Attorney General: Stahlecker was the commander of the
entire Operations Units. But there were also deputy
Justice Silberg: Nebe and Rasch were also commanders.
Justice Agranat: Was each of them the head of an Operations
Attorney General: This was in 1941. They were commanders of
Operations Units. We shall get to them in a moment. There is
no disagreement whatsoever about this. The Accused admits
Justice Silberg: My comment concerned the location only.
Attorney General: There is no disagreement whatsoever that
Minsk and Riga were the camps of Nebe and Rasch
Justice Silberg: Rasch was in Kiev. But this does not
Attorney General: At the same meeting it was decided to
establish the Theresienstadt Ghetto, and matters relating to
this ghetto were discussed extensively.
In his examination-in-chief, Eichmann tried to describe the
deportation of the Jews to Lodz as an act of mercy. When
pressed in cross-examination, he was forced to admit that
once the transports to the East started, he knew that the
Lodz Jews would also be doomed.
In Session 92, Vol. IV, page 1615, I asked him:
“…These are the minutes of 10 October 1941, are they
not? – in which a decision is taken about deportations
to Minsk and Riga.”
“A. Yes, and I have already said that once these
transports started rolling, the `Final Solution’ could
obviously no longer mean Madagascar.”
And in Session 98, Vol. IV, pages 1703-1704:
“Q. And when you suggested at the meeting on 10
October 1941, that Jews be sent to the camps for
Communists run by Nebe and Rasch, you knew perfectly
well that it was your proposal that Jews be sent to the
areas where the Operations Units operated, for
extermination, is that not true?
“A. Yes, I must admit that, but with the qualification
that I did not make the suggestion about sending them
to Minsk and Riga, but I received the order that Minsk
and Riga were to be the final destinations, unlike the
first deportation order, which was to the
Generalgouvernement or to Lodz.
“Q. It says here that you set the absorption
capacities of the camps for Nebe and Rasch.
“A. Yes, if it says so there, then it is correct…
“. How did you know that there were possibilities of
absorption or room in Nebe and Rasch’s camps – did you
“Q. No, but that was ascertained in each case in
writing, by enquiries.
“Q. What correspondence was there between you and the
“A. There was no correspondence; when the deportation
arrangements were made and the destinations had been
established and fixed, a telegram had to be sent, in
order to ascertain the absorption capacity, the
numbers, and then it was determined how many were to be
deported and the time was ascertained, and the
timetable was then prepared accordingly by IVB4. This
can also be seen from the documents.”
7And on page 1704:
“Q. And now, when on October 10, that is after the
first wave, it says here – and this is what you said –
that Jews may be sent to the Communist camps of Nebe
and Rasch, that means they are to be sent to localities
where – even if not on the spot, nevertheless in the
very near future – death awaits them. This is what
appears as a record of what you said. Is it correct?
“A. Yes, that is also correct. And even if I had known
that they were to be killed on the same day, I could
not have done anything about it, because the orders I
received laid down the destinations.”
In his testimony he claimed that the Jews whom he sent
to Lodz, including by trickery, he sent because he
wanted to save them from a worse fate, i.e. being
deported to the East, where he knew that this meant
death. He said this in Session 78, Vol. IV, on page
1416. The transport to Lodz took place in September
1941, and so when he sent the Jews in October 1941 to
Minsk and Riga he definitely knew that he was sending
these people to an immediate death. Of course, his
motives about deporting the Jews to Litzmannstadt were
also based on lies, because he knew that from there too
they would eventually be sent to their deaths. And he
uses deceptive stratagems suitable to “horse daelers,”
as defined by the head of the Lodz camp, “in order to
smuggle and cram into the Lodz Ghetto several thousand
extra Jews and Gypsies in order to rid the Reich of
Jews even faster.”
So what we have before us, according to all the evidence, is
not a transport clerk and not a marginal figure, but a
central pillar, a chief operations officer of the entire
operation. Perhaps he did not give orders on a daily basis
to the people who opened the boxes of Zyklon `B’ and
sprinkled it on the hundreds of victims crammed in the gas
chambers at Auschwitz, who stood there naked, men, women and
children, with the spectre of death staring them in the
face. Perhaps the person who opened the boxes and threw the
crystals was not subordinate to Eichmann. But he ensured
that the Jews would be in those gas chambers. That was his
work and that was his mission – to bring them in, to the
There is also some evidence that has survived and which we
have, proving a wicked extremism which has no match. There
were 8,700 families in Hungary whose departure Hitler
himself was prepared to allow, in return for simply
receiving from Horthy all the 300,000 Jews of Budapest. The
Court will find an account of this affair in paragraph 155
of the Judgment, sections (d) and (e). Naturally Hitler’s
intentions were in no way humanitarian, but he calculated
that it was better to receive 300,000 Jews from Horthy, and
let 8,700 families go, rather than perhaps jeopardizing the
operation for ridding Hungary of Jews. But even a concession
of this nature by the Fuehrer himself angered Eichmann so
much that he fought against this decision in three ways, as
we know from T/1215.
President: T/1215, I believe, is a telegram from
Attorney General: It is a telegram from Veesenmayer about
how Eichmann wishes to foil the saving of the 8,700
families. First of all – he will protest through Himmler
against the Fuehrer’s decision; secondly – if this fails –
he will expel the Jews so quickly that there will no longer
be 8,700 Jewish families left in Budapest, and it will not
be possible to make the formal arrangements for their
emigration; and if any Jew nevertheless manages to escape –
then Eichmann will catch up with him in France and seize him
there. And in this case he already had an order from the
Fuehrer himself; and had it not been for his obsessive
eagerness to bring about the death of every single Jew, he
could have accepted the idea that 8,700 families would be
saved. Eichmann was not prepared to accept this concession,
President: Veesenmayer’s telegram was dated 25 July 1944?
Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.
President: Mr. Hausner, do you have this telegram in front
Attorney General: Yes I do.
President: Would you read it, please?
Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour.
President: Because you will remember that Dr. Servatius
argued in respect of this telegram and other telegrams which
incriminate the Appellant that they were written out of
malice. And the question that arises, assuming that we wish
to investigate Dr. Servatius’ argument that no reliance can
be placed on these exhibits, is this: if this was written in
July 1944, when Veesenmayer definitely did not know that in
1961 Eichmann would be tried, and perhaps at that time he
did not know that trials would be held in Nuremberg, the
question that arises, then, is what was Veesenmayer’s motive
in writing things that were not true in this letter.
Attorney General: This is my reply to the Defence argument
concerning the testimonies. If today it can be argued that
Veesenmayer or Winkelmann or Grell or others wish to
distance themselves from the extermination operations, and
to make others responsible for this – this cannot be done
using contemporary reports of the period. In his letter
Veesenmayer describes operations of that time, and reports
about them to his Department. I will read from the second
“…SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann has indicated that, as
far as he is aware, Reichsfuehrer-SS is in no way in
agreemeent with emigration to Palestine of Hungarian Jews.”
President: Is the reference to Himmler?
Attorney General: The reference is to Himmler.
“He says that the Jews in question are all biologically
valuable material, many veteran Zionists, whose immigration
to Palestine would therefore be most undesirable. With
reference to the Fuehrer’s decision about which he has been
informed, he intends to report to Reichsfuehrer-SS, and if
necessary, to request a new decision from the Fuehrer.”
“In any case it was agreed with Eichmann that, if
authorization is given for further evacuations of Jews from
Budapest, it should be attempted to carry these out as
suddenly and fast as possible, so as to make sure that the
Jews eligible for emigration would already have been
evacuated before the formalities are completed.”
The relevant representations (i.e. the embassies) had
previously been informed that the planned operation could
apply only to such Jews as were still in the country. In
order to achieve this goal, they would try to persuade the
Hungarian Interior Ministry to speedily reject the Swiss
proposal that the emigration of the Jews designated to leave
the country should be concentrated in special camps. As far
as this plan was concerned, Eichmann considered interfering
with the transports while they were being moved to French
President: When you come to deal with Hungary, I assume you
will also deal with the documents provided by Dr. Servatius?
Attorney General: I shall not forget to do so.
President: If I am not mistaken, Dr. Servatius showed a
telegram according to which Winkelmann was trying to
transport 50,000 Jews. When you deal with Hungary…
Attorney General: I shall not omit this, Your Honour.
Another chapter which reflects his extremism and zeal is the
story of Kistarcsa. This is described in Paragraph 113 of
the Judgment. The arguments of Counsel for the Defence
in this connection are entirely unfounded. What happened?
Horthy stopped the deportations. Eichmann sent off a train
from the Kistarcsa transit camp with the intention of
sending them to Auschwitz. The Jewish representatives went
to Horthy, used their connections and influence, and Horthy
ordered the Hungarian authorities at the border to stop the
train. The train was returned to Kistarcsa. There was great
rejoicing – as Freudiger testified. And then Eichmann
decided – as Wisliceny told Freudiger – that he would not
allow that “old fool” Horthy to thwart his schemes, his
President: Does this come from Freudiger’s testimony,
Session 52, Vol. III, page 948?
Attorney General: Wisliceny told Freudiger, and Freudiger
testified here. Novak, one of his men, turned up at
Kistarcsa, they began loading Jews on to trucks. They told
the crippled people that they could leave their walking
sticks and crutches there, that they would not be needing
them any more. And the trucks drove off, and the Jews were
loaded on to a train.
President: What is the Prosecution arguing, whose were the
Attorney General: They were Hungarian Police trucks. Novak
carried out the deportation. This is in T/1247.
President: Mr. Hausner, may I ask you to be careful when
indicating exhibits, because if there is a mistake on one
exhibit, this will make things difficult for us.
Attorney General: I shall do my best, and I shall ask my
colleagues to check what I say.
President: Is this T/1247?
Justice Sussman This is a telegram from Veesenmayer.
Attorney General: I apologize, I am referring to T/1147,
this is a picture of Novak.
President: Who was identified by Freudiger? In which
session was he identified?
Attorney General: This was in Session 53.
President: According to the Judgment this was in Session
52, Vol. III, page 947 or 948.
Attorney General: Freudiger testified in two sessions, both
Session 52 and also Session 53. T/1147 was identified in
Session 53, Vol. III, page 959.
President: Is this the identification?
Attorney General: Yes.
Mrs. Szenes also testified about the way in which the SS men
carried out the deportation. She was one of the deportees.
She went to Auschwitz, and she survived. Grell confirmed
that he learned that Eichmann managed to deport Jews from
one of the camps, against Horthy’s wishes, by means of a
ruse, T/691. And what was this ruse? All the Jewish leaders
in Budapest were ordered to report on the same day to
Eichmann’s headquarters in the Hungarian capital. They kept
them there on various pretexts the whole day, until Hunsche
was called to the phone. What was said by the caller was not
heard by the Jewish representatives; but they heard
Hunsche’s reply. He said, “Well, very well.” And he told the
Jews, “You may go.” They knew that something had happened.
They began to rush about. Brody got out of Kistarcsa and
reached Budapest, where he searched for the Jewish Rescue
Committee, but found no one. And when finally it became
clear what had happened, from what Brody told them, and the
Jewish representatives again began to use their connections,
it became clear what the meaning had been of Hunsche’s
“Well, very well”: the train had crossed the Hungarian
Justice Silberg: Is that the same Kistarcsa from which a
transport left for Auschwitz in April?
Attorney General: Yes, of course, Kistarcsa was a transit
camp which was already referred to in the very first
deportations from Hungary.
Justice Silberg: Already before 15 May?
Justice Agranat: There were deportations even earlier than
Attorney General: Yes, which went to Podolsk.
President: When Eichmann’s unit entered Hungary in March or
Attorney General: They arrived on 19 March.
President: In March 1944, and then contacts started with
the Jewish representatives, shortly after this the
deportation to Kistarcsa took place?