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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-054-01

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-054-01
Last-Modified: 1999/06/04

Session No.54
11 Sivan 5721 (26 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the fifty-fourth Session of the
trial open.

State Attorney Bach:  Your Honours, I should like, first of
all, to inform the Court that Kappler regarding whom the
Court decided to examine the possibility of interrogating in
Italy, is in military gaol in Gaeta, which is to the south
of Rome; hence the most suitable place for interrogating him
would be in a Court in Rome. We would accordingly suggest
that the Honourable Court should request the Italian
Minister of Justice to give instructions for the
interrogation of this witness by representatives of the

Presiding Judge: Should the approach not be directly to the
Italian Court, and only passed on to it by the Ministry of

State Attorney Bach:  We understand that the proper approach
in this instance should be to the Italian Ministry of
Justice, and there they will take the appropriate steps.

Presiding Judge: Is this in accordance with the Convention
or is there no provision there?

State Attorney Bach:  I do not remember exactly. Perhaps the
Attorney General could tell us.

Attorney General: The Convention leaves the option in the
hands of the Italian authorities to decide whether they will
comply with the request or not. In other words the matter
still rests within their discretion. Therefore we ask the
Court to request the Italian executive authorities to
exercise their discretion and to forward the application to
the Court. This is provided for in the Convention.

Presiding Judge: One further matter.  When we spoke
yesterday about the matter of the questionnaires, I forgot
about the problem of the addresses of Juettner and Grell.
Dr. Servatius, do you have the addresses of these witnesses?

Dr. Servatius:  No, I shall probably receive a telephone
message only today, at midday.

Presiding Judge: Very well, please continue, Mr. Bach.

State Attorney Bach:  Your Honours, our next witness is
Avraham Gordon.

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Gordon:    Yes, I speak Hebrew.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is  your full name?

Witness: Avraham Gordon.

Presiding Judge: Please reply to Mr. Bach's questions.

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Gordon, were you born in Hungary?

Witness Gordon:  Yes.

Q. In Budapest?

A. Yes.

Q. In what year?

A. In 1927.

Q. Where were you in 1944?

A. I was in Budapest. I was at school in the sixth grade of
the Gymnasium ( Secondary School) - this corresponds to the
tenth grade in Israeli terms.

Q. Do you remember 19 March 1944?

A. It was a Sunday, the day on which the German army
occupied Hungary and also entered Budapest.

Q. How did this affect your studies?

A. In the following two weeks our studies went on, and
thereafter, a general closure of all the schools in Hungary
was declared. We finished the school year and after that
classes were stopped and also the air-raids began. This was
the reason given for ceasing all teaching in Hungary that

Q. Did the studies of all pupils cease?

A. Of all.

Q. Not only of the Jewish pupils?

A. No - all of them.

Q. Were you living with your family?

A. Yes. I was staying in the district of Buda, Quarter No.

Q. Who were the members of your family?

A. My father, my mother, my brother, my grandfather and

Q. When were the Jews ordered to wear the yellow Shield of

A. As far as I remember, it was on 5 April. This is the date
I recall.

Q. Do you remember receiving, on one of those days, a
certain order from the German authorities?

A. That was about a week before Hitler's birthday, on 12 or
13 April. I think that this order came from the Jewish
Council, with the approval, and by order, of the German
security services.

Q. What was the order?

A. It was stated in the order that we were to report on the
Schwabenberg in the morning for labour service.

Q. What was the Schabenberg?

A. Before the War Schwabenberg served as a resort place, and
it had many private villas. When I arrived, I found most of
the headquarters of the German army there.

Q. You say there were private villas there?

A. There were private villas, and hotels.

Q. Were there also Germans in the occupying army?

A. Yes. There were many German soldiers.

Q. And did you report for labour service?

A. I reported, and I was referred to a Jewish engineer named

Q. Only you, or were there other Jews as well?

A. When I came to the Schwabenberg, I found between one
hundred and one hundred and fifty other Jews.

Q. Were they all about your age, or were there also people
of other ages?

A. Most of them were young people under the age of 18, but
there were approximately 20-30 older persons, about the age
of 50.

Q. Please tell the Court what happened after you reported to
Mr. Kolbach?

A. They detailed us to various types of work. They were
drilling two tunnels there, one in the direction of the Eden
Hotel which was opposite the Majestic Hotel and the other
leading to the Majestic Hotel. We did not know exactly the
uses to which these tunnels were to be put. We thought they
would serve as shelters and as arms depots.

Q. Arms depots and shelters for whom?

A. For the German army.

Q. You say that you reported to Kolbach. Was he in charge of
this work?

A. Kolbach was the person in charge on behalf of the Jewish
Council, but there was a liaison officer on behalf of the
SS, named Buehring, a young man who was also an engineer,
and he supervised all these works.

Q. How long were you engaged in this work?

A. I was engaged in this work for approximately one month.

Q. When was this, roughly? From when to when?

A. It was in 1944, from the middle of April to the middle of
May 1944.

Q. And throughout this time, you worked at the same place?

A. They also sent us to so-called outside jobs. We worked
both at the Eden Hotel and also at the sanatorium, and once
or twice I was also sent to work in the building of the
Hungarian Political Police. The building of the Hungarian
Political Police was near the Majestic Hotel.

Q. Mr. Gordon, did you see Adolf Eichmann at the time you
were working there?

A. No. during the time I worked on the Schwabenberg, I did
not see Adolf Eichmann.

Q. Did you see Adolf Eichmann at all while you were working
in that service?

A. Yes.

Q. When?

A. After the middle of May 1944, we received an order; we
were classified - they sorted out about fifteen Jews - about
ten young people and five adults - and we were transferred
to a particular place, which was called the "Rose Hill" in
one of the districts of Buda, and we were taken to a villa,
which as it turned out afterwards, was the private residence
of Adolf Eichmann. Previously, before the War, this villa
belonged to a Jewish industrialist, the owner of the
Tungsram and Orion factories.

Q. What was his name?

A. Leopold Aschner.

Q. Was Leopold Aschner the Jew to whom the villa belonged?

A. Yes. He was the legal owner of the villa.

Q. And that was where Eichmann lived?

A. Yes.

Q. What were you supposed to do in this district?

A. First of all, a German awaited us - he was dressed in
short trousers, a man by the name of Slawik, and he showed
us a small storeroom for work tools at the rear entrance of
this building, and he gave us tools, and we went out into
the garden of the building. It was a large garden, and he
ordered us to dig ditches.

Q. When you say "us" - how many were you?

A. There were fifteen of us.

Q. Were these the same fifteen?

A. The same fifteen.

Q. Do you know who this Slawik was - what was his rank and
his duties?

A. We did not know exactly what his duties were, but we
thought he was Eichmann's bodyguard.

Q. Did he sometimes walk around in uniform, or was he always
dressed in the way you have described?

A. I only saw him wearing civilian clothes.

Q. How did you know his name was Slawik?

Q. He introduced himself, saying that his name was Slawik
and that "you had better beware of me."

Q. And he made you dig these ditches?

A. It was in this garden, a very large garden, and we were
forced to dig about twenty ditches in that garden.

Q. How long did you work there?

A. I worked at that place for about a month, until the
middle of June.

Q. Every day?

A. Yes.

Q. And all the time with the rest of your companions?

A. No. Although the group did not change, in the middle of
this period, when the deportations began from the suburbs of
Budapest, from Ujpest, Kispest and so on, there were also
some Jews from these localities who came to work. And in the
middle of this period they suddenly stopped coming. And then
we understood that they had been deported.

Q. You told us about Slawik. How did you know that this
villa served as a residence for Adolf Eichmann?

A. First of all, the engineer in charge of us told us that
one of the Gestapo commanders from Budapest, whose name was
Adolf Eichmann, lived there, and Slawik also mentioned his

Q. Did you also see Eichmann?

A. I saw him a number of times.

Q. You see the Accused here. Are you able to say with
certainty that he is the man?

A. I must point out that he has changed since then. But I
have seen old pictures of him.

Presiding Judge: Where did you see his pictures?

Witness Gordon:  In the press.

State Attorney Bach:  Mr. Gordon, look at these photographs.
Are you able to say anything about them?

Witness Gordon:  This is the man - without a shadow of a

Q. There are three photographs here, Mr. Gordon. To which
photograph are you referring?

A. To the right-hand photograph, mainly, at the top.

State Attorney Bach:  I would apply to submit this document
to the Court. The Court will notice that this exhibit is
actually signed on the reverse side by the Accused.

Presiding Judge: Has it been showed to the Accused?

State Attorney Bach:  Yes. And he has acknowledged it.

Presiding Judge: Did he acknowledge it in his statement?

State Attorney Bach:  I believe that these photographs, each
one separately, were shown to him. But I shall check this
matter once more. If it should be necessary, we will submit
additional proof on the question of this signature.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1125.

State Attorney Bach:  When you saw Eichmann, how was he

Witness Gordon:   He used to walk around inside the villa. I
saw him first on the verandah, on the balcony of the second
floor of the villa - what in European terms is called the
first floor.

Q. How many floors were there in the villa altogether?

A. I would say one floor, but in Israel this would be
referred two as two floors. There was a ground floor and
another floor.

Q. And where did he reside?

A. He resided on the upper floor.

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