Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-061-05 Last-Modified: 1999/06/07 Q. It says here that ten thousand have already been handed over to the Germans, six to seven thousand are to be delivered into the hands of the Germans, and the remaining six to seven thousand were shot to death by members of the Hungarian Arrow Cross, and the others perished as a result of the hardships and exhaustion. If this is the case, these people were shot by the Arrow Cross? Presiding Judge: He said: "By the Hungarians." I don't know whether this was translated. Dr. Servatius: I understood the witness to say that the Hungarians merely escorted them, and that he did not say in his evidence that the Hungarians were the ones who shot them. Presiding Judge: The witness was not questioned on that point. Dr. Servatius: Perhaps there was a mistake in the translation. Witness Breszlauer: I said: I was not present. As far as I know, these people were shot by the Hungarians who escorted them. I said specifically that I was not present, but as far as I was aware, and according to information which reached me, as far as I was aware, they were shot by the Hungarians who accompanied them. Q. Further on, you mention a captain by the name of Peterfy and a lieutenant-colonel named Bartha. What were the roles of these two officers? A. Peterfy was a major, he was in charge of the reception of these people, and the other man, Bartha, was in charge of handing the people over to Wisliceny. Q. What part did Wisliceny play in this affair? A. He received the people on behalf of the Germans. Q. What treatment did those Jews who were called up for work, or who were mobilized for work, receive as long as they were in German hands? A. There were Jews there who worked for the German army. They dug, they prepared trenches. There the treatment was much better. Q. And so this corresponds with what you said in your report, to the effect that the Jews who worked in the interior provinces of the country were treated fairly and were given good food - is that not right? A. Yes - those who worked with the regular German army. Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, on which page of the report does this appear? Dr. Servatius: On page seven, in the middle of the page. Witness, you conclude your report (on page 11) with the sentence: "The present objective of the Hungarian Government is, undoubtedly, the complete extermination of the Jews." Is this statement correct? Witness Breszlauer: I was referring to the Szalasi government. As far as I was aware, this was their objective. Dr. Servatius: I have no further questions to this witness. State Attorney Bach: As far as you were aware then, and as far as you know today, under whose influence did the Szalasi government operate? Witness Breszlauer: Under German influence. Q. And do the following words also appear in your report? I draw your attention to page seven, where you write: "The conclusion must be reached - in the light of everything we noticed and observed on the roads - that in actual practice, the administration of the country and its institutions was in the hands of the Germans." A. To my knowledge, as far as I understood the situation at the time, the Szalasi government served as the most appropriate instrument during this period for German aims. Q. And immediately after that, you add: "Only by means of contact and agreement with the Germans will it be possible to avoid the final deportation of the Jews of Budapest, along the lines of deportation from the provincial and district towns." A. Yes. Q. Can you tell us whether this was the position at the time? A. These were my impressions - it corresponded to what I knew and what I learned; and this was what I expressed in this report. Judge Raveh: Dr. Breszlauer, with regard to these protective buildings, when approximately did they begin to crowd people into them? Witness Breszlauer: These buildings for Jews? Q. Yes. For Jews who were taken into protection. A. Under protection was one matter - the marked buildings were something else. The matter of protection came at a later stage. Later on they concentrated the Jews there; if I am not mistaken, this was on 25 November. Q. Which are you talking about now - of the concentration or of the buildings which were under protection? A. I don't understand the question. Q. I want it to be clear what kind of houses existed. A. Until 25 November, as far as I remember, there were houses which were marked as Jewish houses. Q. That is to say, where the Jews of Budapest were assembled, so that they could be concentrated there. A. Yes. Q. Who assembled them there? A. This was still during the period of the previous government; it ended on 25 June. Q. And when did it begin? A. Two or three days before that. Q. In other words, this was an operation of a few days? A. Yes, it was an operation of a few days. Q. How many Jews, roughly, were concentrated into these houses? A. About 150,000 persons. Q. After that came the brick factory. Were people taken out of these houses, or were other Jews concentrated there? A. When Szalasi came to power, they removed people from their houses, they seized them... Q. From these houses? A. Yes. They removed the people and robbed the houses. Q. And transferred them to the brick factory? A. Yes. They transferred them to the brick factory and to various other places, in Tisch, and in the Tattersall, and there were several places where they were concentrated, but mainly in the brick factory. This was before the call-up, and thereafter there was the general call-up. Apart from this, they were also taken from the streets. Sometimes people were taken away for purposes of robbery. Q. Approximately how many Jews were there in the brick factory? A. I visited it several times. That was the place from which the people were taken away, and they numbered several thousands. Q. In other words, it was not always the same people? A. They were taken away and others were brought in. Q. Were they taken away for this march or for other purposes? A. Both for the march and for other work requirements. Q. And those who were taken for other work requirements - where were they taken to? A. I went there on a particular day - I found two hundred doctors there, only doctors. They took them from the brick factory for work in the vicinity of Budapest. Q. For this march, did they take people from the brick factory only, or from other places also? A. From other places as well, from the Tattersall and from Kisok - that was a sports field. Q. You said from the streets as well? A. From the streets also. Q. For the march? A. Yes. Q. In other words, there were Jews who were still living in places other than from the marked houses and apart from these points of concentration. Not all the Jews were in these marked houses and these places of concentration? A. On the 20th, there was a general curfew, and on the 21st they were let out for a few hours. Q. Of which month? A. The month of October. And then they began seizing these people off the streets. They found people walking around without the badge, people were required to produce documents. Q. I am not sure you understood my question. My question was whether on the eve of the march, before that operation began, all the Jews of Budapest were concentrated in these marked houses, or in points of concentration, such as the brick factory and the Tattersall, or whether there was still a substantial number of Jews who were living - let's say - in private homes? A. A very small number. There were some people who were in hiding who had not gone into the houses, but their number was small. Most of them were concentrated in these houses. Q. Were the Jews who were under protection also concentrated in special houses, or did I not understand you correctly? A. At that stage they were in Jewish houses. At a later stage, they were concentrated separately. Q. But in special houses? A. Yes, in special houses - only for people having protection. They wanted to distinguish between these persons and others. Q. And when did this concentration take place? A. About the end of November, they took the people from the marked houses and transferred them... Q. The end of November was already after the march? A. At the same time. Q. And approximately how many people were concentrated in these houses of Jews under protection? A. In buildings of the Swiss consulate - these were seventy large buildings, and afterwards another six were added for us - there was great congestion, and according to our estimate there were about twenty-five to thirty thousand people. Judge Halevi: Dr. Breszlauer, until when did you remain in Budapest? Witness Breszlauer: Until the end, until the liberation. Q. Until when did the march continue? A. In November, and still at the beginning of December. Q. What brought the foot march to an end? A. The military situation - it was no longer possible to march to the border. Q. What do you mean by the "military situation"? A. The Russians were approaching... Q. Not from the direction of Vienna, but from the East. A. But they had already also crossed this road, where exactly I don't know, but I do know that this was the cause of the march being stopped in December, more or less by the end of December. Q. How long did the Szalasi government remain in power? A. At the end of December or the beginning of January, the government left and went to Vienna. Q. And who was in charge? A. Excuse me? Q. Who exercised the power of government? A. There were Seconds-in-Command and Acting Holders of Office. In Budapest, there was an officer who had become a senior officer. I don't remember his name for the moment. He remained behind and ruled Budapest after Szalasi's departure. Q. Are you referring to a Hungarian? A. Yes. Q. Until when were the Germans there? A. The Germans were there until the last moment. Q. Did you have any contact with the Accused or with his office? A. No, I had no contact, neither with him, nor with his office. Q. Were you in contact with Becher or with his office? A. No, I had none. This group which operated within the organization set up by Krausz, as far as I knew, also had no contact with the Germans. Q. You spoke about Wisliceny and said that at the Hegyeshalom border he refused to accept sick people, or what were the categories he refused? A. Persons who were not fit for work. Q. He refused to transfer them to the German side, but there were no arrangements there for returning them to Budapest? A. There were no arrangements, and they were not sent back. But on this point I must make a correction. The dispute between the Hungarians and the Germans was: Who was going to do away with these people, and where would it be done? Q. How did you know that? A. When I got back to Budapest, I searched in particular for these people. And these were a large group whom I met near Komarom. I wanted to know where these people had disappeared to. I went to the Jewish houses, I went everywhere and failed to find a single one of these people - I could not find even one of them who had been returned. And I learned later also from Batizfalvy that they had been done away with. There were several people with whom I was in contact, and they all told me that there had been this argument as to who should do away with them. Q. Who sent back those persons to whom you issued certificates at Hegyeshalom? A. They came to Budapest by rail.
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