Session No. 49
8 Sivan 5721 (23 May 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare the forty-ninth Session of the
trial open. Mr. Bach, please proceed.
State Attorney Bach: If it pleases the Court, I shall now
turn to the chapter on Jews from Slovakia. First of all,
two documents: The first is No. 1527 – a report of the
German legation in Pressburg to the German Foreign Ministry.
This is a fairly long report, but I consider only one
passage to be of importance, which indicates the absolute
control of the German authorities in Slovakia. This is on
page three of the German original. The author says there
that he considers that Tiso is behaving properly towards
Germany. He talks about various political groups. Then he
“This group does not represent any danger. It can be
left alone, as long as it does not pursue a policy
overtly hostile to Germany. Its attitude is known, it
is being kept under observation, and there will be
intervention if necessary. I told Tuka and Mach that
if they are unable reach agreement with Tiso about
filling posts, they should ask for my decision.
However, they should only use this as a very last
resort. I believe that success can be achieved by
their simply telling Tiso in this particular instance
that they will consult me.”
Presiding Judge: Who is the sender, Ludin?
State Attorney Bach: No, Killinger, who was at first the
German envoy in Pressburg. Afterwards he talks about the
Durcansky group, and how he intends to deal with this entire
matter. From the entire tone of the document it is quite
clear that he knows that what he says will be decisive.
Presiding Judge: This document is marked T/1073.
State Attorney Bach: I would now ask the Court, by virtue
of its power under section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi
Collaborators (Punishment) Law, to admit a further statement
– the examination of Dieter Wisliceny, which was forwarded
to us by the Czech Government, with the authentication of
the official Czech authorities. Dieter Wisliceny was the
Accused’s representative in Bratislava during the decisive
years. Here he describes in great detail how he carried out
his assignment, what instructions he received from the
Accused, how he worked together with the Czech authorities,
and so on. We shall submit to the Court both evidence and
documents which entirely bear out almost all of Wisliceny’s
statements here. Just by way of example, there are details
here how the death of one of the most admired Jewish
heroines, Mrs. Gisi Fleischmann, came about. Dieter
Wisliceny describes here the means used to save this woman,
both by Dr. Kasztner and by Becher. And he here describes a
telegram from Eichmann to Alois Brunner, who at that time
was in Pressburg, a second telegram, and so on. We shall
request that the Court also admit Dr. Kasztner’s report,
which describes this matter from his viewpoint. We shall
later bring a witness who was with Gisi Fleischmann in the
last camp, and who was to have been sent to his death
together with Gisi Fleischmann in the very same transport,
through whose testimony we will also corroborate Wisliceny’s
Presiding Judge: Was this an examination towards Wisliceny’s
State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour. This was an
examination by the Slovak prosecutor, Dr. Michal Geroe.
Also present were representatives from the American State
Prosecutor’s office, as well as others.
Presiding Judge: When did the examination take place?
State Attorney Bach: The examination took place on 6 May
Dr. Servatius I should just like to observe here that the
Accused had nothing to do with Gisi Fleischmann, as at that
time he was in fact in Hungary.
Decision No. 47
We admit Wisliceny’s statement as evidence, on the grounds
mentioned in our Decision No. 7.
State Attorney Bach: There is one copy in Slovakian and one
in the German translation. I have also attached the Hebrew
Presiding Judge: The document is marked T/1074.
Judge Halevi: The German version here only starts on page
three, is that intentional?
State Attorney Bach: This might be an error. I have
another copy here which I will give you. Wisliceny starts
by describing how in February 1942 he was called to the
Accused in Berlin, who assigned him to negotiate with the
Slovak Government about allotting twenty thousand Jews as a
labour force. He then describes the negotiations and the
implementation of the plan, initially the expulsion of only
able-bodied men. Then he states that he always received the
schedules and transport destinations from Eichmann in a
telegram from Berlin.
Presiding Judge: On which page is this?
State Attorney Bach: I was now reading from page three.
Then – I skip something and come now to the middle of March
– he says: “Eichmann summoned me to Berlin, where he
informed me that he was able to send entire Jewish families
from Slovakia to Poland. Consequently I should immediately
notify the Slovak Government accordingly.”
Presiding Judge: Which page?
State Attorney Bach: Also on page three.
Judge Raveh: Mr. Bach, do the dots in the text indicate
that this is not a complete text, or what?
State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour. It is possible that
there was also additional text here which was omitted, where
he referred in detail to persons in Slovakia.
He says that he then went to Berlin, and Eichmann laid down
the following conditions: He was prepared to resettle all
Slovak Jews in the vicinity of Lublin; the Slovak Government
would have to revoke the Slovak citizenship of all these
Jews upon their leaving Slovak territory; and he then
indicates what is to be given in return – he demands 300
Reichmarks per person. In other words, the Slovaks would
have to pay 300 Marks for every Jew the Germans were
prepared to accept. He says: “It is possible that this
amount might be increased later to 500 Reichmarks.” He says
that the matter of Jewish property was dealt with in co-
ordination with Regierungsrat Hunsche. These conditions of
Eichmann’s were also transmitted to envoy Ludin, who
originally refused to carry out such a diplomatic demarche,
and Wisliceny contacted Eichmann and notified him
accordingly, and he says: “Eichmann informed me that an
official communication had already been sent to Ludin.
Several days later a communication for the envoy to this
effect was received from the German Foreign Ministry, along
the lines of Eichmann’s conditions.”
Presiding Judge: Which page?
State Attorney Bach: Page four. And then it says, “with
instructions to notify the Slovak Government of them.” I
now quote from page six. He talks there of his role during
the transports: “My role when the transports left was as
follows: The non-commissioned officers stationed in the
assembly camps informed me of the departure of the
transports and the number of persons…” and he had to
report to Eichmann accordingly by teleprinter. He also said
– and this is also important, because we shall hear this
subsequently from other witnesses as well – that every such
transport had a code, and the code was DA and then a number;
for example, he says, “DA 306.” And he continues: “On 25
May 1942” – this is also on page six – “Obersturmbannfuehrer
Eichmann came to Bratislava. Eichmann’s visit took place as
a result of an unofficial invitation from Mach. As far as I
know, this invitation was issued back in April. Eichmann
visited the German envoy, Ludin, in my presence.”
Then, on page six, he describes Eichmann’s visit to Premier
Tuka, when Koso was also present. During this visit, Tuka
asked for detailed information, and Eichmann told him the
“In certain districts of Poland, which are destined to
receive these Jews, he had evacuated the Polish and
Ukrainian populations; Jews not only from Slovakia, but
also from Germany and the other European countries were
being brought there. In this connection he indicated
names of small Polish towns in the vicinity of Lublin.”
He goes on to say:
“The Jews will be able to move around completely freely
within this area, and he was preparing major work
opportunities, i.e., he was arranging to move firms to
this area, particularly war industry plants.”
He explains why a certain sum has to be paid in order to
help the Germans carry out this operation.
“Tuka took note of this statement, and in his reply he
expressed the desire that these Jews be treated
humanely; this is literally what he said. Eichmann
promised to do so. I personally had the impression
that Tuka meant this seriously. After the visit to
Tuka, Eichmann was received by Mach.”
Wisliceny then says that Mach received a similar statement
from Eichmann, “and here I had the impression that Mach was
relatively indifferent to the question of the accommodation
and fate of the deported Jews.” Then he talks about the
skittles game with Mach. In the middle of this game the
news was received about the attack on Heydrich, and Eichmann
left immediately for Prague.
I now go on to page eight. He says here that “at the end of
July, Tuka invited me to have a talk with him. He referred
to Eichmann’s previous visit and stressed that Eichmann had
promised him especially good treatment for the deported Jews
from Slovakia.” He said that Slovak bishops had expressed
misgivings, and Tuka “insisted that he be given an assurance
that the Jews were allowed to hold religious services and
practice their faith.”
Presiding Judge: The Christian Jews.
State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour, Jews of the
Christian faith. He wishes to send to the Lublin district a
Slovak commission, in order to check on the spot what was
the real state of the Jews, because of doubts which had
arisen. He, Wisliceny, after some time went to see Eichmann
in Berlin in this connection.
Now I turn to page nine. Wisliceny states:
“…that he passed on Tuka’s request to Eichmann. Eichmann
initially came out with various pretexts and said that the
Slovaks had no right to concern themselves about these Jews,
as they had revoked their citizenship. He rejected the
application to send a commission or some priests. However,
I did not leave it at that reply and asked directly, `What
is happening in Oswiecim?'”
Presiding Judge: Is that Auschwitz?
State Attorney Bach: Yes. He also says that there were
rumours that Jews who were not able-bodied were apparently
being murdered in Poland. He said that he demanded a clear-
cut answer from Eichmann. At first Eichmann tried to avoid
answering and said that everything that was happening in
Russia and Poland was being carried out on the Fuehrer’s
orders. “I wanted to be absolutely sure and asked to look
at the relevant orders. At this point Eichmann insisted
that I swear a special oath that I would not say anything to
anyone about what he would tell me.” He was obliged to
swear this oath, and then Eichmann went to the strongbox,
pulled out a thin file from it and opened it at a certain
page, and then said the following: “Himmler has received
orders from Hitler for the complete biological extermination
of European Jewry.”
Presiding Judge: He has already said this in another
State Attorney Bach: Yes, so I do not wish to repeat this.
Now there is this version, this allegation, according to
which he said: “I only hope that nobody will ever do the
same thing to us.” Whereupon Eichmann told him not to be
sentimental. He also told Wisliceny on the same occasion
that the killing was done in gas chambers, and that the dead
Jews were subsequently burned in crematoria. He also
ordered him to give Tuka an evasive answer to his question.
Then on page 11 he talks about the efforts of the Jews in
Bratislava to save themselves from being transported, by
paying over money. He refers to Hochberg who gave him an
envelope with 20,000 dollars, and says that he said he would
use this sum in order to induce Eichmann to put an end to a
large extent to the Final Solution. He says that he gave
the money to Eichmann, that Eichmann initially reproached
him but later agreed to pass it on to Himmler, and asked for
the money to be transferred to him. Wisliceny then talks
about the contacts between him and engineer Steiner and Mrs.
Gisi Fleischmann in connection with the negotiations to save
Slovak Jewry, and the whole of European Jewry. He knows
that Eichmann passed on these proposals to Himmler, although
he himself rejected them, although he himself was not
personally prepared, in principle, to act in order to bring
about an easing of the actual provisions. That is on page
After that he says: “In the summer of 1943, when I was just
temporarily in Bratislava, Eichmann forbade me to maintain
any links with the Joint and threatened that if I did so he
would report me to Himmler, so that I would be sent to a
concentration camp.” We shall subsequently stress this
point by means of other evidence. He says that because of
these developments he no longer had a close relationship
with Eichmann, and this became a very formal one. His
transfer to Greece also resulted from this development.
He says that Tuka later repeated his request about sending a
commission to Poland. In 1943 a further request was made
through the German Foreign Ministry to Eichmann, for his
“Although even the envoy was in favour of sending such
a commission, Eichmann left the note unanswered for
many months, and as far as I know it was only in August
1943 that he proposed that such a commission be allowed
to visit Theresienstadt. I do not know whether Ludin
informed the Slovak Government of this proposal. In
any case Ludin was not satisfied with Eichmann’s reply
and did not consider it to be satisfactory.”
He later exercised pressure on the Slovak Government to
expel the rest of the Jews from Slovakia as well. And Tiso
promised that the Jewish Question in Slovakia would be
finally solved by 1 April 1944.
On page 15 he describes the circumstances of Gisi
Fleischmann’s death, and he says the following:
“Immediately after Mrs. Fleischmann’s arrest by
Brunner, the Joint group in Bratislava notified Dr.
Kasztner in Budapest and asked him to obtain Mrs.
Fleischmann’s release from General Becher.”
Presiding Judge: Excuse me, something here is not clear in
the German copy. What is the name here? Brunner,
State Attorney Bach: The names here are: Brunner, Eichmann,
Dr. Kasztner and General Becher.
“Becher subsequently intervened with Eichmann.
Eichmann immediately sent a telegram, saying that Mrs.
Fleischmann was not to be deported. He showed this
telegram to Becher. I know all of this from Becher.
However, Brunner informed me that he received a further
telegram from Eichmann, rescinding his original order
and leaving it up to Brunner to decide whether Mrs.
Fleischmann was to be deported or not. “Whereupon
Brunner, as he himself admits, had Mrs. Fleischmann
deported with the special indication `RU’ – Rueckkehr
unerwuenscht (return not desired). In a conversation I
pointed out to Brunner that he might have problems
because of this matter, as I thought that Becher, who
at that time was Himmler’s plenipotentiary, was not
likely to have his orders disregarded. Whereupon
Brunner said he was covered by Eichmann’s second
telegram. I informed Dr. Kasztner in Vienna of these
facts in November 1944.”
He then talks about his posting to the German-Hungarian
border to take charge of Jewish labourers from Hungary. We
have other testimony about this.
If it pleases the Court, I should now like to present the
testimony of Dr. Shlomo Yehuda Ernst Abeles.
Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?
Witness Abeles: A little.
[The witness is sworn]
Presiding Judge: What is your name?
Witness: Dr. Ernst Abeles.
Presiding Judge: Will it be difficult for you to answer in
Witness Abeles: I can answer the initial questions in
State Attorney Bach: It would be best if the witness were
to speak German.
Presiding Judge: Let us see how things go. You may be
seated and give your testimony from your seat.