The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-054-04

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-054-04
Last-Modified: 1999/06/04

Presiding Judge: Did you say the next day, or the same day?

Witness Gordon:   I think it was the same day.

Q. I want to know what you said before?

A. Before I said: "On the same day" but I did not attach
much significance to that. I told him on the same day.

Dr. Servatius:  Did you say it was on the same day or the
next day that you told your brother?

Presiding Judge: He says that when he was questioned by Mr.
Bach he said it was the same day, and now he also thinks it
was the same day.

Dr. Servatius:  You made a statement, which I have in front
of me, although I cannot see the date that is indicated
here. It fits, more or less, the evidence you have given
here. But they asked you questions there, and in reply to
one of the questions you said: "I told my brother about this
incident with Salomon a year afterwards."

State Attorney Bach:  Perhaps I may explain?

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bach, perhaps we shall first let the
witness explain.

Witness Gordon:   I made this statement to the Police at
Eilat. There was a policeman there who was very far removed
from all these events, and I was obliged to explain to him,
not only my evidence, but the whole background. I became
tired from this, and when he read back my statement to me I
apparently did not pay attention to what he had written. And
later on I corrected this again, in Bureau 06. Possibly this
amounted to negligence on my part for not paying attention
to it.

State Attorney Bach:  I think perhaps there is an error
here. Defence Counsel was misled through no fault of his. It
is really written here "Shana" (a year) and this has been
translated into "Jahr." But I believe that there is a
printer's error here. I have requested that the original
manuscript be brought here and I will then place it at the
Court's disposal.

Presiding Judge: The witness can tell us. Did you see this
statement that you made at the time in Eilat?

Witness Gordon:   I made my statement and I saw it, but it
is possible that owing to my weariness I didn't pay
attention to the last sentence.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bach will submit the original statement
when he will obtain it.

Dr. Servatius:  Witness, you said that this boy, of whom you
said that he was beaten and according to your assumption he
was dead, was taken to an amphibious vehicle and removed
from the place. Is that correct?

Witness Gordon:   Yes. I said that he was taken away in an
amphibious car-boat.

Q. What did this amphibious vehicle look like? Was it larger
than a normal car or smaller?

A. I would say that it was a little longer than a modern
jeep and there is a propeller on the rear end of the car.
This car was painted in camouflage colours.

Q. Is it easy to put a man into an amphibious car such as
this one, when he is dead?

A. I don't know whether or not it is easy to put a man into
such a car; the fact is that they put him into it.

Q. At the time of this occurrence, were other young men of
the same age present?

A. Yes.

Q. How did all of them, together, react to this incident?

A. It is difficult for me to speak in the name of others. I
can only tell you of my personal feeling. And if the feeling
of the others was the same as mine, well - we were all
terrified, we experienced a sense of shame and helplessness.

Q. Did you know of the existence of a Jewish Council in

A. Yes - this fact was known to us.

Q. Did you inform them of what you had seen?

A. We informed the engineer who was in charge of us - we
thought that he ought to deal with this matter.

Q. Was this the only experience of bloodshed which you had
in Hungary, or did you witness other events of the same

A. No, sir, this was the first murder I had seen in my life
and that is a fact which I remember so well. After that I
witnessed many murders, especially in the last three months.

Q. This sketch that you drew earlier - how many times had
you done that previously?

A. I was asked to do so once when I was being interrogated,
but then I did not draw a detailed sketch; I merely
indicated on what side the entrance was from the direction
of the street, and on what side there was the fruit also pointed out the entrance to the shed,
I remember that now.

Q. In this sketch you drew various pits that you dug and you
said that these were intended for mortar positions. Did I
understand you correctly?

A. I said that at the time we dug the trenches we did not
know the purpose for which we were making them; afterwards
we drew our conclusions. After I had seen other trenches of
this kind, I gathered that these trenches, too, were
intended for mortar positions.

Q. You said that Eichmann passed by and said: "Superfluous
dirty people" and in this way he expressed his contempt. But
how do you explain the fact that he told you to jump into
the trenches when an air-raid attack was in progress?

A. I don't remember the exact words by which he told us to
go into the trenches.

Presiding Judge: The intention was to show you that he was
concerned for your safety, and that he wanted you to enter
the trenches when the air attack began.

Witness Gordon:   When the bombing began, we apparently
expressed our joy every time we saw the American and British
bombers, we rejoiced because this was bringing the end of
the war closer, and possibly someone even expressed this
openly and in a loud voice. That was the reason - to deprive
us of the joy of seeing the oil burning in Budapest. This
apparently was the reason why he told us to get into the
trenches, and not because he was concerned for our safety.

Dr. Servatius:  Would it not have been more logical or more
correct, in view of Eichmann's character as you described it
just now, for him to have said: "Come here, I will deal with
you now, and give you special treatment for expressing your
joy at the air-raid" and not for him to tell you to get into
the trenches?
Witness Gordon:   I must point out that I have not made a
psychological research into the character of Eichmann, and I
do not know what is appropriate to his character and what is
not appropriate; I simply indicated facts as I saw and heard

Dr. Servatius:  I do not have any more questions to the

State Attorney Bach:  First of all I wanted to tell the
Court that I have here the original statement. It looks more
like "Shana" (year) than "Sha'a" (hour).

Presiding Judge: Woud you please submit the statement?

State Attorney Bach:  I agree that the statement should be
submitted to the Court - perhaps as a defence exhibit. I am
also prepared to submit it on my part.

Presiding Judge: First of all, Dr. Servatius, are you ready
to submit this statement so that we see what is written
there - "year" or "day"?

Dr. Servatius:  I think it is of importance.

Presiding Judge: Is this statement made at the Eilat police

State Attorney Bach:  Yes, on 15 June 1960.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit N/1.

I understand this is the place: "Then, when I saw him, it
seemed to me that he was 40 years of age or older than that.
I was 17. I described the incident of Salomon to my brother
Aaron a year after the event. Aaron is now in Kibbutz Kfar

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Gordon, were you living with your
brother in Budapest?

Witness Gordon:   Yes.

Q. In order to clarify the matter, perhaps try to remember
and to tell the Court, once more, what really happened and
when you told him.

A. After I returned from work that day, I told him and I
said that perhaps we should not talk about it in the
presence of our parents, but ultimately we could not
restrain ourselves and, notwithstanding, told our parents as

Q. You told them, or did he?

A. I told them, and he also made some remarks about it.

Judge Raveh:   I should like to understand something about
your sketch. Perhaps you would take the sketch. There you
drew two rectangles - one inside the other.

Witness Gordon:   Yes.

Q. What does the inner rectangle show?

A. The inner rectangle depicts the villa, the building.

Q. The outline of the villa?

A. Yes.

Q. I understand. Perhaps you would write alongside it
"house" or "villa" so that we may know. These were the walls
of the house?

A. Yes.

Q. The other rectangle - what was that?

A. The other rectangle is the garden surrounding the

Q. What are these lines?

A. These are fences.

Q. Perhaps you would write that down.

A. But, according to the actual dimensions, this area was
much larger.

Q. But, first of all, write down that this is the fence, so
that we may know what it is. Was there a fence around it?

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of fence?

A. I don't remember what the fence looked like. I think it
was a brick wall with barbed wire on it. But I'm not

Q. You were standing, so you say, inside the trench?

A. Yes.

Q. The trench was inside the fence - between the outside
fence and the building?

A. That is correct.

Q. And did you show in your drawing that the trench inside
which you stood was opposite the back entrance? This is how
I understand your sketch. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Please tell me whether I understand this correctly - that
the shed was, in fact, part of the house?
A. The entrance to the shed...

Q. I am not talking about the entrance. First of all, the
shed itself - was it inside the rectangle of the house?

A. Yes.

Q. And the entrance to the shed - on what side was it?

A. The entrance was coming from this corridor on the right.

Q. Inside the house?

A. Inside the house.

Q. That means the entrance into the shed was from a corridor
which was inside the house?

A. Yes - from the right-hand side.

Q. And this was the only entrance to the shed?

A. Yes.

Q. Now I understand.

Judge Halevi:  Apart from your brother, did you tell anyone
else about this incident?

Witness Gordon:   On the following day we, the boys who
worked there, spoke amongst ourselves about this incident.

Q. Is that all?

A. Then we went to the engineer and asked whether we could
be released from this work.
Q. Which engineer?

A. Engineer Hegedus, who was directly in charge of our work
at this place.

Q. Was he a Jew?

A. Yes. He maintained, then, that he could not take the
responsibility upon himself to release us, but in course of
time he would see.

Q. To release you on account of the incident?

A. Yes. After I had returned to work on the Schwabenberg -
this was after we had already been ordered to go to
concentration points, to Jewish buildings in Budapest. I
went to our family doctor and obtained a false certificate
from him that I was suffering from tuberculosis. I sent the
certificate to the Jewish Council, and by this means I no
longer reported for work.

Q. My question was: Did you tell anyone else about the case
of the murder of the boy? Did you inform this engineer?

A. Yes, we reported it.

Q. You, and the others, informed him?

A. Yes.

Q. And did he react in any way?

A. I don't know what he did. I didn't ask him afterwards.

Q. And when you were concentrated into special buildings,
the Jews in Budapest generally, did you believe that the
deportation of the Jews from Budapest was drawing near?

A. By that time the Jews had already been taken from the
suburbs of Budapest, and we knew it was only a question of
time before we, too, would be deported.

Q. Did you do anything in order to prepare for this

A. I, for my part, decided, immediately after this murder,
to do everything possible to flee and escape, but apart from
the desire to escape we were not able to do anything. And at
that time some of the members of my family were taken to
labour camps - my uncle, and, later on, my brother and my
father as well, and I was taken, following that, on 20
October to the sports field in Peshemkiso.

Presiding Judge: Did Eichmann live alone in this whole

Witness Gordon:   I think he lived alone, except for his
staff. But I am not certain, for I never went into the house
through the front entrance, nor was I ever inside the house
apart from the toolshed.

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