Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-054-01 Last-Modified: 1999/06/04 Session No.54 11 Sivan 5721 (26 May 1961) Presiding Judge: I declare the fifty-fourth Session of the trial open. State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, I should like, first of all, to inform the Court that Kappler regarding whom the Court decided to examine the possibility of interrogating in Italy, is in military gaol in Gaeta, which is to the south of Rome; hence the most suitable place for interrogating him would be in a Court in Rome. We would accordingly suggest that the Honourable Court should request the Italian Minister of Justice to give instructions for the interrogation of this witness by representatives of the parties. Presiding Judge: Should the approach not be directly to the Italian Court, and only passed on to it by the Ministry of Justice? State Attorney Bach: We understand that the proper approach in this instance should be to the Italian Ministry of Justice, and there they will take the appropriate steps. Presiding Judge: Is this in accordance with the Convention or is there no provision there? State Attorney Bach: I do not remember exactly. Perhaps the Attorney General could tell us. Attorney General: The Convention leaves the option in the hands of the Italian authorities to decide whether they will comply with the request or not. In other words the matter still rests within their discretion. Therefore we ask the Court to request the Italian executive authorities to exercise their discretion and to forward the application to the Court. This is provided for in the Convention. Presiding Judge: One further matter. When we spoke yesterday about the matter of the questionnaires, I forgot about the problem of the addresses of Juettner and Grell. Dr. Servatius, do you have the addresses of these witnesses? Dr. Servatius: No, I shall probably receive a telephone message only today, at midday. Presiding Judge: Very well, please continue, Mr. Bach. State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, our next witness is Avraham Gordon. Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew? Witness Gordon: Yes, I speak Hebrew. [The witness is sworn.] Presiding Judge: What is your full name? Witness: Avraham Gordon. Presiding Judge: Please reply to Mr. Bach's questions. State Attorney Bach: Mr. Gordon, were you born in Hungary? Witness Gordon: Yes. Q. In Budapest? A. Yes. Q. In what year? A. In 1927. Q. Where were you in 1944? A. I was in Budapest. I was at school in the sixth grade of the Gymnasium ( Secondary School) - this corresponds to the tenth grade in Israeli terms. Q. Do you remember 19 March 1944? A. It was a Sunday, the day on which the German army occupied Hungary and also entered Budapest. Q. How did this affect your studies? A. In the following two weeks our studies went on, and thereafter, a general closure of all the schools in Hungary was declared. We finished the school year and after that classes were stopped and also the air-raids began. This was the reason given for ceasing all teaching in Hungary that year. Q. Did the studies of all pupils cease? A. Of all. Q. Not only of the Jewish pupils? A. No - all of them. Q. Were you living with your family? A. Yes. I was staying in the district of Buda, Quarter No. 1. Q. Who were the members of your family? A. My father, my mother, my brother, my grandfather and grandmother. Q. When were the Jews ordered to wear the yellow Shield of David? A. As far as I remember, it was on 5 April. This is the date I recall. Q. Do you remember receiving, on one of those days, a certain order from the German authorities? A. That was about a week before Hitler's birthday, on 12 or 13 April. I think that this order came from the Jewish Council, with the approval, and by order, of the German security services. Q. What was the order? A. It was stated in the order that we were to report on the Schwabenberg in the morning for labour service. Q. What was the Schabenberg? A. Before the War Schwabenberg served as a resort place, and it had many private villas. When I arrived, I found most of the headquarters of the German army there. Q. You say there were private villas there? A. There were private villas, and hotels. Q. Were there also Germans in the occupying army? A. Yes. There were many German soldiers. Q. And did you report for labour service? A. I reported, and I was referred to a Jewish engineer named Kolbach. Q. Only you, or were there other Jews as well? A. When I came to the Schwabenberg, I found between one hundred and one hundred and fifty other Jews. Q. Were they all about your age, or were there also people of other ages? A. Most of them were young people under the age of 18, but there were approximately 20-30 older persons, about the age of 50. Q. Please tell the Court what happened after you reported to Mr. Kolbach? A. They detailed us to various types of work. They were drilling two tunnels there, one in the direction of the Eden Hotel which was opposite the Majestic Hotel and the other leading to the Majestic Hotel. We did not know exactly the uses to which these tunnels were to be put. We thought they would serve as shelters and as arms depots. Q. Arms depots and shelters for whom? A. For the German army. Q. You say that you reported to Kolbach. Was he in charge of this work? A. Kolbach was the person in charge on behalf of the Jewish Council, but there was a liaison officer on behalf of the SS, named Buehring, a young man who was also an engineer, and he supervised all these works. Q. How long were you engaged in this work? A. I was engaged in this work for approximately one month. Q. When was this, roughly? From when to when? A. It was in 1944, from the middle of April to the middle of May 1944. Q. And throughout this time, you worked at the same place? A. They also sent us to so-called outside jobs. We worked both at the Eden Hotel and also at the sanatorium, and once or twice I was also sent to work in the building of the Hungarian Political Police. The building of the Hungarian Political Police was near the Majestic Hotel. Q. Mr. Gordon, did you see Adolf Eichmann at the time you were working there? A. No. during the time I worked on the Schwabenberg, I did not see Adolf Eichmann. Q. Did you see Adolf Eichmann at all while you were working in that service? A. Yes. Q. When? A. After the middle of May 1944, we received an order; we were classified - they sorted out about fifteen Jews - about ten young people and five adults - and we were transferred to a particular place, which was called the "Rose Hill" in one of the districts of Buda, and we were taken to a villa, which as it turned out afterwards, was the private residence of Adolf Eichmann. Previously, before the War, this villa belonged to a Jewish industrialist, the owner of the Tungsram and Orion factories. Q. What was his name? A. Leopold Aschner. Q. Was Leopold Aschner the Jew to whom the villa belonged? A. Yes. He was the legal owner of the villa. Q. And that was where Eichmann lived? A. Yes. Q. What were you supposed to do in this district? A. First of all, a German awaited us - he was dressed in short trousers, a man by the name of Slawik, and he showed us a small storeroom for work tools at the rear entrance of this building, and he gave us tools, and we went out into the garden of the building. It was a large garden, and he ordered us to dig ditches. Q. When you say "us" - how many were you? A. There were fifteen of us. Q. Were these the same fifteen? A. The same fifteen. Q. Do you know who this Slawik was - what was his rank and his duties? A. We did not know exactly what his duties were, but we thought he was Eichmann's bodyguard. Q. Did he sometimes walk around in uniform, or was he always dressed in the way you have described? A. I only saw him wearing civilian clothes. Q. How did you know his name was Slawik? Q. He introduced himself, saying that his name was Slawik and that "you had better beware of me." Q. And he made you dig these ditches? A. It was in this garden, a very large garden, and we were forced to dig about twenty ditches in that garden. Q. How long did you work there? A. I worked at that place for about a month, until the middle of June. Q. Every day? A. Yes. Q. And all the time with the rest of your companions? A. No. Although the group did not change, in the middle of this period, when the deportations began from the suburbs of Budapest, from Ujpest, Kispest and so on, there were also some Jews from these localities who came to work. And in the middle of this period they suddenly stopped coming. And then we understood that they had been deported. Q. You told us about Slawik. How did you know that this villa served as a residence for Adolf Eichmann? A. First of all, the engineer in charge of us told us that one of the Gestapo commanders from Budapest, whose name was Adolf Eichmann, lived there, and Slawik also mentioned his name. Q. Did you also see Eichmann? A. I saw him a number of times. Q. You see the Accused here. Are you able to say with certainty that he is the man? A. I must point out that he has changed since then. But I have seen old pictures of him. Presiding Judge: Where did you see his pictures? Witness Gordon: In the press. State Attorney Bach: Mr. Gordon, look at these photographs. Are you able to say anything about them? Witness Gordon: This is the man - without a shadow of a doubt. Q. There are three photographs here, Mr. Gordon. To which photograph are you referring? A. To the right-hand photograph, mainly, at the top. State Attorney Bach: I would apply to submit this document to the Court. The Court will notice that this exhibit is actually signed on the reverse side by the Accused. Presiding Judge: Has it been showed to the Accused? State Attorney Bach: Yes. And he has acknowledged it. Presiding Judge: Did he acknowledge it in his statement? State Attorney Bach: I believe that these photographs, each one separately, were shown to him. But I shall check this matter once more. If it should be necessary, we will submit additional proof on the question of this signature. Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1125. State Attorney Bach: When you saw Eichmann, how was he dressed? Witness Gordon: He used to walk around inside the villa. I saw him first on the verandah, on the balcony of the second floor of the villa - what in European terms is called the first floor. Q. How many floors were there in the villa altogether? A. I would say one floor, but in Israel this would be referred two as two floors. There was a ground floor and another floor. Q. And where did he reside? A. He resided on the upper floor.
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