The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-054-06

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

State Attorney Bach:  We shall immediately submit it. I
thought that it had been submitted. It states here:
"Eichmann summoned the Jewish Council to come to him at the
Schwabenberg, to the Majestic Hotel and he laid before them
the pro memoria plan. Those present were
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann and Krumey,
Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Wisliceny and another German officer.
Representing the Jews: The President Samu Stern, the Vice-
President Dr. Ernoe Boda, Dr. Ernoe Petoe and the counsel,
Dr. Janos Gabor. At the outset President Stern presented
certain requests. Following this, Eichmann began his
address, and spoke first of all about the Jewish star. He
said that the Jewish Council would have to provide the star.
There was some discussion on this matter and thereafter he
said that as from 5 o'clock all Jews would have to wear the
yellow star which would be exchanged afterwards by the one
which the Jewish Council had to supply. He said that the
Jewish Council would have to provide about three million
stars. He also demanded that the stars should be uniform
throughout the country. Afterwards he passed on to questions
regarding housing. He said that in the case of a change of
address, they had to notify him about it and receive
permission from him. He said he would also deal with matters
concerning Kistarcsa - he could not say when this would be.
This was in reply to a request that he release those who
were detained in Kistarcsa when the Germans first arrived.
He said they could apply to him in this connection, but he
warned them not to deceive him. He expressed his opinion
that the most important objective was to increase industrial
productivity that was so essential to the war effort. To
this end he had created a labour force, and this was
comprised of Jewish workers specifically. If the Jews
behaved properly, nothing would happen to them, and they
would be treated as all other workers, and this applied to
work productivity. After that he added that these people
would enjoy fair treatment and would receive the same wages
as other workers. We said that, for this purpose, we would
have to obtain a mandate. To this he retorted that we should
have to abandon such liberal attitudes, and that we should
not ask but command.

     "At a later stage in the minutes Eichmann mentioned
     that he was taking a very great interest in Jewish
     artistic works and in Jewish libraries. Since 1934 he
     had been dealing with Jewish affairs and that he knew
     Hebrew better than we did. We told him that we had a
     Jewish museum in which antiquities and libraries were
     kept. He said he would visit it. Thereafter he issued
     various instructions regarding the supply of goods to
     the Germans and concerning the submission of lists of
     Jewish organizations. Later on he stressed that these
     orders would be valid only for the duration of the War
     (that is to say the orders by the Germans) and that,
     afterwards, the Jews would be free and would be able to
     do as they pleased. Everything that was happening in
     regard to Jewish affairs was only for the duration of
     the War. When the War was over, the Germans would again
     be pleasant towards people, as they had been in the
     past (or, as he expressed it in German: 'Die Deutschen
     werden wieder gemuetlich sein').
     "He would prefer this to be carried out without
     violence. Only in case of resistance would there be
     need of force. If the Jews went over to partisan
     operations - he would kill them off without mercy. The
     Jews had to understand that nothing was being demanded
     of them except discipline and order. If there would be
     discipline and order then not only would Jewry have
     nothing to fear, but he would defend Jewry and it would
     live under the same good conditions as regards payment
     and treatment, like all the other workers. He would
     especially appreciate it if they would make his views
     public amongst all sections of Jewry. He also stated
     that he would prevent all plunder of Jewish possessions
     and that he would punish those seeking to enrich
     themselves from Jewish property.
     "After that there came a moment of excitement. Dr.
     Janos Gabor rose and said that he was very unhappy
     because of the wearing of the Jewish star. His father
     had served in the World War as a mililtary judge, with
     the rank of major. His grandfather had been a 'Honved'*
     {*Popular name for a member of the Hungarian armed
     forces.} in the 1848 revolution. The wearing of the
     star would incite the riff-raff to shame the Jews in
     the street and to attack them. To this Eichmann replied
     that he would not permit anyone to suffer because of
     the star and if such incidents were to occur - he
     should be notified and he would attend to them."
The Court will take note that Dr. Boda, in fact, confirms
that his minutes are contained in a certain book, and they
were printed there in Hungarian. What we have submitted to
the Court is a translation of those minutes into German. We
shall submit to you, later on, confirmation that this German
translation is a correct translation from the Hungarian book
which we are also prepared to place at the Court's disposal.

Presiding Judge: Does not Dr. Boda himself confirm it?

State Attorney Bach:  He does not confirm the translation
and hence it is still necessary for us to compare the
translation with the book.

There is another affidavit by Dr. Ernoe Petoe who also took
part in that meeting. He is now living in Brazil. He is also
about 79 1/2 or 80 and in a delicate state of health. He
actually confirms two matters. Firstly he participated in
that meeting and he, for his part, confirms the same details
which I have already brought before you, and therein,
naturally, there is additional corroboration, and I should
like to bring this to your notice. Apart from that he was
the man who at the time established contact with the Regent
Horthy and achieved the return of a train for the first
time, that train which set out from Kistarcsa. This we have
learned from other witnesses who heard it from him. He
confirms that he found a way of approach to Horthy's son and
managed to secure the return of the train, and hence there
is the additional weight of his evidence also on this point.
He made a sworn affidavit about these matters before our
consul in Brazil and I request the Court's permission to
submit his affidavit. The number of our document is 1300.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what do you have to say?

Dr. Servatius:  I have received the contents of this
affidavit, for my information. It exists only in the
Hungarian language. I have no objection to its submission,
but I would ask to be given a German translation.

Presiding Judge: [To State Attorney Bach] Will you see to

State Attorney Bach:  Yes, of course. I have asked someone
to read this document to Defence Counsel in German, but we
shall also supply to Dr. Servatius a full translation of the
document into German.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 56

We permit the submission of the affidavit of Dr. Ernoe

State Attorney Bach:  To my regret, here too I shall only be
able to produce the original affidavit during the recess. We
have been given only photocopies of that affidavit.

Presiding Judge: The document will be marked T/1157.

State Attorney Bach:  Incidentally, he also mentions an
interesting fact that the son of the witness, the son of Dr.
Petoe, was in the company of Raoul Wallenberg in a student
hostel in Switzerland in the summer of 1920. This later
helped in the joint activity of the witness and Raoul
Wallenberg about whom we shall still hear, who extended
outstanding aid to the Jewish community, mainly in Budapest.

After that he describes this meeting. Here he only adds one
point, that with regard to those goods and articles that
Eichmann demanded to hand over to the Germans, Eichmann had
at the time promised to make payment to the Jews, and that
it never reached the stage of payment. This is on page three
of the Hebrew reprint, on page two of the original.

After that there is an account of the meeting. I do not want
to go over that again. Then comes the chapter on Kistarcsa.
Here he again relates the whole story, including what
happened at the Schwabenberg. He too, together with the
Witness Freudiger:  was at the Schwabenberg and he gives a
first hand account of what happened there and what they
learned later, in the evening, from Dr. Brody when the
latter returned from Kistarcsa. He also mentions that the
operation at Kistarcsa was carried out by Novak. At the end
he describes a certain change of attitude on the part of the
Hungarian gendarmerie and about his contact with Ferenczy
who told him that at first he did not believe that they were
really exterminating the Jews in the east, but in view of
the behaviour of the Accused, who would not allow them to go
there personally to ascertain the facts, he began to believe
that this was truly the fate of the Jews. It is on page 6 of
the translation.

     "In Ferenczy's presence Captain Lullay delivered a
     'Philippic' address to us, lasting hours, against the
     Gestapo and, in particular against Eichmann and his
     men, in which he said that they were now conducting a
     campaign of life and death against those who had now
     become a cause of danger to them as well. They wanted
     us to clarify to them what the truth was about
     Auschwitz, for they had asked Eichmann in vain to
     permit them to go there and personally to ascertain the
     facts. From this they came to the conclusion that the
     rumours about the incinerators for the destruction of
     Jews who were not capable of working, were correct. I
     pointed out to them the nature of the military
     situation according to which the defeat of the Germans
     was a fact."

     "The outcome of this discussion was that Ferenczy
     offered his assistance in thwarting Eichmann's plans to
     carry out deportations."

And here these are several particulars about the
negotiations with Ferenczy.

     "On 17 August I was taken to Eichmann's headquarters
     and from there I was put into a German prison. I was
     released on 21 August on the intervention of the
     Regent. On 23 August, Ferenczy appeared before Eichmann
     and informed him that, on the orders of the Regent,
     they would prevent the deportation, even by force of
     arms. Meanwhile Ferenczy showed me the deportation
     schedule  prepared by Eichmann, and which was to be
     carried out between 26 August and 18 September, from
     the brick industry zone in Csillaghegyi. The first
     transport was to include the members and officials of
     the Jewish Council, together with their families. In
     view of this opposition, Eichmann was prevented from
     carrying out his plans, and he said that he would fly
     to Berlin and seek aid from Himmler. I later received a
     message for Dr. Wilhelm Karolyi from Mor, a Counsellor
     in the Hungarian Foreign Office, to the effect that
     Himmler had agreed to defer the deportations. In this
     way Eichmann's plan to deport the Jews of Budapest
     failed. As a consequence of the change in the military
     situation, Eichmann was no longer capable of carrying
     out the deportation without the help of the
     gendarmerie. Thus Budapest Jewry was saved from

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, may I be
permitted briefly to interrupt the submission of evidence on
the question of Hungary, and to request the directives and
the guidance of the Court in a matter which is to take place
next week?

It is our intention to exhibit in Court a number of
documentary films in order to illustrate certain events
about which evidence had already been led, and other events
on which evidence will be produced next week. Naturally we
will ensure suitable authentication of the incidents
contained in these films. We shall produce witnesses who
will be asked to testify under oath that this is how matters
looked in fact.
It seems to me that we have the right to present these
films, but in view of the fact that it is not a daily or
normal occurrence for films to be shown in a court-room, I
thought it would be proper to ask the Court's guidance in
this matter.

Presiding Judge: Is there a precedence for that?

Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour. Films were also
exhibited at Nuremberg on several occasions. This was also
the case in the Bergen-Belsen trial. These are two instances
which I can recall at the moment, concerning this type of
evidence. We sometimes make use of a film for another
purpose, in order to identify a place, and so on. But this
is not our purpose. Here the intention is to illustrate the

Presiding Judge: Were decisions given there - or was the
matter simply taken for granted?

Attorney General: I believe that there was some objection,
and it was decided that it had probative value and, on
several occasions, the showing of films was allowed.

Presiding Judge: Perhaps you could show us where this
appears in the reports.

Attorney General: Certainly. I think that it appears already
in the early volumes.

Judge Halevi:  What do the films contain?

Attorney General: One film is about Auschwitz after the
liberation - showing the appearance of the survivors. One
film which we will also show if we can manage to convert it
from 35 mm to 16 mm, concerns the Warsaw Ghetto. I say "if
we can manage" for there is a technical problem in bringing
a   35 mm projector to the Court. If we cannot manage, we
shall be obliged to forego the film because of this
difficulty. There is one film dealing with the transport of
Jews to Ravensbrueck. There is another one showing scenes of
the Mauthausen camp.

Judge Halevi:  Was the film of Mauthausen taken after the
liberation or before?

Attorney General: There are scenes which were photographed
at the time of the event. There is one scene, really
apocalyptic, of thousands of people standing at a roll-call,
naked, which was certainly shot at the precise moment when
it took place. And there will be a witness who will testify
that this is indeed what it looked like.

Judge Halevi:  Where do these films come from?

Attorney General: From various sources. There are
documentary films which were made by various institutions,
immediately after the War. The film on Auschwitz has a Czech
commentary. We will remove the sound - we do not need the
Czech commentaries, but apparently this film is of Czech
origin. There are films which were filmed jointly by Eastern
and Western bodies, French and Polish, but these were
private organizations, not official bodies. These films were
taken immediately after the War.

Judge Halevi:  The transport of Jews to Ravensbrueck, for
example, that was filmed at the time of the event?

Attorney General: We are not aware of the origin. I cannot
tell the Court with certainty who photographed it. We have
our assumptions, but I do not want to deal with assumptions.
At any rate we shall not exhibit anything which cannot be
substantiated by witnesses.

Presiding Judge: Are there amongst these films such as have
already been shown in those trials?

Attorney General: This, too, is not clear to us. According
to the record of proceedings at Nuremberg, there was some
authentication on behalf of the Allied military authorities
at the beginning of the film. This authentication does not
appear in the films in our possession, and hence we shall
require a different method of authentication. There is also
a film which the German television prepared towards this
trial. It was shown in Germany and called "In the steps of
the Hangman." It was featured on West German television on
the occasion of the opening of this trial. It is a film
which we do not propose showing to the Court in its
entirety, because it adopts a moralizing tone in order to
arrive at certain conclusions and clearly it would not be
proper for us to ask the Court to view all of it. But it
contains sections on the operations of the Einsatzgruppen,
which were apparently filmed at the time they were taking
place, and these, too, will be verified by witnesses. We
shall extract this portion only and show it to the Court.

Dr. Servatius:  Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, before I
can take a stand on this, I should have been shown the
films, in order to enable me to evaluate them. And a further
observation relating to the inclusion of the films in the
Court record. I would ask the Court to determine the
procedure in this matter, for obviously the films are not
going to be annexed to the records of the trial. Therefore,
the Prosecution, in my opinion, should have submitted a
precis of the contents of the films.

Attorney General: QWe are ready to comply with both requests
of Defence Counsel. We shall show him the films before we
apply to exhibit them. We shall also prepare a precis for
the Court's use.

Presiding Judge: So when will we be able to obtain Defence
Counsel's reaction - after he has seen the films? In other
words, when will you be able to show him the films?

Attorney General: Not before the end of next week, but we
wanted a decision in principle before we start expending the
sums of money involved in converting the 35mm film to 16mm.
It is not a simple matter.

Presiding Judge: This is a sort of vicious circle.

Attorney General: Yes, to a certain extent, but, if I
understand in general from the Court that subject to
appropriate authentication, there will be no objection to
this form of submitting evidence, we shall nevertheless
undertake this expense.

Judge Raveh:   But is the rest of the material ready?

Attorney General: Yes.

Judge Raveh:   If that is so, it is possible to show it to
Defence Counsel immediately.

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