29 May 1961
To the Competent Court of Justice for Bordesholm/Rendsburg
Re: Request for Legal Assistance
The main hearing in the criminal proceedings against the
Accused Adolf Eichmann is at present taking place in this
In the context of this main hearing, I request you to extend
legal assistance to this Court by the examination on oath of
the following witness:
Otto Winkelmann, Bordesholm/Rendsburg District,
The witness is to be examined as to the following
allegations of the Accused:
(1) that from April 1944 on he was the Higher SS and
Police Leader in Hungary;
(2) that at this time he had official dealings with the
(3) that as the head of a Special Commando, the Accused
was subordinate to the Head Office for Reich Security
and received his orders from Mueller or Kaltenbrunner;
(4) that the initiative for and planning of the
deportations of the Jews did not originate with the
Accused but with the Reich Plenipotentiary for Hungary,
(5) that the Accused’s duties were only to co-ordinate
and supervise the technical implementations of
deportations with the Hungarian gendarmerie.
To complete the testimony of the witness, I would request
that the witness also be asked the following questions which
were drawn up by Counsel for the Accused:
(1) What was your last rank in the SS?
(2) What position did you occupy in Hungary in 1944?
(3) Whose was the initiative to deport the Jews from
(4) Who carried out the requisite negotiations with the
(5) What was the result of these negotiations?
(6) To what extent were Hungarian authorities and
departments active in implementing the concentration
(7) How many men were in the Special Commando led by
(8) Was the task of this Special Commando to co-
ordinate transports and supervise the activity of the
(9) From whom did the Accused receive his instructions
on this matter?
(10) Was the Accused subordinate to you in practice?
(11) Did he receive his instructions from Mueller or
Kaltenbrunner in the Head Office for Reich Security?
(12) As far as you know, did the Accused ever act
contrary to the orders of his above-mentioned
(13) As far as you know, did the Accused ever, because
of personal anti-Jewish feeling on his part, exceed the
authority given to him?
I would also request that the witness be asked the following
additional questions which were drawn up by the Attorney
(1) During his tour of duty in Hungary, was the Accused
officially subordinate to you?
(2) If not, were the Accused and what was known as the
“Eichmann Special Commando” in direct, regular contact
with a superior authority in the Head Office for Reich
Security in Berlin?
(3) If so, which department in the Head Office for
Reich Security was this?
(4) What were the special reasons for appointing the
Accused Commander of the Operations Commando in
(5) With reference to the evacuation of Jews from
Hungary, was the Accused somehow dependent on
instructions from your office?
(6) If not, to what other German offices in Hungary was
the Accused subordinate in his functions?
(7) Was the Accused authorized to negotiate directly
with the State Secretaries in the Hungarian Ministry of
(8) If so, did he conduct such negotiations?
(9) Were you, the Accused or some other German
authority in Hungary charged with co-ordinating the
duties of the Eichmann Operations Commando with the
activity of the Hungarian gendarmerie?
(10) Are you familiar with orders handed down directly
from the Reichsfuehrer-SS to the Accused?
(11) If so, what was their content?
(12) Do you know anything about the Accused’s
activities in the Waffen-SS on the Hungarian-Romanian
(13) If so, when and for what purpose was the Accused
detailed to the Waffen-SS?
(14) Do you know about an intervention by the Regent,
Admiral Horthy, aimed at stopping a transport train
taking Budapest Jews to Reich territory?
(15) If so, what do you know of the Accused’s actions
to circumvent this intervention and prevent it from
(16) Which German authority dealt with the organization
of the so-called “foot march” of Jews from Budapest
(17) What do you know of directives about labour
service on the so-called Ostwall (Eastern Wall),
particularly with regard to age and suitability for
(18) Did you or other German authorities speak to the
Eichmann Operations Commando about this foot march?
(19) If so, what was the content of these comments?
(20) Even after instructions from Regent Horthy to stop
the transport, was the Accused bound by orders from
your office, or some other German authority superior to
him, to ensure that a transport of Budapest Jews went
to Reich territory?
(21) To your knowledge, was there such an order? And
if so, which authority issued it?
(22) Was the Accused obliged to dispatch on foot to the
Austrian border Budapest Jews of all ages, and without
consideration for their ability to perform labour
(23) If so, what were his directives, and which
authority issued the order?
(24) Did your duties as the Higher SS and Police Leader
in Hungary remain within the limits of the directives
issued in 1939 by the Reichsfuehrer-SS?
(25) If so, did you, in addition, have any special
responsibility for or supervision in practice of the
activities of the Eichmann Operations Commando?
(26) On page 26160 of the Court Record in Trial No. 11
against Weizsaecker and others, you were being examined
by the American Military Tribunal in Nuremberg during
your testimony about details relative to the German
authorities in Hungary which dealt with Jewish affairs,
and your answer is reported in this document as
“In Germany, the instructions in this sphere
originated with the Head Office for Reich
Security, or directly from Himmler. From there
they went to the Reich Minister for Foreign
Affairs who passed on the relevant orders on this
subject to Veesenmayer, whose duty it was to
discuss these questions with the Hungarian
Government. This was the legal side. The
technical side was dealt with by the Head Office
for Reich Security, by Eichmann, who was appointed
to this task. He dealt with the matter on the
German side, and on the Hungarian side he worked
with Endre, the State Secretary in the Ministry of
the Interior. Thus, the technical man for the
Germans was Eichmann, and in Hungary, State
Did you make such a statement?
(27) If so, does this correspond to the truth?
I request you to summon to the examination of the witness
the representative of the Attorney General of the State of
Israel, c/o H.E. Ambassador Dr. F.E. Shinnar, Israel
Mission, Cologne, as well as Counsel for the Accused,
Advocate Dr. R. Servatius, Hohenzollernring 14, Cologne, and
to afford them, on their part, the opportunity to ask the
witness any questions which might arise from his answers.
There is no objection on the part of this Court to the
aforementioned representatives of the parties obtaining
copies of the record of the examination.
Please forward the original of the record of the examination
to this Court,
(-) Moshe Landau
President of the Trial Court
The Court of First Instance, Bordesholm, 19 May 1961
– AR 169-61
Counsellor at Court of First Instance Muenchhoff as Judge
Court Official Berndt As Authenticating Official at the
In the criminal proceedings against Eichmann for murder
there appears the witness Winkelmann.
The witness was instructed on the significance of the oath
and examined as follows:
Otto Winkelmann, 66 years old, General of the Police (ret.),
resident in Bordesholm, not related and not connected by
marriage to the Accused.
On the matter in question:
I was a professional police officer in the Order Police from
November 1919. After the annexation of Austria to the
German Reich, the officers in the Head Office of the Order
Police, to which I belonged at the time, were required to
join the SS. Together with other officers, I did not apply
for that. Shortly after that, an ordinance from the
Minister of the Interior decreed that the officers of the
Head Office of the Order Police were members of the SS.
Thus I was admitted to the SS without actually submitting an
application to join. The Order Police officers were
subsequently given an SS rank which was equivalent to their
rank in the Order Police. In this context I should like to
mention that the Head Office of the Order Police, together
with the entire Order Police, at the so-called War
Criminals’ Trial in Nuremberg in 1945-1946 (IMT), was
declared not to be a criminal organization. I myself was
also informed during so_called de-Nazification proceedings
that my transfer to the SS as a result of the ordinance of
the Minister of the Interior would not be counted as
incriminating me. An equivalent decision was also taken by
the above-mentioned tribunal (IMT).