The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-035

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-035
Last-Modified: 1999/05/27

115. The situation again changed radically in mid-October
1944.  The Germans intervened again, to avoid Horthy's
surrender to the Allies, and forced him to appoint Szalasi,
the extremist leader of the "Arrow Cross," as prime
minister.  This again opened the way for the deportation of
Jews from the country.  Horthy submitted to the Germans on
16 October (evidence of von dem Bach-Zelewski, p. 13).  Two
days later, the Accused returns to Budapest and starts
negotiations for the handing over of more Jews to the
Germans.  Veesenmayer's cable to the German Foreign
Ministry, on the same day, states that the Accused
"began negotiations with the Hungarian authorities for the
deportation of 50,000 able-bodied Jews on foot (im
Fusstreck) to work in Germany" (T/1234).

Veesenmayer cables again on the same day (T/1235), reporting
the results of the negotiations between the Accused and the
Hungarian Minister of the Interior: The minister will
attempt to obtain consent for the handing over of the 50,000
male Jews.  Veesenmayer adds that,

     "according to top secret information, after completing
     the above foot march successfully, Eichmann intends to
     ask for another 50,000 Jews, in order to achieve the
     final aim of complete evacuation of the Hungarian area,
     while having due regard for the attitude taken on
     principle by Szalasi."

(Szalasi, it follows from the same cable, demanded that the
Arrow Cross themselves deal with the Jews within Hungary

The idea of marching the Jews from Budapest to the Austrian
frontier, some 220 kilometres distance, emerged because
Allied bombing had destroyed the railway line.

This march of tens of thousands of Budapest Jews began on 10
November 1944. Mrs. Aviva Fleischmann, who took part in the
march,  told us about this operation, and Dr. Arye
Breszlauer, who was employed by the Swiss Embassy in
Budapest, saw the marchers on their way and also wrote a
report on the subject at the time (Session 61, Vol. III, p.
1102; T/1237).  The Arrow Cross men assembled all the Jews
from the special Jewish houses.  Those taken were not only
adults - mostly women, as many men were away from home on
work service - but also children and old people.  Thousands
of Jews were crammed into the yard of a brick factory which
was used as the assembly point for the marchers.  There they
were kept, terribly crowded, in the open and in the rain.
From there, they started to march in large groups.  Witness
Mrs. Fleischmann spent only one night at the factory, but
others stayed there two or three days until they set out on
their way.  The escort consisted of Arrow Cross men, who
behaved cruelly towards the Jews, robbed them of all their
valuables, clothes, blankets and the provisions they had
taken with them.  Thus they marched for seven or eight days,
without food for days on end.  They slept in stables, in
pigsties or even in the open, during cold November nights.
No medical help was afforded them.  Those who fell by the
way from exhaustion were shot by the Arrow Cross men or died
by the roadside.  The survivors were handed over to German
SS men at the Austrian frontier.

Twenty-five thousand Jews had been dispatched in this manner
by 22 November 1944. Veesenmayer estimated the total number
of Jews thus brought to the frontier at no more than 30,000
(T/1242).  Mr. Breszlauer, in evidence, set the figures at
50,000 (Session 61, Vol. III, p. 1101).

Even SS officers who saw the marchers on their way regarded
the march as an atrocity.  Krumey, the Accused's assistant,
discussed the march with him.  The Accused's reply was
simply: "You saw nothing!"; that is to say, he ignored the
matter completely and ordered Krumey also to close his eyes
to it (Evidence of Krumey, on pp. 15, 16).  The witness
Juettner, who was an SS General, describes the sight of the
marchers as shocking.  He approached Winkelmann, the Higher
SS and the Police Leader in Hungary, but Winkelmann said
that in this matter he was helpless, since this was in the
hands of the Accused's unit, and the Accused did not take
orders from him [Winkelmann].  Juettner then approached the
Accused's office.  A young officer was sent over to him from
the Accused's office to explain to him that he [Juettner]
was not to interfere in the matter, as the Accused's unit
took orders only from the RSHA (declaration T/692 and the
evidence of Juettner in this trial).  Finally, the march was
stopped by order of Himmler.  The credit for this is claimed
by a number of German witnesses (Becher, Juettner,
Winkelmann).  We need not decide whether one of them or
someone else secured this order to stop the march.  It
should be stated that Szalasi, on his part, also ordered the
stopping of the march (See Veesenmayer's cable of 21.11.44,

116. We wish to mention two more matters from the Hungarian

(a) At the beginning of June 1944, Blaschke, the Mayor of
Vienna, requested Kaltenbrunner to supply him with labourers
for war work in Vienna.  Kaltenbrunner replies in the
affirmative on 30 June 1944 (the reference on this letter is
IVB4b - the Accused's Section, managed in his absence by his
deputy, Guenther).  He writes there that, in the meantime,
four transports with some 12,000 Jews will be sent and will
arrive shortly at the Vienna-Strasshof camp.  He adds that,
according to his estimate, about thirty per cent of the Jews
will be fit for work, and that they can be employed,
provided that they can be withdrawn at any moment.  As to
the wives and children of those Jews, who are not fit for
work, they will all be kept ready for special action (fuer
eine Sonderaktion), and will therefore be removed in the
future, but are to stay in the camp in the meantime, under
constant guard also during the day.  Kaltenbrunner asks
Blaschke to discuss further details with the representative
of the State Police and with SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Krumey
of the Special Operations Unit in Hungary (i.e., the
Accused's unit) (T/1211).  The meaning of the words "special
action" need not be explained: All those Jews were to be
taken away and exterminated, but in the meantime, those fit
for work would be employed at the pleasure of the Mayor of
Vienna, and their wives and children would wait with them as
prisoners until their turn came to die.

The Accused made use of this order by Kaltenbrunner, which
he had to obey, to mislead the Hungarian-Jewish leaders and
to extort money from them.  From the report of the Jewish
Relief and Rescue Committee in Budapest written by the late
Dr. Kasztner, it is apparent that the Accused made a show of
agreeing to the request put to him by Jewish communal
leaders to save Jewish lives by allowing the transfer of
15,000 Hungarian Jews to Austria, in order to "put them on
ice."  In consideration for this simulated concession, he
demanded a large sum of money from them, alleging that this
was needed for food for these Jews and for the care of the
sick (see T/1113, pp. 49, 50).

When cross-examined by the Attorney General, the Accused
does not deny this act of deceit.  He says: "It is possible
that I painted a bright picture for Kasztner" (Session 104,
Vol. IV, p.xxxx6).

If some of these Jews were finally saved from the fate which
was in store for them, this was not thanks to the Accused,
but because extermination by gassing at Auschwitz was
stopped in October or November 1944.  There is proof here of
the deceitful methods to which the Accused resorted in
regard to his victims.

Mention should also be made of another remark by the Accused
to Dr. Kasztner, to the effect that there should be no Jews
from the Carpathians or from Siebenbuergen amongst the Jews
to be sent to Austria, because they were "elements of much
greater ethnic value and more fertile, and he was not
interested in keeping them alive."  These words were
confirmed by witness Mrs. Hansi Brand (Session 58, Vol. III,
p. 11052).

(b) We listened to long testimony from Mr. Joel Brand and
his wife, Mrs. Hansi Brand.  Also documents were submitted
to us about negotiations carried on between Jewish communal
leaders and Himmler's agents concerning a barter of Jewish
lives against goods required by the Germans, especially
trucks.  We do not intend to follow all the details of these
complicated negotiations, which are now a matter of history,
but shall only make a few comments on the Accused's
contentions regarding these negotiations.
The Accused alleged that Becher, Himmler's chief agent for
economic affairs in Hungary - in particular responsible for
robbing Hungarian Jews of their property - trespassed into
his domain, by handling matters of Jewish emigration which
were reserved for the Accused, he being the expert on the
subject.  Moreover, Becher pressed him (the Accused) to step
up deportations to Auschwitz, in order to force the Jews to
hurry up with the supply of the goods.  But actually, Becher
dealt with these matters only in a small way - the
emigration of a few thousand Jews.  Becher's interference
angered the Accused, for here - so he explains - comes an
outsider and interferes in a field in which the Accused had
become expert over the course of many years - namely Jewish
emigration - and what is more, presses him to increase the
pace of the despicable work of deporting Jews to Auschwitz.
That is why he, the Accused, thought up a far-reaching plan
for the emigration of a million Jews, in order to have the
better of Becher in this competition.  And here the
unbelievable happened: He is informed by Mueller, to whom he
put the plan, that it has been authorized by his superiors.
He therefore sends Brand to Istanbul; and now he understands
the feelings of Brand, who is bitter about the failure of
his mission, because of his arrest by the British
Intelligence Service, and the Allies' refusal to respond to
the proposal for the supply of goods.  He further alleged
that he stipulated with Brand - and this, too, with the
consent of his superiors - that ten per cent of the total
number, i.e., 100,000 Jews, would be allowed to emigrate to
any country they wished, as soon as Brand brought the
consent of the other party to the supply of the goods, and
even before the actual supply began.  In the meantime, he
was already busy working out the organizational measures
involved in the transport of these 100,000 emigrants
(Session 86, Vol. IV, p. xxxx15).  He concludes his long
explanation as follows:

     "If, later on, an obstacle was put in the way of this
     transaction abroad, this caused me sorrow at the time,
     and I permit myself to say that I can very well
     understand Joel Brand's fury and pain.  I only hope
     that Joel Brand, too, in the light of the documents
     which now prove to him that I was not the man who
     carried out the extermination, understands on his part
     my own fury and my anger...." (supra)

We are of the opinion that this whole effort to appear now
before this Court as the initiator of the above transaction
is nothing but a lie.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.