The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-106-06

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-106-06
Last-Modified: 1999/06/14

Q. Then you have already referred to the camouflage orders
which came from Himmler.

A. Yes.

Q. These made it possible, by misleading the victims, to
facilitate the work, and also to harness the Jews themselves
to work for their own extermination?

A. Yes, of course.

Q. What effect did the Warsaw Ghetto uprising have on
subsequent measures?

A. I believe the consequences drawn from this by the
leadership were actually taken into account and observed
accordingly only for Holland; I think at least for Holland
and Hungary.  In Holland there were the...there was the
expectation of an invasion, and in Hungary there was the
approaching second, Ukrainian, front.

Q. And what practical consequences were drawn from that?

A. This concern was reflected in the top echelons' extensive
activities, in order to speed up the removal of Jews from
these areas.

Q. You are referring now to the approaching front in these
two countries, that is correct.  However, what I am asking
now is this: Was there any concern, or was there any account
taken of the possibility of Jewish resistance?

A. Yes, of course, that was in fact also the reason, because
as the front came closer and contacts were made with the
Jewish masses...there were fears that there would be
uprisings, and the defences would be weakened.  This found
its expression in strategic reasoning, I imagine, and I
believe that I am quite right about that.

Q. You said in one of your written, handwritten recounted the incident between you and Wolff

A. Yes.

Q. Who was close to Himmler.  Things went so far that, in
fact, you wanted to challenge him to a duel, although you
were substantially in the right, as you said, because in a
particular case, which evidently was also the case of a Jew,
you refused to make an exception.

A. Yes.

Q. And you explained this by saying that an exception not
provided for in the general regulations, could lead to a
snowball effect.

A. Yes.

Q. So that, as you said, "within a very short time, with the
support of the many German bodies which were just waiting
for the opportunity and were trying to intervene, and with
the support of Jewry's own efforts, this could snowball and
the whole operation could collapse."

A. Yes, that is correct, but of course that was not the
reason why I challenged him.

Q. No, no.  And then there was an exchange of words between
you, because you refused...

A. Yes, those were the orders I had, I could not ignore
them, and then he became verbally abusive, and I was not
prepared to stand for that, and that was the reason for my
challenge, not because...

Q. And he referred to his superior position - he was with
Himmler, he was an Obergruppenfuehrer or something similar,
and you said: I may be only an Obersturmbannfuehrer, but...

A. Yes, I had my orders and could not alter them on my own
authority.  But, on the other hand, he could not verbally
abuse me.

Q. And that is why you said you were right.

A. Yes.

Q. The witness Freudiger testified here that you - you
personally - released various Jews from the ghettoization in
Eastern Hungary and allowed them to come to Budapest; that
you issued a general instruction to the effect that members
of the Jewish Council of Budapest could submit a request,
through you, on behalf of their closest relations.

A. I also remember that, I arranged that with Dr. Kasztner,
and I had the approval of the Higher SS and Police Leader
for that, and he probably agreed to it with Veesenmayer.  I
also remember that, I also - I think - wrote that, and I was
extremely surprised, and I also said as much, that Dr.
Kasztner did not mention this in his report, because it was
after much thought that...

Q. Yes, is it a fact that you did that?

A. Yes.  I arranged that with Dr. Kasztner...

Q. And carried it out?

A. I did not carry it out; Dr. Kasztner carried it out.

Q. But with your help?

A. With my help?

Q. Shall we say with your approval?

A. It was covered by the Hungarian gendarmerie; I had
explicit authority for it.

Q. At first, I had Freudiger in mind.  You added that this
was agreed with Dr. Kasztner; as is well known, in fact you,
together with Dr. Kasztner, arranged for a largish number of
Jews to escape from Hungary to Bergen-Belsen, and from there
to Switzerland, right?  That was a fairly large transport,
wasn't it?

A. At that time everything was connected.  I cannot separate
things any longer, it has all got mixed up, then the Becher

Q. Very well, but the Freudiger matter came prior to Becher.
That has nothing to do with it.

A. I do not know that, I cannot remember that.

Q. Did you have all this confirmed by your superior?

A. Yes, I always had to ask.  That is obvious, because
otherwise it would have been talked about, if I had done
such things, and then there might have been quarrels with
the Hungarian authorities.  I had to protect myself from
that, and I drew up the relevant memo.

Q. Why did your superiors confirm this and give the
authorization for it?

A. Because all of these operations in this respect
originated from the special assignment which Becher had from
Himmler, and all of these matters were causally related to
that.  Not only did they have to be approved by the
Hungarian superior authorities, but they also had to be
approved by the Head Office for Reich Security, because the
transports in fact went through Reich territory to Bergen-
Belsen, and thus a large number of people, I would say, and
many offices as well, were involved in these matters.

Q. All right.  At that time, did you talk to Himmler in
person about the Brand affair, about this undertaking of

A. Not with Himmler.

Q. Not with Himmler in person?

A. Not even with the Chief of the Security Police, only with
Mueller.  And of course with the Higher SS and Police Leader
in Hungary and with the Commander.

Q. Yes, yes.  I am only asking about Himmler.

A. In Berlin, only with Mueller.  But then Mueller in turn
talked to...

Q. Yes, of course that is clear that Mueller also... So you
do not know on good authority what Himmler's intentions were

A. No, I do not know on good authority what intentions
Himmler had, but I assume that Himmler's only intention
would have been to obtain the equipment for motorizing his

Q. All right.  Look, a - a second intention is certainly
indicated by the promise not to use the trucks on the
Western front.

A. Yes.

Q. Any child, after all, can understand this as a political
intention to divide the West from the East.

A. I was not able to say anything other than what my orders
were.  I also said this without concealing anything, exactly
as I was instructed.

Q. Yes, but these intentions were apparent.

A. Certainly.  But naturally it is also possible...I do not
know, I cannot make any comment, Your Honour.

Q. Because it is difficult to imagine one side supplying the
enemy with military equipment during a war...

A. That is true.

Q. order to equip one or two divisions.

A. That is true, yes, indeed.  But it was not a question of
what I thought.  At that time I...

Q. No, I am not saying that this is what you thought.  It
might, however, have been what Himmler thought.

A. Yes, it might have been what Himmler thought.

Q. Then we have a statement, by Becher, I believe.  He says
that Himmler told him: "Promise whatever you want, keeping
it is something else.  What we are prepared to keep, I shall
decide later."

A. I have also read that.  But that is contradicted, Your
Honour, by the fact that the ten per cent clause was

Q. Yes, we shall talk about that later.  So would not all of
that together fit rather well into the general policy of
camouflaging things from the Jews?  To lead them astray?

A. I would be prepared to admit that, were it not for the
factual situation and the fact of the ten per cent.

Q. This ten per cent - that would be one hundred thousand

A. That would have been one hundred thousand Jews.

Q. Were not one hundred thousand Jews required for the
fighter plane project?  You do know what the fighter plane
project was?

A. Yes - but that was in fact much later - according to the

Q. When was it?  Was it not at the same time -  one hundred
thousand Hungarian Jews - twice fifty thousand?

A. I do not remember now...I am confusing this now with the
documents.  If I could look it up, I would immediately know
whether the fighter plane project was right at the
beginning, or only in the autumn...

Q. It might not have been implemented until the autumn, but
perhaps the plans already existed at the beginning...

A. Yes.  But that was not meant by that, this ten per cent
clause, the ten per cent meant that these ten per cent would
be made available somewhere where these Jewish functionaries
- with whom Joel Brand would have negotiated - would...

Q. Personally, you were not an anti-Semite?

A. No, not personally, using this term "anti-Semite" in the
sense of "anti-Jewish."

Q. And in this context you also said the following in your
police interrogation - on page 114: "Some of my second
mother's relatives married Jews..."

A. Yes.

Q. You had a Jewish aunt - called Dorczi?

A. Yes.

Q. And you said that the daughter of this marriage -
according to the Nuremberg Laws - was a half-Jewess?

A. Yes...

Q. I am quoting: "...I think in 1944, but definitely in 1943
- she was able, with your approval, to leave for

A. Yes.

Q. You said: "Of course I authorized this.  By this I mean
that I had no innate hatred of Jews."  And in conjunction
with this, you said that the same uncle - apparently the
husband of this Jewish aunt - if I understand you

A. Yes.

Q. ...came to you again and asked you to intervene on behalf
of a Jewish couple from Vienna.  And after that you
continue: "I simply mean by this that I had no innate hatred
of the Jews."  What happened with the Jewish couple from
Vienna, about whom your uncle came to see you?  Did you give
your authorization, or did you reject the request?

A. That is quite possible, they were not in fact the only
cases, because if a...

Q. Did you give your authorization for this couple?

A. I no longer remember, but I will have dealt with this
with great sympathy, and I could in fact deal with this

Q. Recommended, let us say.

A. In fact they were not the only cases.  As long as a
matter was not going through the paperwork, the registration
machinery and the Officials-in-charge, that is to say, was
being handled officially, if I can put it that way, it was
easy to turn two blind eyes, and to that belong these cases.
If I was notified entre nous, then in this case also I
might, under certain circumstances, ask an Official-in-
charge.  In every law there were certain loopholes.

Q. Do not be so long-winded. So you turned a blind eye?

A. Since it was not being dealt with officially and there
was no reference number, I could in fact do this.

Q. So in these cases you acted according to your human

A. There were very few cases, precisely because most of them
were submitted in writing...

Q. There is no need for you to apologize for this.

A. And then it was not possible.

Q. But the fact of the matter is that in a few cases you did

A. If it could be done easily, without there being problems.

Q. And you were not so strict about your oath of allegiance?

A. Oh yes, I had to be strict about that, because I would
definitely have told Mueller about this matter or, as the
phrase goes, I would have confessed.

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