The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 103
(Part 3 of 5)

Q. What was Endre's function?

A. Endre was somehow the chief of the Hungarian gendarmerie.

Q. And he was in charge of the deportations of the Jews from there to Auschwitz, wasn't he?

A. On the Hungarian side, yes, with the Minister of the Interior.

Q. And on page 922 you said, "because I did in fact meet Lazi Endre almost every day."

A. I have just explained what is meant by almost every day. For example, I was frequently not in Budapest for a week or longer. I went off somewhere privately, so then I cannot have met with Endre, and therefore this expression must not be taken literally. Not at all.

Q. And you took part in a meeting on 25 May 1944, with Baky. Who was Baky?

A. Baky was a Secretary of State, just like Endre. Both were in charge of the gendarmerie; exactly how this was divided up, I cannot say.

Q. All right. And in this meeting on 25 May, the details were set with Baky for the concentration and evacuation of the Jews in the various parts of the Hungarian State, is that correct?

A. Although I cannot remember it, I have read this and must say that that is quite possible, because those were the basics, according to the timetable.

Presiding Judge: So the reply is yes, correct?

Accused: Yes.

Attorney General: So you had representatives in the various districts of the country. Perhaps you can remember who these representatives were, where their offices were. If you do not want to call them representatives, then just give them whatever other name you see fit.

Accused: I do not know what their names were in detail, even less do I know where they operated. I know that Wisliceny was out there, I believe that Abromeit also worked out there, and Hunsche will also definitely have made a journey outside. More than three or four would never have been outside.

Q. Zoeldi.

A. Zoeldi was not in fact subordinate to me, I did not direct him. He worked with the Hungarian gendarmerie. The man was also not listed in personnel records as being with me.

Q. Is it not true that he was a Gestapo man and wore German Gestapo uniform, that he was seconded to you?

A. I do not know, I can only see this man in a Hungarian captain's uniform...

Q. Did he not wear a Gestapo uniform?

A. I do not know about that. No, he also only came to far as I remember, I believe I only saw him in my rooms once or twice. He cannot have spent very long with me, I believe, because at the beginning when I was asked, the name was totally unfamiliar to me, and then it occurred to me, yes, there was briefly a man, a Hungarian gendarmerie officer with me with a Hungarian name, and so I guessed that he might have been this Zoeldi. Those are the only recollections I had and have.

Q. Abromeit was also one of the commanders of assembly camps for the Jews in Hungary, wasn't he?

A. I have said that if Abromeit was actually in Hungary - which I am not trying to question, but which I do not remember - then it is very likely, because he was a man who was used to working in the field, and not do desk work, that he was outside...but there were no commanders.

Q. We have here exhibit T/1162, according to which Abromeit belonged to the commander's office of the Nesmeny assembly camp. Do you remember anything along those lines? He was one of your people, so you should remember that, shouldn't you?

A. If that is in there, then quite clearly Abromeit was out in the field. I did not say an untruth, though, I simply did not know. Whether the place is correct or not, I do not know. I am not familiar with it, and if he belonged to the commander's office, that does not mean he was the commander.

Q. I asked you whether he was a member of the camp commander's office, not whether he was the commander.

Q. I believe this should not be understood as the camp commander's office, but rather this is the commander's office of the Hungarian gendarmerie, which carried out the deportations, and since he had to operate in this area, that is to say, to single out the Jews with foreign nationality, he naturally belonged to the command staff.

Presiding Judge: So the answer is that he belonged to the command staff, and that is that!

Attorney General: And similar duties to those of Abromeit were also carried out by the other people who worked outside, correct?

Accused: Yes.

Q. You yourself visited the ghettos - we have heard here Sapir's statement that you went to Munkacs, for example?

A. I did not visit a camp. I was making a trip to the Carpathians, on a bear hunt - but I did not carry out any official duties. I never visited a camp.

Q. I believe you organized quite a different hunt from a bear hunt - but we shall ascertain that later. You heard Sapir state here that you visited the Munkacs Ghetto - are you saying that he told a lie?

A. If that is alleged to have happened, then it must be a lie, because I never went to any Munkacs Ghetto. I did not visit any camp whatsoever, neither a camp nor a ghetto, in Hungary.

Q. I do not, however, remember your asking Mr. Sapir any questions about that - not in cross-examination and not at any other time - although you did in fact hear his statement clearly. Can you comment on this?

A. I have a document here, there is in fact a document here showing that Secretary of State Endre did visit some place in the Carpathians...I went to the Carpathians in Endre's car. Endre attended to his official duties. I remained in the hotel during that time. I definitely remember that...I had no reason...

Q. But that in fact was not my question. Would you please be so kind as to answer my questions. Why, after Sapir testified here as to your visit to the Munkacs Ghetto, didn't you ask him any questions or make any comments about this?

A. I do not know - I did not make notes about everything which was not right. I did send my Defence Counsel various notes, but not on every single matter I felt not to be right.

Q. Very well. Ferenczy was a liaison officer with you, was he not?

A. Yes, Ferenczy was the liaison officer between the Hungarian gendarmerie...

Q. The answer is "yes" or "no."

A. Yes.

Q. And he handed the prisoners over to you - there are documents to this effect - did he not?

A. He did not hand any prisoners over to me, no. To me he did not hand over any prisoners. Maybe to the Commander of the Security Police, but not to me - I did not have to receive any prisoners. I would not have known where to take them. I was not competent for that.

Q. And I say to you that documents show that he handed prisoners over to you.

Presiding Judge: Do you have the reference?

Attorney General: [To the Presiding Judge] If this is being denied, I shall consider his denial sufficient, and I shall refer to it in my summing up. My colleague has informed me that this is T/1165.

Presiding Judge: Very well; in the meanwhile, please proceed.

Attorney General: Von Thadden was in Hungary, wasn't he?

Accused: Yes. He was in Hungary.

Q. And out of all the men of the Security Police, he did not see Winkelmann, nor Geschke; he spoke only to you. Is that correct?

A. I do not know; in any case, I did not see anything about this in his documents.

Q. Perhaps T/1194 means something to you - a report by von Thadden about his visit, in which he reports in detail on his visit to Hungary, and of all the police personnel only Eichmann is mentioned. Not Geschke and not Winkelmann, but only Eichmann. No one else.

A. Oh yes there is - there is also someone called Ballensiefen, from Department VII.

Q. But of those who dealt with Jews, who is referred to in the report?

A. I have read it - he was even my lunch guest. But Ballensiefen also dealt with Jews, and he is also referred to in this. So I was not the only person he visited and came to see.

Q. Can you tell me for what purpose von Thadden went to Hungary?

A. I believe that it was a purely informative journey. I believe that to be the case, but I am not sure about it.

Q. And the details about deportations of Jews, both about what had happened and what was planned, he obtained from you.

A. As to what had happened, that is possible, but not as to what was planned, because the person doing the planning and initiating things was, in fact, his Chief, whom he went to see in Hungary, that is to say, Veesenmayer.

Q. But he reported that he spoke specifically to you and received details from you.

A. Any details I knew I also had received from Veesenmayer or from Winkelmann. I could not after all have received them from anyone else.

Q. That is what you are saying now. But in his testimony as a witness in your defence, Winkelmann says something quite different. He says that you received your orders from Berlin and not from him. Have you read Winkelmann's testimony?

A. I have not read the whole testimony, I have only read an extract.

Q. And he says that your orders, where it was necessary for you to receive orders, were obtained from Berlin and not from him. And he is a witness for your defence.

A. I did receive orders from Berlin where timetable, technical transport matters were concerned.

Q. That is clear - but not from him. And as far as deportations of Jews are concerned, you did not obtain any orders or instructions from Winkelmann, even if you might have been formally subordinate to him.

A. Berlin, in fact, did not know a thing about matters in Hungary, as far as the evacuations and deportations were concerned. Veesenmayer, together with Winkelmann, dealt with that with the Hungarian Government. All the documents do in fact attest to this. So Berlin cannot have known. I did not in fact...

Q. One moment. Winkelmann testifies that you did not receive any instructions from him, but were under the control of Berlin. Is that true or not? And be careful: this is your defence witness.

A. I must nevertheless say that I was subordinate to the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service.

Q. That is not an answer. From whom did you actually obtain your orders? Let us just ignore the formalities and get down to the facts.

A. From Berlin and from the Higher SS and Police Leader in Hungary.

Q. And what Winkelmann says is not true?

A. What he said is not entirely correct. That is true. Because I obtained the orders about the evacuation...

Presiding Judge: Silence in Court!

Accused: ...from him, and on technical transport matters I obtained them from Berlin. The orders about the evacuation: Here it was a question of the figures which I received from him and from Geschke, and these figures were in fact the basis for drawing up timetables.

Attorney General: All right, we have already heard this.

Presiding Judge: I hope that we shall be able to complete this Session in the presence of the public. I shall not issue any further warnings.

Attorney General: The men who were with you included some who had already acquired a great deal of experience in anti- Jewish legislation, anti-Jewish measures, in all the European countries, both within the Reich and outside it - Hunsche and others. Correct?

Accused: In fact Hunsche was not one of them, but the others were.

Q. I thought you once said that Hunsche had been dealing with legalistics. But if you now want to retract this title of his, you are free to do so. Others are just as good. I would therefore assume that the same Security Service man who is mentioned in the anti-Jewish legislation in Hungary and in T/1184, who therefore participated in anti-Jewish legislation, is one of these men. Perhaps you can identify him, perhaps you can say who he was?

A. I would first like to add something if I may, to what I stated previously. You asked me, Mr. Attorney General, about men who acquired experience of various kinds in the countries. I said they did not include Hunsche, as I do not know that he operated in those countries, that is to say, on the spot, like Wisliceny, for example.

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