The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Testimony of Franz Novak (Part 2 of 2)

(2): As an assistant Specialist Officer, I had to draw up the timetables for the specific train journeys and to organize the manner of reporting. For this purpose, I was provided by Guenther with the stations of departure and destination and the number of persons, and I then had to prepare the requisite documents for the Reichsbahn (Reich Railways) about the means of transport, etc. Guenther or Eichmann would then sign these documents. After the timetables were submitted for each specific train journey, I then had to prepare the reports to the Departments concerned.

(3): As far as I know, the RSHA was divided into Departments, which were in turn divided into Groups, and then the Groups were split into Sections. All I know is that Eichmann was the Section Head of Section 4 of Group B in Department IV (IVB4). I do not know anything about Eichmann heading a Group or Department in the RSHA.

(4): I have no way of knowing whether Eichmann himself gave orders for deportations or only carried out orders. I can only say that the RSHA was organized along strict military lines, and everyone knew only what he had to know in order to carry out his duties.

(5): I do not know whether Eichmann reported, or had to report, to the authority superior to him about the implementation of orders, but given the military organization, I assume that this was the case.

(6): I rarely received orders from Eichmann, and they concerned transport matters only. However, I cannot say whether he gave me these orders on his own initiative or not.

(7 and 8): I did not know anything about this, as I was not in a position to see what was going on.

(9): I do not know anything about Eichmann being reproached by his superiors for not implementing their measures.

(10 and 11): I do not know anything definite about this. However, I would think it possible that the Party or other bodies might have intervened, because of their anti_Jewish attitudes.

(12 and 13): I do not know anything about this.

III. Questions of the Attorney General.

(1 to 3): I arrived in Vienna in May 1938 as an SS candidate to the Security Service and worked first in the Sports Section. In June or July 1938, I was attached to the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, where I made the acquaintance of Eichmann, the head of this office. However, already then, my immediate superior was Rolf Guenther.

(4): Around summer 1939 I was transferred from the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna to the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Prague. In Prague my immediate superior was Hans Guenther (a brother of Rolf Guenther). Eichmann came to Prague from time to time, and I believe that he was also the head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Prague. In Vienna and Prague my duties were to receive applications for emigration.

(5): Around the end of 1939 I went from the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Prague to Berlin, to the section for the evacuation of Jews, Poles, Gypsies and Slovenes. The Section Head was Eichmann, and my immediate superior was Rolf Guenther.

(6): No authority over the Reich Representation of the Jews or the Reich Association of Jews in Germany was accorded to me.

(7 and 8): I cannot give any information about this, since I know nothing about it. I am not familiar with any supplementary designation "RZ".

(-) Juliane Beringer
(-) F. Fiedler
(-) Franz Novak

Continued on 22 June 1961, 9.00 a.m.


District Court Judge Franz Fiedler

Recording Clerk VB Juliane Beringer

On Question 9: My immediate superior was always Rolf Günther, and from spring 1944 until roughly November 1944 in Budapest, SS Hauptsturmführer Wisliceny was my superior. However, in the period indicated, I was not in Budapest the entire time; for a while I was also in Berlin, and for a short time in Arad. In Berlin, Rolf Günther was always my superior, and in Arad Wisliceny was also my immediate superior. After Budapest I returned briefly to Berlin again, and then towards the end of 1944 was transferred to a course for bunker fighting, and then went to the Eastern Front with a unit of the Waffen-SS. This unit was under Fighting Commander von Konitz, a colonel in the army.

(10): I always belonged to Section IVB4, which at the beginning was called IVD4. There were no personnel changes when it was renamed IVB4. I am not familiar with Section IVA4b and was never assigned to such a Section.

In Budapest the Eichmann Commando (not Operations Unit) was subordinate to the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Budapest, SS Standartenführer Geschke. I never had any official title, and all the time I worked for the Head Office for Reich Security I was an assistant Specialist Officer for timetable and reporting matters.

(11): There were no material or personnel changes when Section IVD4 was renamed IVB4.

(12): IVB4 was not a Department, but a Section in the RSHA. The Department was in charge of the Section. The Section was the last link in the organization of the RSHA. There were no sub-sections or sub-departments in a Section, at least not in Section IVB4. The Sections only employed Specialist Officers, but these had no authority to sign. Only the Section Head had the authority to sign.

(13): Within the Section, the fields of activity dealt with by the Specialist Officers were designated a, b, etc. As far as I remember Section IVB4 had three or four Specialist Officers, depending on the work load. Field "a" was transport. The Specialist Officers here were my immediate superiors, as I have already indicated. In Budapest, however, instead of the term IVB4, there was the Eichmann Commando, but its field of activity was the same as in IVB4. As far as I am aware, however, there was a basic difference between IVB4 and the Eichmann Commando, i.e., that the Eichmann Commando was not, organizationally speaking, part of the RSHA, but was subordinate to the Senior Commander of the Security Service in Budapest.

Whether Eichmann was the head of the Eichmann Commando as well as of Section IVB4 in Berlin, I do not know.

As far as I am aware, there was a Specialist Officer for each of the following fields: the registry, individual cases (interventions) and matters concerning property law. I had no official links with the other Specialist Officers and am unable to recall any more the names of the Specialist Officers; apart from that, there was a frequent change of Specialist Officers.

(14): While I was working in the RSHA, I had dealings only with the Reich Transport Ministry and the Reich Railways Eastern Management.

(15): In Budapest, I dealt only with the Budapest Transport Headquarters.

(16): Responsibility for drawing up timetables for evacuating Jews belonged to the Reich Ministry of Transport, in conjunction with the Head of Transport Matters in the army.

(17): I had no special assignments and would refer here to what I said under Question II(2).

(18): I had no dealings at all with agencies of the Generalgouvernement and of the Reich Commissariat of the Eastern Occupied Territories.

(19): I know nothing about this.

(20): I do not know Sturmbannfuehrer Hoefle.

(21): I had nothing to do with the Commander of the Security Police in Lublin. I do not know Huppenkothen and Wirthoff. Müller was the Department Chief of Department IV in the RSHA, but I had nothing to do with him.

(22): I know the name Stahlecker, but I had no official relationship with him. The only thing I know is that in 1938 Stahlecker was the Inspector of Security Police and the Security Service in Vienna.

(23): I had no duties or links with the Security Police or other bodies in the Eastern Occupied Territories.

(24): I know Otto Hunsche; he was for a short time a Specialist Officer in Section IVB4 and was also a member of the Eichmann Commando in Budapest. I had no official links with Hunsche and also do not know for which field he was the Specialist Officer.

(25): I did go to Budapest in May 1944 to take part in the timetable conference in Vienna. However, I no longer remember whether I received this assignment from Eichmann or from Wisliceny. An official from the Reich Railways was in the chair, and there was a discussion in general terms of timetables for future movements, including those of the army. My assignment was to receive the timetables for special trains for evacuating Jews from Hungary.

(26): I do know by name a Hungarian gendarmerie captain called Kullay or Lullay, but I had no official dealings with him. This captain also took part in the Vienna timetable conference, and I frequently saw him at the Eichmann Commando office in Budapest.

(27, 28 and 29): As far as I can remember, it must have been around the end of July 1944 when the transports of Jews from Hungary were stopped. However, I do not know which authority ordered this halt. I did not discuss the halt of transports with Eichmann, nor did I receive any instructions from him on the matter. After transports were halted, I returned to Section IVB4 in Berlin for a few weeks and left with the Eichmann Commando for Romania. I do not know what was the purpose of the transfer to Romania. In Arad we evacuated a German field hospital and helped with the repatriation of the ethnic Germans. As a result of military events, the Eichmann Commando withdrew together with the fighting forces. At the time of the Arrow Cross revolt in Hungary (around autumn 1944), I was again temporarily in Berlin and then had to return to Budapest. After that, until the Eichmann Commando was dissolved, around the end of November, transports of Jews to Vienna were carried out, and those included in the transports were to be used as labourers in building the Ostwall.

(30 to 32): I did not receive from anybody an order to deport Jews from the Kistarcsa assembly camp, nor do I know anything about such deportation. I do not know the Kistarcsa location, nor have I ever been there, although in the proceedings pending against me in the Vienna District Court for Criminal Cases a witness alleges to have seen me at the Kistarcsa assembly camp.

(33): Eichmann was not always in Budapest, nor was he always with the Commando in Romania. However, I do not know for what purpose and where Eichmann made his trips.

(34): I know nothing about this.

(35): Rolf Guenther was my immediate superior and Eichmann's deputy in Berlin.

(36): Before taking up my duties in Budapest, I received a written movement order to report to Mauthausen. It may have been that this was on 19 March 1944. I did not know for what purpose I was to report to Mauthausen. It was only later that I found out that all Security Police and Security Service personnel operating in Hungary received such orders. I saw Eichmann as well in Mauthausen. I do not know whether Rolf Guenther was superior to Eichmann at the time. I have already mentioned that I do not know whether Eichmann headed Section IVB4 during his tour of duty in Budapest. If this was not the case, then it was quite possible that, as Deputy Head of Section IVB4, Rolf Guenther was able to issue instructions to Eichmann through the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Budapest.

(37): I do not know who was the Head of Department IVA4b, nor do I know which section this was. I did not even know the Section Heads of Group IVB.

(38): In this connection I would refer to my above declarations.

(39): In the winter of 1945, I was no longer part of the Head Office for Reich Security, and I would refer to my declaration under Question III(9).

(40): I do not know anything about this.

Read, confirmed, signed

(-) Juliane Berlinger
(-) F. Fiedler
(-) Franz Novak

Section 153 of the Code of Criminal Procedure reads:

If the giving of evidence or replying to a question would result in a direct and major material loss for the witness, or would bring discredit upon himself or one of his relatives, and he therefore refuses to give evidence, he should only be compelled to give such evidence in circumstances of extreme importance.

33a Hs 3484/61

To the Federal Ministry of Justice

Re: Criminal Proceedings against Adolf Eichmann

It is hereby reported as an addendum to the report dated 23 June 1961 that, in accordance with Section 170, paragraph 1, of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness Franz Novak could not be sworn, as he is suspected of being an accessory to the crimes of Adolf Eichmann, and for this reason criminal proceedings against Franz Novak are pending before the Vienna District Court for Criminal Cases on a charge of murder, file number 27b Vr 529/61.

Vienna District Court for Criminal Matters, Dept. 33a, 28 June 1961

(-) F. Fiedler

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