Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-061-02 Last-Modified: 1999/06/07 State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, after the failure in Budapest, the Sondereinsatzkommando Eichmann was disbanded, and this is borne out by our document No. 378, which was submitted to the Accused and was given the number T/37(152). This is a document signed by Grell on 29 September 1944. It appears that Eichmann was in Berlin after these events, and after he returned from Berlin, he made a final decision concerning the Sondereinsatzkommando, which was under his command, as follows: "The Sondereinsatzkommando was formally disbanded at a final parade yesterday. Eichmann and the leaders, whom he had brought with him from Berlin at the time, were recalled, in principle, to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. But they were instructed to remain in Budapest for another week or so, on the assumption - as is being rumoured - of an expected change of direction in Hungary's internal policy." Then it says that some of the officers were transferred to the BdS (Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei - Commander of the Security Police) in Hungary, or to the KdS (Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei - Local Commander of the Security Police) in Budapest. Hauptsturmfuehrer Wisliceny was to return to Bratislava, and Hauptsturmfuehrer Dannecker was to remain in the Sondereinsatzkommando as a sort of rear guard. It should be pointed out that the Accused, when questioned on this document, denied its contents in his statement on page 1958 and said: "The Sondereinsatzkommando was never disbanded." Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1225. State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 870. It was submitted to the Accused and was given the number T/37(273). These are the directives relating to the treatment of Hungarian Jews in Austria. These were the instructions of Krumey, of the Sondereinsatzkommando, something called the Aussenkommando (Exterior Unit) Vienna. This was a Sonderkommando attached to the Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in Ungarn - Aussenkommando Wien. As I have stated, the subject is the treatment to be meted out to those Jews who were working in Austria. Here the Court will note, for example, in the first paragraph, that the Hungarian Jews who were transferred through the Labour Ministry are regarded as Gestapo prisoners. Paragraph three refers to the hours of work and states that these Jews may also be employed beyond the usual hours of work. In paragraph four, it says the German labour laws do not apply to the Jews. Under paragraph six, the Jews are forbidden to leave the camp. In paragraph 16, it says that the Jewish labour forces do not receive cash payment for their work. Payment for the work had to be made to the Sondereinsatzkommando. In paragraph 23, there is reference to the yellow star that all Jews must wear. Paragraph 28 provides for various punishments applying to the Jews for sundry offences, disciplinary offences, such as the deportation of the entire family - the parents, husband, wife and children of the offender - to the Laxenburg camp of the Sondereinsatzkommando. There is also an annexure here, dated 29 June 1944 - special directives concerning the Jewish policemen. "Every Jewish policeman in the camp is to be responsible that no Jew should come into contact with other members of the population," and paragraph two refers to the punishment which can be meted out to the Jews, and, particularly, to these policemen, for each offence. And here it says: "As punishment, it is possible to impose (1) placement in a concentration camp; (2) the death penalty." Any Jew acting in violation of these instructions or trying to escape from the camp shall be placed immediately in a concentration camp, or, in grave cases, he will be sentenced to death. Presiding Judge: There are two other documents here - a medical report. Is this included here? State Attorney Bach: Yes, it is part of the same report, it is of no special significance. Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1226. State Attorney Bach: The following document is No. 1183, dated 26 September 1944. Here Grell reports that Ferenczy came to him and informed him that the Jews had approached him, stating that they were now prepared to move to labour camps inside Hungary. They were ready to renounce, practically, their opposition to being deported from Budapest and placed in camps in Hungary, the reason being their fear that the Sondereinsatzkommando Eichmann was likely to return and to transfer them to Germany. Ferenczy also reports on this conversation to the Germans. They say that the Jews were particularly fearful, because Hauptsturmfuehrer Wisliceny had returned to Budapest. Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1227. State Attorney Bach: The next document, our No. 559, deals with a young girl, aged 17, named Gracia Kerenyi, who is not, in fact, a Jewess, but of first degree mixed parentage. Her father is a Christian, a well-known professor at the university, and apparently her mother was Jewish. This girl apparently spoke out at school against the entry of the Germans into Hungary. And then, when the German forces entered, they arrested her and decided to transfer her to the Stapoleitstelle of Vienna, so that she should be placed into what was called an educational camp. And then - so says the legation in Budapest - instead of being transferred to the educational camp, she was in error sent to Auschwitz. Meanwhile, it transpired that this family was a very distinguished one, and the incident caused a great uproar, that her father was a highly respected man, and that he did not even have a negative attitude towards Germany. Therefore, they strongly urged that the girl be brought back. Then it says that she is in Auschwitz and that, meanwhile, she had become a bearer of secrets, and hence it was impossible to return her. The legation in Budapest now enquires if this girl is, in fact, still alive. Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1228. State Attorney Bach: The answer appears in the following document, No. 560, and comes from the office of IVA4b, signed by Guenther, and dated 4 November 1944. Here, Guenther advises von Thadden that this girl Kerenyi will be transferred in a few weeks' time to the concentration camp at Ravensbrueck. In view of her hostile conduct towards Germany, her release during the course of the War is out of the question. She had written a letter to her family, delivery of which would be permitted. Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1229. State Attorney Bach: Our next document is No. 388; this was submitted to the Accused and was given the number T/37(155). Wagner writes a memorandum on 12 October 1944, and he refers to a report he had received from Veesenmayer. In his report, Minister Veesenmayer explains that the Hungarians had so far not honoured the obligations which they had taken upon themselves for the solution of the Jewish Question in Budapest as an internal operation of the State of Hungary, and that apparently they had no intention of fulfilling these obligations, in order to establish an alibi. He now says that "in case of an approach of the front line to the German-Hungarian area of operations, consideration would have to be given to a change, in principle, of the attitude of the Germans and to the question of carrying out the evacuation of the remaining Jews on our own initiative, or by means of suitable pressure on the Hungarian Government." Below he adds: "In view of the fact that the implementation of the measures against the Jews is likely to be mainly dependent on the possibility of the SS now being able to furnish the necessary units, an instruction is requested as to what extent this question must be cleared up, first of all, with the Reichsfuehrer-SS or with the Head Office for State Security." Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1230. State Attorney Bach: Meanwhile, the first transport from the Bergen-Belsen train had reached Switzerland from Bergen- Belsen - those 318 Jews of whom we have heard. In the next document, our No. 449, there is a minute by Wagner, dated 16 September 1944. He reports on a demarche by the Swiss legation which says that on 22 August, 318 Jews arrived in Basel, most of them possessing Hungarian citizenship, without the required papers. The Swiss wanted to know where these Jews had come from, what sort of people they were, and they asked that in future the Swiss Government be supplied with particulars before such transports were dispatched. From the conclusion of the report, it is plain that Wagner was now requesting an explanation from the Head Office for Reich Security. Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1231. State Attorney Bach: Our next document is No. 450, which was shown to the Accused and was given the number T/37(154). Here Wagner refers to that previous document and says the Head Office for Reich Security had informed von Thadden that the transport of those 318 Hungarian Jews was an operation for securing essential commodities for the war effort on the part of the SS, and that the consideration given would be to the advantage of the SS. Details of the transaction were not known in Berlin, since the discussion between the Reichsfuehrer and the person entrusted with the implementation of the transaction, Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, took place directly, and orally only. For reasons given by the Security Police, nothing was put in writing, either, about this matter. For the same reason, they said, the Foreign Ministry could only obtain a verbal answer. In conclusion, he proposes, in connection with the Swiss memorandum, that the sending of a reply should be held up for the time being, and in the event of Switzerland's raising the problem anew, they should answer them, after a suitable period, by word of mouth, that the investigation into the matter had not yielded any results. Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1232. State Attorney Bach: The following document is naturally connected with the document of Grell referred to previously, from which we are able to judge that the German Foreign Ministry really did not know the particulars of this transaction except from rumours and from reports of the Reichsfuehrer-Hauptamt... Judge Raveh: Is there an explanation for the second paragraph, in connection with the severing of relations with Turkey and the betrayal of Bulgaria? Is there any explanation for that? State Attorney Bach: I think that that, too, was camouflage on the part of the Reichsfuehrer-Hauptamt. Your Honour will surely recall that in Veesenmayer's first report he said that the matter concerned the dispatch of a number of Jews to Turkey - that is what Winkelmann told him - and, in the meantime, there was the severance of relations with Turkey, and thus they assume that apparently there would be no such negotiations any more. We shall see, later on, that Himmler tried to conceal these negotiations both from the Foreign Ministry and from Hitler and the Hitler-Kaltenbrunner- Mueller line of command. We shall yet come across this in other evidence, and it seems to me that this remark, too, can be interpreted in the same light. That is to say, it was explained to them that it was not realistic, since they had no contact with Turkey, and thus there would be no more transactions of this kind. Our next document is numbered 975. This is a brief comprehensive and summarizing report. He says that on 19 March there were 800,000 Jews in Hungary, 430,000 Jews were deported to the Reich territory, that in the Hungarian labour services - the "Honved" - there were 150,000 Jews, and 200,000 were in the Budapest region. Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1233. State Attorney Bach: Our following document is our No. 525. This is already on 18 October, after the coup d'etat of Szalasi. The document was shown to the Accused and was given the number T/37(153). Here, Veesenmayer sends a cable and already reports on a change in the political situation. He says that Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, who returned that day from Budapest, began negotiations to secure fifty thousand Jewish men from Budapest fit for physical labour, and to take them on a foot march, in order to use them for labour. The other Jewish men in Budapest who were fit for work would be employed immediately in building military fortifications in the area, and the remaining Jews would all be concentrated in ghetto-like camps on the outskirts of the city. At the end he also says that the order had been given that all Jews were again required to wear the yellow star. During the absence of the Sondereinsatzkommando, they had removed the yellow badge, but now Eichmann had returned, and they were again obliged to wear the yellow badge. Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1234. Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I would ask that attention be paid to what appears in the first sentence. There it says: "Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, who returned to Budapest today, upon the request of the Senior Commander of the SS and the Police here, and by order of the Head of the Security Police." State Attorney Bach: In connection with this date of Eichmann's return to Budapest after the success of the Fascist coup d'etat of Szalasi, I should like to draw the Court's attention to page 109 of the Kasztner report. Here it says: "Two days after the coup d'etat - this was 17 October - Eichmann arrived in Budapest in great haste by plane from Berlin. He summoned me to Becher's office, where he spoke to me as follows: `So, you see, I am back here again! You no doubt thought that the story of Romania and Bulgaria would repeat itself here? Apparently you forgot that Hungary still rests in the shadow of the destruction of the Reich! And our hands are long enough to be able to grasp the Jews of Budapest as well...! And so, take note: This government operates under our orders. I will immediately get in touch with Minister Kovarcz, who is in charge of Jewish affairs. The Jews of Budapest will be deported, this time on foot. At present, we need all our means of transportation for other purposes. But, if you will place at our disposal a suitable number of trucks, the deportation can be accomplished also by means of these vehicles... Or does it not suit you? You are afraid - is that it? Then don't come any more with your American tales - now there is going to be disciplined and prompt work! All right?'" (Jetzt wird hier gearbeitet, stramm und hurtig! Gell?) The next document, Your Honours, the last for the present stage, is document No. 212, which was shown to the Accused and was given the number T/37(108). Here, Veesenmayer, on 18 October, reports on the outcome of the negotiations between Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann and the new Hungarian Minister of the Interior on the Jewish Question, and he says: "Notwithstanding the fact that Szalasi has already adopted a stand in principle not to continue permitting the transport of Hungarian Jews in future into Reich territory, the Minister of the Interior will try to secure an exceptional approval for the proposed one-time temporary delivery of fifty thousand Jewish men, fit for physical work, who are needed for the fighter aircraft plan - the 'Jaeger Plan.' Their transport will be carried out by foot march, accompanied by German units." After that, it states that the Eichmann operational unit will participate as consultants in carrying out the action in Budapest, and, in other respects the operation will be carried out by the Hungarian gendarmerie. At the end it says that "Eichmann intends, as we are confidentially informed, after a successful conclusion of the proposal as mentioned, to demand later a further fifty thousand Jews, in order to secure the final objective of clearing the Hungarian zone, while preserving Szalasi's stand in principle." Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1235. State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, in the context of this foot march, I would ask the Court to listen now to the evidence of Mr. Arye Breszlauer. Presiding Judge: [To witness] Do you speak Hebrew? Witness Breszlauer: Yes. [The witness is sworn.] Presiding Judge: What is your full name? Witness: Arye Zvi Breszlauer. State Attorney Bach: Mr. Breszlauer, you were born in Hungary? Witness Breszlauer: I was born in a place which, until 1918, belonged to Hungary. I was born in a small village, Vysni Ridniczi, a small village in the vicinity of Michalovce. Presiding Judge: Is that in Slovakia? Witness Breszlauer: In Eastern Slovakia. State Attorney Bach: Were you also in Hungary at the time of the German occupation in 1944? Witness Breszlauer: At the time of the German occupation of Hungary, I was in Budapest. Q. Did you, at that time, take part in a particular activity with the assistance of foreign legations for the purpose of rescuing the Jews of Hungary? A. At that time, in 1944, I did not participate in any activity. I was in hiding in Budapest for certain reasons. At that time, there was also no possibility of taking action. After the occupation, the centre of activity was Sip Street. That was where the Judenrat, as they called it, the Jewish Council, was located. There I wanted to get involved in work, to do something, and to find out what they were doing generally. There was great confusion there, and I worked in a department which dealt with Jews in the border areas. There was talk there that certain people would receive papers stamped by the Germans which would enable them to visit various areas. I had previously been a public functionary in Carpatho-Russia. I was a lawyer in the small town of Uzhgorod in Carpatho-Russia. I was promised that I would get a document enabling me to visit there. This took time. On 23 May, I was arrested and imprisoned and was brought to the State Police on the Schwabenberg. May I continue? Presiding Judge: Please answer Mr. Bach's question. That will be more helpful. State Attorney Bach: When did you commence that activity on which I questioned you previously? Witness Breszlauer: I was imprisoned.
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