Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-033 Last-Modified: 1999/05/27 Most of those deported to Transnistria were also exterminated, so that in this period, until mid-1942, between 250,000-300,000 Jews lost their lives (pp. 872 and 876 of Dr. Loewenstein's evidence). On 18 June 1942, the Romanian Central Office of Statistics estimates that 290,000 Jews remained in Romania (excluding Transnistria) (T/1018). An agreement was concluded between the Germans and the Romanians on 30 August 1941 in regard to the administration of the area between the Dniester and Bug rivers (Transnistria) and the area between the Bug and the Dnieper rivers (T/1002). With regard to the Jews, it is stated: "Deportation of Jews from Transnistria: Their deportation across the Bug is not possible at the moment. For this reason, they should be concentrated in concentration camps and put to work until it is possible to move them to the East after the [military] operations are completed." Nonetheless, the Romanians tried to send Jews who were concentrated in Transnistria across the Bug river into German-occupied territory. A letter sent by the Accused's office, signed by him on 14 April 1941 (T/1013), shows that the RSHA and the German Ministry for Eastern Occupied Territories object to this attempt. In his letter the Accused says inter alia: Even if there is agreement in principle to the Romanian efforts to get rid of the Jews, this seems at this stage (these words are emphasized in the original) to be undesirable for the following reasons:" The Accused goes into security and economic reasons in detail and continues: "Moreover, this disorderly and premature expulsion of Romanian Jews to occupied areas in the East seriously endangers the evacuation of German Jews, which is already in full swing." In conclusion, he states that if the Romanians continue the deportations, "I reserve the right to bring the Security Police into action." The import of these last words becomes clear from a handwritten note on document T/1014, that 28,000 Jews had been exterminated, and on p. 3074 of his Statement T/37 the Accused says: "This is clear. If these Jews from Romania were marched here illegally now...then the appropriate authorities of the Eastern Administration made use of his (Himmler's) orders and dealt with the matter in their own way through their units." "Q. By exterminating them? "A. Yes." The Romanian gendarmerie reports from March to June 1943 (T/1010-1012) should also be mentioned in this connection in regard to the killing of Jews by the SS police. Richter, one of the Accused's men, acts against the Jews in other parts of Romania as an Adviser for Jewish Affairs attached to Ambassador Killinger. Two conversations take place on 12 December 1941 and on 23 January 1942 between him and Mihai Antonescu, the Romanian Deputy Prime Minister (T/1004, T/1008). The introduction of anti-Jewish legislation and the prohibition of the emigration of Jews from Romania were the subjects discussed at these talks. The evacuation of the Jews from Romania is mentioned for the first time in a letter from the Accused's office, signed by Mueller, on 26 July 1942 (T/1021). The evacuation was to begin on 10 September 1942, and the plan was to deport them to the Lublin region, "where those who are fit will be put to work, while the rest is to undergo the special treatment" (T/1023). In a memorandum by the German Foreign Ministry, dated 17 August 1942, it is stated (T/1027): "According to a request made by Marshal Antonescu, authority was given by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mihai Antonescu, for the evacuation of Jews from Romania to be carried out by German units..." The German Foreign Ministry informs the Accused on 17 September 1942 that the German Embassy contacted the Romanian Government, expressing the opinion that preparatory negotiations were over, and demanding that the Romanian Government state its final attitude (T/1032). Talks were held between the RSHA representative and the representative of the German Railways on 26 and 28 September 1942, in connection with the transport of 200,000 Jews from Romania in the direction of Lvov - the final destination was to be Belzec (T/1284). A change occurred, however, in October 1942. A further conversation took place between Mihai Antonescu and Richter on 22 October, in which it became clear to Richter that Marshal Antonescu had rejected the evacuation (T/1039). The Accused's Section is active during the following months, with a view to preventing the immigration of Jews from Romania to Palestine (see, for example, T/1048, dated 3.3.42, signed by the Accused; T/1049, dated 10.3.43, signed by Guenther; and T/1054, dated 3.5.43, signed by the Accused). But Guenther, the Accused's deputy, on 22 May 1943 once again requests the Foreign Ministry to suggest to the Romanian Government the evacuation of the Jews of Transnistria to the East (T/1057). However, Marshal Antonescu does not yield to German pressure, and there were no more deportations from Romanian territory. The Accused, his Section and his men, and also the German Foreign Ministry had therefore, of necessity, to limit their future activities to the prevention of emigration from Romania. Dr. Safran, the former Chief Rabbi of Romania, in his declaration (T/1072) describes how the assistance of the churches, the Red Cross and neutral countries was mobilized, in order to bring about the change in Marshal Antonescu's attitude. This is how about half of Romanian Jewry was saved from extermination at the hands of the Germans. Hungary 111. The last act in the tragedy of European Jewry under the Hitler regime is the catastrophe which befell Hungarian Jewry. This chapter calls for a special place in the totality of events. This large Jewish community, which until then lived comparatively intact in the ocean of destruction which surrounded it, felt the heavy hand of fate which erased most of its members suddenly from the Book of Life within a few weeks. The Hungarian chapter is different from those which preceded it in other countries, also so far as the Accused's activities are concerned, as will be explained presently. At the beginning of the Second World War, Hungarian Jewry numbered 480,000 souls, and increased during the war years to 800,000, due to the annexation of additional areas to Hungary. The official policy of the Hungarian Government was anti-Semitic even before the War broke out, and it became intensified especially after Hungary entered the War on the side of Germany in 1941. Racial legislation on the Nuremberg pattern was introduced, as well as laws aimed at ousting Jews from the economic life of the country. In the summer of 1941, a mass deportation of stateless Jews from Hungary to Galicia was carried out, and 12,000 of them were killed by the Germans at Kamenets-Podolski. From 1940, male Jews were mobilized to work for the Hungarian army, and 60,000-80,000 Jews were sent to work in the German-occupied areas in Galicia and the Ukraine in the years 1941-1942. Of these, some 45,000-50,000 died (evidence of Pinhas Freudiger, Session 51, Vol. III, pp. 932), but in spite of this, the storm had not yet hit Hungary itself, and this land appeared to be a haven of safety for the few refugees, survivors of the Holocaust, who reached Hungary from Slovakia and Poland. As the Red Army approached the gates of Hungary in March 1944 through the Carpathian Mountains, Hitler decided to establish his domination in Hungary. He summoned the Regent, Horthy, and by the use of threats extorted from him an agreement to replace the Kalai government, which was inclined to desert the Axis, by another government which would do the Germans' bidding. Hungary was seized by the German army on 19 March 1944, and the SS units appeared on the scene together with the army. Hungarian sovereignty became a "farce" from that day, as Horthy said in his evidence at Nuremberg (T/1246), and the Germans became masters of the state. The hour had arrived for which the Germans had waited, to implement the Final Solution also against the Jews of Hungary. Veesenmayer, whom Hitler later appointed Reich Plenipotentiary in Hungary, writes, as far back as 10 December 1943, in a report to the German Foreign Ministry: "It appears for a variety of reasons that the order of the day is to get a firm hold on the Jewish problem (ein gruendliches Anpacken). The liquidation of this problem is a prerequisite for involving Hungary in the war conducted by the Reich for its defence and existence" (T/1144, p. 28).
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