The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 103
(Part 2 of 6)

Q. What you wrote was that you would indicate your objection to any expression by underlying it. Here you have not drawn a single stroke or line. So, clearly, you did not dissociate yourself from this passage, and therefore you did not voice any objections to it. Is that so?

A. No, that cannot be true, because I would naturally have taken an adverse position, as it is just not true, because that word was coined in the so-called "literary" way - this term - because Mueller also did not use that word to me at that time, in the forest, when he gave me my assignment and the order to report to Geschke at Mauthausen, because no word was...

Q. Did he tell you that you must ensure that the Warsaw Ghetto uprising would not be repeated, or was the term revolt in the Warsaw Ghetto even mentioned in connection with Hungary?

A. At that time, in March, there was no such reference whatsoever.

Q. You have heard here statements about the first talks with the Jewish representatives in Hungary, with Wisliceny, with Krumey, and so on. You remember this, do you not?

A. Yes.

Q. These talks took place on the basis of your instructions.

A. I cannot say so for certain, as I do not know precisely when I arrived in Budapest and when Wisliceny and Krumey...

Q. That is what your witness for the Defence, Krumey, himself says on pages 9 and 10 of his statement, that is to say, these discussions took place on your initiative.

A. In that case, that must be correct.

Q. And you yourself in person took part in the meeting of 31 March, did you not?

A. I do not remember the precise date, but I did take part in this meeting which has been referred to repeatedly, yes.

Q. And document T/1156, the minutes of this meeting, shows what the subject matter was. I believe you are familiar with the document, which was drawn up by Dr. Ernoe Boda, and I assume that you will confirm these minutes. Would you go over this quickly, please, and say whether, in general terms, this corresponds to what you remember.

A. Generally this is correct, but now I have come to the phrase I cannot accept: "If, however, the Jews here were to go over to the Ruthenian partisans, or to Tito's gangs, as in Greece, then I would slaughter them mercilessly." I cannot possibly have said that.

Q. But in general terms it is correct.

A. By and large, it is correct, yes, although I have not gone into details - after all, I have just glanced at it.

Q. You were also questioned about the statement by Dr. Patai, which was translated to you, and on pages 2988 and the following pages of your Statement you indicated your comments. You presumably remember this much. This statement also refers to the meeting.

A. What I said about it, I do not remember.

Q. Do you have any reason for assuming that what you said was incorrect?

A. Not everything I said in my Statement is absolutely accurate, because I made mistakes, I confused things, and at that time I did not have a comprehensive view and a proper grasp of all the material, and I tried, as I said time and time again during the Statement, I tried to reconstruct things, and so the Statement is an attempt at reconstruction.

Q. As the Presiding Judge has already said, we are interested in those details which you remember.

Presiding Judge: Did you say Patai? Here I see the name Munczi Ernoe, on page 2987. You mentioned page 2988.

Attorney General: Yes, I have the document here, the statement by Dr. Ernoe.

Presiding Judge: You mentioned a page from T/37, 2988. There the Accused was shown a translation from the book by Munzci Ernoe, called How Did It Happen?

Attorney General: This is a book which contains the matters recorded by Dr. Boda.

Presiding Judge: Did you say Patai?

Attorney General: Yes. These are two different documents.

Presiding Judge: In other words, we have the statement of Boda.

Attorney General: Yes. And we also have Patai's statement - that is T/1157.

Attorney General: [To the Accused] The meeting in which the deportations were planned took place in Vienna, and Franz Novak also took part in it. Correct?

Accused: I believe that Novak did take part in the timetable conference - not the discussions on the deportations, which were held between Kaltenbrunner and Veesenmayer and Geschke - but the timetable conference which was held in Vienna. Novak must definitely have taken part in that.

Q. All the arrangements for the deportation of the Jews from Hungary were made by your Section. Is that true?

A. If they involved technical transport aspects, such as timetables and these matters, that is correct, that is true.

Q. And the men from your Section, as you yourself have stated, were present whenever Jews were loaded into the freight cars. Is that true?

A. I have no knowledge as to whether they were always present. But they were at the various collection points, in order to except Jews of foreign nationality, in accordance with the directives issued by Veesenmayer's office. That is why they were present at the places where the Jews were concentrated. And in fact, normally these were the loading stations.

Q. That I do not understand. Why were you involved in concerning yourself about Jews with foreign nationality in Hungary? Hungary was, after all, a state, was it not? The Hungarian gendarmerie allegedly rounded up Jews there. So what business of yours was it whether they included Jews of foreign nationality or not?

A. That I do not know. The instruction was issued by Veesenmayer as Reich Plenipotentiary, and I received the instructions and orders through my superior in Hungary.

Q. What were the contents of the general directives about evacuations and deportations?

A. At the beginning, they covered the able-bodied only; later no further directives were issued, once Kaltenbrunner had arranged for general deportations in Hungary. That was the reason why Kaltenbrunner came to Hungary.

Q. From the Hungarian border and beyond, Krumey and Novak took over the deportation arrangements on their responsibility, did they not?

A. No, not for the transports by train, only for the matters concerning the foot march; not the train transports - those were accompanied by units which were made available by the Commander of the Order Police, or at least through the Commander of the Security Police.

Q. Now look at what you said to the police, and there was after all nothing further which could have become clear to you from the documents. On page 2200 you said:

"I simply mean by this that at each loading point some of my men had to be present, to check that the evacuations were taking place in accordance with the directives."
A. Yes, I did say that. At the beginning, directives were given that only able-bodied were to be transported. And then these directives lapsed, following instructions, because according to the agreement everyone was to be deported, and the Hungarian gendarmerie did in fact deport everyone.

Q. And in addition you said on page 279, in the middle, that an observer from your staff always had to be present during loading.

A. I said that because he was responsible for separating out Jews with foreign nationality. Veesenmayer's liaison officer gave me the relevant instructions. He himself inspected all the camps in turn, and he checked on the work of my men.

Q. And the escorts were provided by the Order Police?

A. As far as I still remember, remember vaguely, only when the transport train reached the Austrian...the German- Hungarian border. There the gendarmerie handed over to the Order Police. That is how things had always been, and I cannot imagine it being different in Hungary.

Q. There were around one hundred people from the Order Police, and they were at your disposal?

A. I do not know how many Order Policemen were available, but they were not subordinate to me. They were subordinate to the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, or to the Commander of the Order Police, because when it came to executive matters, I had nothing to do with that in Hungary, but I did deal with technical matters.

Q. We shall see about that in a moment. Now, I am once again showing you an extract from what you told Sassen, containing corrections in your handwriting. Would you look at this and see whether there are corrections there?

A. Yes.

Q. You added words. Would you please read this section. You were asked a question first; so please read out the question first, and then the answer.

A. I need slip No. 76 here, then I will read this out.

Q. Please read out what is written there.

A. It is not right, as slip 76 is missing. I made this objection at the time.

Q. The correction slip 76 refers to four words which you crossed out, but words have remained which you have not crossed out, and I am asking you to read them out.

A. Correction slip 76 - it does not say that this refers to four words, because...

Q. You can correct what you want later. First just read it out, and then make any comments you wish to make.

A. Yes.

"Do you know anything about the technique, about the way the Hungarians carried out the concentration of the Jews? Were you ever present?"

"No. I did not see any loading into the cars, because it was such a subordinate matter, for which I also had no responsibility, for which I had no time. But I have seen loading into various freight cars at various places in the Reich."

Then there are some words which have been crossed out.
"Never in Hungary. Nor was it my duty - it was the duty of the Hungarian gendarmerie. That would have been interference in the jurisdiction of the Hungarian authorities. They loaded and supplied the trains with rations for so many days; that was the agreement with the State Secretary for transport escorts. With the State Secretary. I had received under my control several hundred men from the Order Police for transport escort duty, and in my directives I gave orders for each transport train to consist of one lieutenant and thirty men, one staff sergeant with thirty men, so in Hungary I had - dot dot dot - I could at the very most have seen it in a private capacity, but never in an official or service capacity."
Q. Did you say that?

A. I do not know, but slip No. 76 refers to the entire page, where it says, for example, "I had received under my control several hundred men from the Order Police" - I did not have even one hundred men from the Order Police under my control, let alone several hundred men.

Q. How many did you have?

A. I did not receive under my control a single man from the Order Police.

Q. You had representatives in the various districts in Hungary, did you not?

A. No, they were not representatives, they were leaders, officers, whom I had to detail to those places in order to ensure that the arrangements for Jews of foreign nationality were respected. That was the most important thing we had to observe. The Hungarian gendarmerie was responsible for the other matters.

Q. Are you telling us here that all you did was to make sure that Jews of foreign nationality in Hungary were not touched - that was your entire assignment and your entire task in Hungary?

A. No, that was not it. The assignment was, moreover, to keep a constant watch on and observe timetable matters, by permanent contacts with the Reich Railway Directorate - I think it was Vienna - and the assignment was also to collect the reports, which came in from all over from my people, and for me to make an overall report to the Commander of the Security Police and the Higher SS and Police Leader, and simultaneously for Berlin too. My task was also the notice, that is to say, the notification of the departure of the train, and also certainly the confirmation of the arrival of the train. That was also part of my duties. I would like to say about this also - I forgot to say this - that in accordance with orders, I had to maintain contact with Secretary of State Endre, and less with Baky. I had instructions on that too, but that was the limit of my activity in Hungary.

Q. This contact with Endre was in order to lay down the details of the evacuation of Hungarian Jewry, was it not?

A. No; I did not need to lay down anything with Endre; I only had to learn from Endre what orders he had given to his gendarmerie, because I was obliged to do that vis-a-vis the Reich Railway Directorate...

Q. You met Endre every day, did you not?

A. Every day is an exaggeration.

Q. An exaggeration - but that is what you said on page 922. Very well, almost every day, all right? Is that better?

A. I would say - and that is fairly accurate - there may often have been weeks when I went to him every day, and often there was a whole week when I did not go to him at all.

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