The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-061-06

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-061-06
Last-Modified: 1999/06/07

Q. Did the railway line still exist?

A. On 28 November - yes, yes.

Q. Were you aware of any reason why the sick and those unfit
for labour were not returned to Budapest by that rail route?

A. They did not want to send them back, they wanted to do
away with them.  I remembered that there was a small wood
there, where the sick were, but I learned that there were a
number of such places where they collected such people and
let them die.  A certain group was sent back - they were put
to death on the way.  They did not get back to Budapest, and
I did not learn of anyone who had returned.  After the
liberation, I remained in Budapest for several months.  I
searched for these people, but they had not been sent back.
Q. You said to my colleague that, shortly after that, the
Jews in Budapest were separated.  In other words, there were
houses for protected persons separately, protective houses,
and, separately, unprotected houses. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. The unprotected houses - were they called the "Ghetto"?

A. Those were transferred to the ghetto.

Q. From elsewhere?

A. From the Jewish houses that were marked as such.  That is
to say, they removed the people who had passports.

Q. Who did not have passports?

A. Those who had certificates from the Swiss consulate were
gathered together in those streets, in Tatra Street - where
there were seventy...

Q. The names do not interest us - only the general picture.

A. Those who had certificates were kept separately, and the
embassy, the consulate, our set-up, attended to them and
took care of them.

Q. The rest of the Jews who did not have certificates -
where did they remain?

A. In the ghetto.

Q. Was this a new, special place?

A. Yes.

Q. They were transferred to the ghetto?

A. Yes.  A substantial part of the Jews who were living in
the protective houses were later also transferred to the
ghetto, since they saw there what they were already aware
of, namely that, according to the stand of the government,
we had authority to extend protection to 7,800 persons.
They also asked us for a list of these people - which  had
already received certificates, and which were entitled to
obtain them.  We procrastinated - we never handed over this
list, we knew that in this way we might be endangering
people who had the right, but the position of those who did
not have this right was more favourable.  Later they carried
out searches - they brought Lutz to the place, they took
some of our officials in order to check who had an original
protective passport and whose was false.

Q. And what was the result?

A. The result was that they were transferred to the ghetto.

Q. What happened to the Jews in the ghetto?

A. In the ghetto they were set free.  Their condition was
bad as regards food and medical attention.  Many died, but
most of them survived.

Q. Were they not exposed to any special order or something
like that?  Weren't they expelled from the ghetto?

A. They remained in the ghetto.  We were afraid the ghetto
might be blown up before the change-over.  We knew of Jewish
prisoners who were in prisons; during the final period, they
seized many Jews who were placed in various prisons.  We
knew there was an order to execute them so that they should
not fall into the hands of the Russians.  And we were afraid
that they might also destroy the ghetto.

Q. Did you do anything to prevent this?

A. I don't know exactly what steps were taken.  There were
others who were in contact with more senior officers, and
they dealt with it.

Q. Do you know what happened to Wallenberg?

A. At the time of the liberation, when the Russians reached
Buda, Wallenberg crossed over to Buda; he came back, took
his suitcases and disappeared.

Q. Did Lutz remain to the end?

A. Lutz remained to the end, as far as I know.

Q. What happened to Dr. Komoly?

A. Komoly disappeared one day.  He was taken from a certain
hotel and disappeared.  There were many abductions such as
these. Also man of the people in our extra-territorial area
were seized once they left it, and they disappeared. The
person who handed over the "Glass House," Arthur Weiss, was
abducted when he went out, and disappeared.

Q. Do you know anything about the mobilization of Jews for
the defence of Budapest against the Russians?

A. No.

Judge Halevi:  I have concluded my questioning.

Dr. Servatius:  I have one question.  Witness, are you able
to name a prison which was blown up together with its

Witness Breszlauer:   There were several prisons.  The
people were freed by...

Presiding Judge: You were asked a specific question.  Please
answer it.

Witness Breszlauer:   I know of one prison, it was in the
basement of the parliament building.  That was where the
Germans were.  Some people were left there - I don't know
what happened to them, nor do I know if it was blown up.
The Hungarian parliament had this basement which served as a

Presiding Judge: You were asked about a prison which had
been blown up.  So far I have understood that you did not
hear about such a thing, and that you do not know of such a

Witness Breszlauer:   No, I do not know of it.

Dr. Servatius:  Thank you.

Presiding Judge: Thank you very much, Mr. Breszlauer.  You
have concluded your evidence.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Bach, what is next?

State Attorney Bach:  The next witness is Mrs. Aviva

Presiding Judge: [to witness] Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Fleischmann: Yes.

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

[The witness is sworn.]

Witness: Aviva Fleischmann.

State Attorney Bach:  Mrs. Fleischmann, were you born in

Witness Fleischmann: Yes.

Q. What was your occupation in Budapest?

A. I worked in a hairdressing salon.

Q. Were you obliged, during working hours as well, to wear
the yellow badge, the yellow Star of David?

A. Yes.  There was a time when we were allowed to be outside
from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Then I went to work wearing the
yellow badge.

Q. Do you remember, while you were still working in this
hairdressing salon, once seeing a man by the name of Peter

A. Yes.  He was one of our customers - he and his wife.

Q. Do you know what his job was?

A. We knew that he was working for the Gestapo.

Q. Did you ever hear a conversation in which this Peter Hain
mentioned the name of the Accused Eichmann?

A. Yes.

Q. With whom was he talking?

A. With the proprietor of the hairdressing salon.

Q. Where were you when this conversation was taking place?

A. At that precise moment, I was attending to his hands.  I
was obliged to wear a jacket over my working-gown; they were
not supposed to know that a Jew was employed in that place.

Q. What did this Peter Hain say?

A. Then he told his story.

Presiding Judge: You were attending to his hands?

Witness Fleischmann: Yes, and I was able to listen.  He
spoke generally about plans regarding the Jews, that they
were taking them away for forced labour, and he said that
there was now a man here who knew and understood how to
handle this, how the Jews should be dealt with.  And then he
mentioned the name of Adolf Eichmann.

State Attorney Bach:  Was the proprietor of this
hairdressing salon a Hungarian or a German?

Witness Fleischmann: He was one of those who were called, at
that time, "Schwaben" (Swabians), he was from that region
close to Austria.  But he was a Hungarian national.

Q. Was this the first time you heard Eichmann's name, or had
you already known the name?

A. That was the first time I heard it.  But afterwards we
heard it often enough.

Q. Can you remember when this was, in what month this
conversation took place?

A. I do not remember exactly in what month.  It was after
they had already entered Jewish homes.  They then shut us
in, and after that, until the "Putsch" (coup d'etat) of
Szalasi. we were permitted to go outside between the hours
of 11 and 5.  It was also during this period that I was

Q. Were you in Budapest all the time until Szalasi's Putsch?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened after Szalasi's Putsch?

A. They locked us in for five days - we were absolutely
unable to go out at all.

Q. Whom do you mean by "us"?

A. The Jews.  They locked us up, then, inside the Jewish
houses, completely; it was impossible to go out.  Then they
started on the house where we were.  There were also some
Christian families in this place, and they left.  From them
we heard that they were taking away Jews from the houses, in
groups, and were taking them through the streets.

Q. Were you living with your family?

A. With my father, mother and sister.  My sister was taken

Q. When you say "they were taking," "they locked us up," are
you referring, at that stage, to Hungarians?

A. To those who wore the Arrow Cross.

Q. Men of the Arrow Cross. Please tell us about what
happened afterwards.

A. Before the turn came of the house where we were living,
they allowed us to go out for two hours for shopping.  On 10
November, at six in the morning, men of the Arrow Cross came
and ordered everyone inside the house between the ages of 18
and 40 to come down to the courtyard.  But actually, it was
not limited to people of these ages.  Everyone had to come
down, for they went up to the apartments, entered them, and
checked whether anyone was not hiding there.

Q. What happened to your family?

A. My father was blind.  He had been blind already for
twenty years.  My mother served as his eyes.  She was his
nurse and his guide and also took care of us.  They left her
behind, and I was taken.  Together with us, there were
grandmothers, granddaughters.  Then, at that time, they took
a group of about fifty to sixty women.  They also took the
young men who were in the house at the time, those who had
managed to come home on a day's leave from the labour camp.
They took them as well, despite the certificates in their
possession, despite their leave passes.

Q. Those who were working in Hungarian labour camps?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you taken to?

A. To the brick factory at Obuda.

Q. Where was that?

A. It was a suburb of Budapest - on the Buda side, the hilly

Q. Now, please tell the Court what happened at that place.

A. On the way, we came across several groups who had been
taken from the other houses.  And along the way there were
very many corpses, with, as we could see, yellow badges,
which proved that they were Jewish.  Blood, which by now had
congealed, had flowed from their heads or chests.

Q. Was this still within Budapest?

A. Yes, in Budapest, on the road to the brick factory.  They
put us in there - there were these small cells made of
bricks.  There was already a tremendous mass of Jews there.

Q. How many, roughly?

A. I cannot give you a number.

Q. Hundreds or thousands?

A. Thousands upon thousands.  We sat there all day and all
night, for it was impossible to stretch one's legs.  We sat
huddled closely together.

Q. You say that they also took young and elderly people.
Are you able to tell us approximately what were the ages of
the youngest and of the oldest?

A. In that same house from which I was taken that day, there
were two girls, one aged fifteen and the other twelve.
There were women with us who were over fifty years of age.
They took my mother as well, five days later.

Q. We shall talk about your mother later.  They did not take
your mother as yet, at that first stage, I understand.  Were
pregnant women taken?

A. They took my cousin, who was in her eighth month of

Q. How long were you at that place, that brick factory?

A. One day and a night at that place.

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