The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 109
(Part 1 of 4)

Session No. 109

12 Av 5721 (25 July 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the one hundred and ninth Session of the trial open. Dr. Servatius, there is still Slawik's statement, isn't there?

Dr. Servatius: Yes.

Presiding Judge: What do you wish to read out from this statement?

Dr. Servatius: This is Slawik's statement of 6 July 1961 before the District Court in Vienna. On page 1, the witness says on Question 1:

"From April 1944 until around November 1944, I worked for Eichmann as the caretaker, or rather house servant, at the Aschner villa in Apostol Street, Budapest (Am Rosenberg)."
On Question 2:
"I do not, and did not, know anything about a Jewish boy being beaten or killed on the grounds of the Aschner villa in Aposto Street while I was working for Eichmann. Today I am not sure whether I was away in Vienna for ten days or two weeks of leave in April or May 1944. After I returned, I heard nothing about any such event."
On the same page, at the bottom, on Question 3 of the Defence:
"In addition to Eichmann and myself, the other permanent residents of the Aschner villa were the Hungarian caretaker couple (whose name I no longer remember), a servant named Janka, and Eichmann's driver, Karl Boehm. Shortly after we moved into the villa, two more of Eichmann's drivers also came to live there, but I only remember the name Teitel. I no longer remember the name of the third driver. At the time of the Hungarian Arrow Cross revolt (I no longer remember when this was), the tenants of the villa were SS Fuehrer Abromeit, Wisliceny, Novak, Dannecker, Girzick and Government Counsellor Hunsche."
On Question 4:
"Teitel must have come to Eichmann from the Waffen-SS as the driver of an amphibious vehicle, around the middle or end of April 1944. He was an ethnic German from Hungary. I heard that in June or July 1944 Teitel was brought before an SS court for the murder of an old woman in Budapest and was said to have been shot."
On Question 5:
"It must have been May 1944 when two covered pits for shelter were dug in the garden of the villa. Another garden, which was separated from the garden of the villa by a little path, also belonged to the Aschner villa. Air-raid trenches were dug in this garden, too, probably for the inhabitants of the surrounding villas."
On Question 6:
"This work was carried out by a Jewish engineer using Jewish labourers. I myself had nothing at all to do with this work."
On Question 7:
"I know nothing about complaints about stealing of fruit."
On page 6, on Questions 9 and 10 of the Prosecution:
"Hungarian Jews, made available by the Religious Community, worked in the garden of the Aschner villa."
On Questions 11 to 14:
"No work was carried out in the villa itself; the air- raid installations, already mentioned, were built only in the two gardens. I believe that the name of the engineer from the Jewish community who had to carry out the air-raid constructions was Kolbach. This engineer was responsible for carrying out and supervising the work. I do not know an engineer by the name of Buehring."
On Question 15:
"Karl Boehm was Eichmann's permanent chauffeur; Eichmann also had another two drivers - Teitel, and an SS Unterscharfuehrer whose name I have forgotten."
At the bottom of page 7, on Questions 21 to 28:
"I am unable to say anything, as I know nothing about this. I never received an order to punish fruit thieves; I never locked anyone up in any room of the villa. I know nothing at all of a tool shed in the villa. The garden was maintained by the Hungarian caretaker, but I do not know where he kept his tools. I do not know anything about Eichmann having ill- treated anyone or a boy called Salomon."
On page 8, on Questions 29 to 31:
"I do not know anything about one of the Jewish workers being accused of having tried to rape a Hungarian child. I did not have any Jewish workers, and Jewish labourers were only used in the garden to install the air-raid shelters. I am unable to give any further information, as I know nothing about this."
These are the passages from the statement which I wished to emphasize.

Presiding Judge: Please proceed, Mr. Attorney General.

Attorney General: Counsel for the Defence has read out most of the passages which we have marked. Perhaps just one short passage on page 2, in reply to the first question from the Defence:

"From April 1944 until approximately November 1944, I worked for Eichmann as a house servant, only in the Aschner villa in Apostol Street. I was a member of the SS with the rank of an Oberscharfuehrer."
Presiding Judge: I have marked Slawik's statement XVI.

Dr. Servatius: May I ask another question? This statement was not yet available when the Accused was put on the witness stand, and at that time it was provided that if any further question were to arise from it, then this could be put to the Accused. I would ask to be allowed to ask the Accused as witness another two or three questions in this connection.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General, what is your position?

Attorney General: I have no objections.

Presiding Judge: All right, we shall permit this. Accused, Counsel for your Defence is asking you to reply to a few further questions. Your answers will continue to be given under oath.

Accused: Certainly.

Presiding Judge: Please proceed.

Dr. Servatius: When questioned, you said that you did not remember the name Teitel. How long was Teitel with you? Was he a member of your commando, when did he arrive, and when did he leave?

Accused: Today, I can still not remember anyone by the name of Teitel. But when I heard about this yesterday evening, I had a recollection of - rather I remembered that a driver from the Waffen-SS came with the amphibious vehicle, and in the same way as I was loaned the amphibious vehicle by a Waffen-SS supply office, the driver was detailed with it. He was detailed by the Personnel Department of the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service, and he vanished again a short time later. I do not know how long he was with me. It might be - my feeling is that perhaps it was a month, perhaps six weeks, or perhaps even less - I do not know. The man was not a member of the police, and so he did not belong to my office, nor did he belong to the office of the Commander of the Security Police, to which I was subordinate.

Dr. Servatius: Then it says here that in June or July 1944, Teitel was sentenced to death and shot for the murder of an old woman. Did you hear anything about this?

Accused: No, I first heard of this yesterday, I do not remember anything. But I am sure that I would have remembered, if I had heard of it.

Dr. Servatius: Would you not have been notified of this, if he was still under your command?

Accused: If he had been under my command, I would have had to be notified by the SS and police authority, and I would have been heard somehow in such proceedings as a witness or something, I should think. But he was not under my command, and perhaps he...when he became redundant for my needs, he only had to hand over the vehicle and ensure that it was in order, perhaps he then went on a rampage, was picked up and then sentenced. But if I might add something, I believe that this is a very simple matter, because the highest judicial authority for all SS and police units in Hungary was the Higher SS and Police Leader Winkelmann, who is still alive; he must have confirmed the sentence, and he must above all be able to indicate who was the SS and Police Judge who was in charge of this matter.

Dr. Servatius: I have no further questions.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Attorney General. [To the Accused] You will now please answer the Attorney General's questions on the same matter.

Attorney General: I see from Slawik's statement that in Budapest you had three drivers.

Accused: Yes, that is not correct, that is not correctly worded. I had - if you like, I may have had five or six, because things were like this: There were perhaps half a dozen men who were excellent drivers, and I took one or the other of them from time to time. Normally, the way things were and worked out was that one was used to the vehicle and then simply drove for a longish time. I never had three drivers all at the same time, and apart from that, most of the time I always drove myself in town.

Attorney General: Karl Boehm was your permanent chauffeur? That is what Slawik says, is it not?

Accused: Yes, I did in fact travel most of the time with Boehm.

Attorney General: Apart from Boehm, there were also one or two other drivers, were there not?

Accused: Yes, in fact there were several with whom I drove. Boehm was the one - for example, if I went to Vienna, Berlin, Boehm drove these routes. He hardly drove in town, I believe; I myself drove in town, as I have said.

Attorney General: For what purpose was the amphibious vehicle made available to you?

Accused: When I came to Hungary, I had an Opel Kapitaen, and it was often out of order. Then I heard through Becher that an SS supply office - I forget the name of this office now - that this office had vehicles available, and primarily amphibious vehicles. And - I no longer remember the details of how it came about, in any case through Becher's efforts, he immediately got down to it...and I received the amphibious vehicle with driver, and this amphibious vehicle...the driver then went off, and I had to return the amphibious vehicle also, I think at the end of the summer.

Attorney General: I assume that an amphibious vehicle was designed for special purposes, since it can be used both on dry land and on water. Correct?

Accused: Yes.

Attorney General: So why did you need an amphibious vehicle?

Accused: I did not need an amphibious vehicle, I received it, and in fact - I still remember to this day - I was very happy with it, because I had never driven a vehicle like that, and I practiced driving it on open terrain as a sport. I did not need it for professional purposes, but I could not get anything else; I could not select a particular vehicle.

Attorney General: In other words, you are saying that you were given an amphibious vehicle instead of a simple motor vehicle, right? Is that correct?

Accused: Yes, that is how it was, because I did not, in fact, know in advance that I would receive an amphibious vehicle. Becher said to me that he wanted to provide me with a vehicle on loan. And that is how the amphibious vehicle arrived.

Attorney General: I assume that at that time the relationship between you and Becher was still such that he exerted himself to obtain a vehicle for you, correct?

Accused: On a personal level, the relationship between Becher and myself had not been broken off, although we had differences on matters of substance.

Attorney General: My last question: Does it not appear odd to you that Slawik knew about Teitel's fate, that he was accused of murder, sentenced and shot, and that you know nothing of this?

Accused: Yes, I wonder when Slawik did hear about this. And that is why I have already said I do not know, but I did indicate that, even at that time, such proceedings, I can imagine, took at least one or two weeks until the sentence was carried out, and something like that cannot in fact be somehow hushed up.

Attorney General: So as not to mislead you, Slawik says that this occurred in June or July 1944, and that Teitel had been arrested at that time. Does it not appear somehow strange, unusual, to you that Slawik knew about this and you did not?

Accused: Yes, of course it is strange and also unusual, because I should - if Slawik knew, I should also have known, because word would have gotten around

Attorney General: That is what I thought, too.

Accused: But because word did not get around, that is the reason why I pointed out who was the highest judicial authority and the SS and police jurisdiction: These sources are easily available and ready to reply to questions or investigation.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any more questions on the same topic in re-examination?

Dr. Servatius: No, I have no further questions.

Presiding Judge: Now, Dr. Servatius, on the documents which were shown to the witness Kappler. Yesterday it appeared that you had not yet looked at these documents. Do you have any comments? I trust that in the meanwhile you have looked at them?

Dr. Servatius: I have looked through the documents. The last one is a letter. I do not know whether it has already been submitted by the Prosecution.

Presiding Judge: You are referring to the letter to Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff. This was shown to Kappler during his examination, and therefore the letter is also before the Court.

Dr. Servatius: Therefore, it need not be submitted separately.

Presiding Judge: This depends on the Attorney General. If he wishes to submit the document again, he may do so, but it is our opinion that it is before us in this form.

Dr. Servatius: This is sufficient for me, too.

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