us will get off at Kassa. The attitude towards
us is tolerable. We are lucky that it is not very hot. If
only I knew that no harm would befall you! I shall somehow
bear my fate whatever it may be. I do not want to make you
sad, but I would want very much to live yet in your midst.
May God grant us that we may be allowed to achieve that. My
dear children, look after your mother. And you, my dear
wife, protect our property. If, with God's help, I should
return - I will thank Him for that. If I have an opportunity
- I will write. Until then I embrace you from the bottom of
my heart, with love, your father. From the freight-car,
Thursday, 10.30 approximately."

I would request to submit this document.

Presiding Judge: [To interpreter] Can you confirm that?

Interpreter: Yes, that is the translation.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1149.

What you have previously submitted to us here, contains two

State Attorney Bach:  Yes - there is even a third letter
which I have not read out, the first letter which is not
particularly important.

Perhaps, for the sake of completeness the witness can also
identify the first letter which we did not read out.

You said that at the beginning  you received a letter from
your husband, after he had reached Kistarcsa. Perhaps you
are able to identify this letter as well?

Witness Reich:  Yes. This is the letter.

Presiding Judge: Is this letter also still in your

Witness Reich:  All the letters of which photostat copies
have been made, are still in my possession.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1150.

State Attorney Bach:  Mrs. Reich, after you received the
last two letters, the postcard and this letter on the kind
of paper you described, did you hear anything more from your

Witness Reich:  I then approached the Jewish Council, and
Dr. Reiner told me what had happened - that they had
succeeded once in having the transport sent back, and
afterwards it had been deported again.

Q. Did you ever hear anything from your husband after that?

A. Only after the liberation did I receive information that
he was no longer alive. This information I have from
evidence in my possession.

Q. Do you know where your husband was taken to?

A. Yes, I know but it escapes me for the moment...I shall
tell you seems to me that it was Kaufering.

Q. Did you ever see your husband again, after the War?

A. No.

Q. How old was your husband?

A. 51 years old.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any questions to
the witness?

Dr. Servatius:  No, I have no questions.

Presiding Judge: Where do you live today, Mrs. Reich?

Witness Reich:  In Givatayim.

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much.

State Attorney Bach:  The next witness, Your Honours, is
Martin Foeldi.

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Foeldi:  Yes.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Dr. Martin Foeldi.

Presiding Judge: Please reply to Mr. Bach's questions. State
Attorney Bach:  Dr. Foeldi, you are a lawyer by profession?

Witness Foeldi:  Yes.

Q. You practised as a lawyer in Hungary as well?

A. For several months, after the Hungarians entered at the
end of 1938. I was in Uzhgorod and I was a lawyer there, in
Czechoslovakia. Uzhgorod was then part of Czechoslovakia.

Presiding Judge: In what part of Czechoslovakia was this?

Witness Foeldi:  In Carpatho-Russia. From November 1938
until April 1939 I practised as a lawyer under the

State Attorney Bach:  On 19 March 1944 were you still in

Witness Foeldi:  Yes.

Q. Can you tell the Court what was the first thing that
happened after the Germans entered Hungary, as far as you
experienced it in Uzhgorod?

Presiding Judge: First of all, all the same, let us have
some history. When was this region, Carpatho-Russia,
transferred to Hungary?

Witness Foeldi:  In November 1938 - this was the arbitration
award that was made in Vienna, and afterwards, a few days
later, the Hungarian army entered.

State Attorney Bach:  What occurred after the entry of the
Germans into Hungary?

Presiding Judge: Was this arbitration award in Vienna in

Witness Foeldi:  Yes. I was then, actually in the Czech
army, when the arbitration took place, and had been
discharged from the army.

State Attorney Bach:  What happened in your town after the
German occupation?

Witness Foeldi:  The leaders of the community were assembled
by the Germans, and a Council of Elders was established
under the leadership of Dr. Lazlo, who had served up to that
point as head of the Community Council. A number of other
people were also added to this Council.

Q. What happened at the end of March of that year to  the
local Jews?

A. I remember, for example, an incident where the Council
received an order to deliver a bed to the Gestapo. The next
day there was a complaint by the Gestapo that the bed was
not clean, and within 24 hours the Jews of Uzhgorod had to
pay one and a half million pengoe, which at that time was
worth 7 million Czech crowns.

Q. When you say "Gestapo" what are you referring to,
exactly: Was there an office of the Gestapo there?

A. I was not active in the community there - these matters I
came to know only by hearsay. Afterwards, we, members of the
large families, received an order from the Council to pay
per family; for example, our family paid 100,000 pengoe.

Q. I asked you whether there was an office of the Gestapo -
were you referring to the German Gestapo?

A. To the German Gestapo.

Q. Did they have an office, a bureau or a headquarters? What
did they have in that town?

A. There was an office there which was in constant touch
with the Community, that is to say with the Council.

Q. When did the process of arrests and the locking-up of the
Jews in the ghetto commence?

A. Approximately at the beginning of April.

Q. Can you perhaps inform the Court, in your own words, what
happened, where the ghetto was and what were the conditions

A. The ghetto was in a brick factory some way out of town,
some 2-3 kilometres away. They began in a certain district
of Uzhgorod - they started detaining people. We even saw
through the window how these people walked along the road to
the brick factory. This is what they did, district by
district, and then the people were put into that place. The
turn of our district came and we, too, were subsequently
sent there.

Q. How many Jews were in the ghetto at that time?

A. A total of fourteen thousand. This I know because I was a
member there of the Ghetto Committee set up at the request
of the Council.

Q. In your estimation, what was the number of people for
whom there was adequate space?

A. It would have sufficed for a maximum of 2,000 persons -
even that with difficulty. But 2,000 people could have
managed there.

Q. How long did you remain in this ghetto?

A. We were there for about one month.

Q. Can you tell the Court something of the housing and
sanitary conditions?

A. It was beneath anything which could have been regarded as
reasonable, for the place was very small and there were no
suitable homes to accommodate the people. There was simply a
roof without walls.

Q. What about toilets?

A. The toilet was horrible. They gave us an order to
construct latrines which were not closed in, and everybody
used them.

Q. Completely in the open?

A. In the open, absolutely. And this had a terrible effect,
and contributed to the demoralization right from the outset.

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