State Attorney Bach: The following document is our No.
1320. This is yet another report from Ferenczy, dated 7 June
1944, in Hatvan. In the second paragraph eleven localities
are mentioned where camps had been set up for assembling
Jews, and it says that in these camps the commanders were
officers of the German Security Police. In paragraph 12, I
should like to draw the Court’s attention…
Presiding Judge: What was the first paragraph?
State Attorney Bach: The first paragraph was paragraph No.
2. It says there that the commanders were officers of the
German Security Police, and it indicates the places. I do
not wish to read out all of them here.
In paragraph 12 it says: “According to information from the
railway station-master, about 400 persons from the labour
services were released – and it mentions some of their names
– they were arrested by the German Security Police and their
leave passes were confiscated.”
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1164.
Judge Halevi: What is “typical of the Jewish Intelligence
Service?” It appears in section 13.
State Attorney Bach: It says:
“This is typical of the thouroughness of the Jewish
Intelligence service: In a telegram sent from Koeszeg
to me, in my name, by some unknown person in Hatvan, I
was asked to free his wife from the Koeszeg Ghetto. The
purge in the areas across the Danube was planned for a
later date, but, notwithstanding that, they were aware,
at the most westerly edge of the country, that I was
acting in Hatvan as a liaison officer.”
Our next document is No. 1321 – once more a report of
Ferenczy from Hatvan, dated 8 June 1944. This is already an
interim report on the implementation of the deportations. He
talks of various areas of his command where so far a total
of 275,415 Jews had been transported in 92 trains. “Apart
from mixed marriages and their offspring, there are no
longer any Jews in the aforementioned areas.”
In paragraph 3 it is stated:
“I arrested Dr. Bela Berend, a member of the Jewish
Council in Budapest, and also his wife” – and he
mentions her name here – “who had been released from an
assembly camp, since they obtained and passed on forged
documents to their relatives, who at that time were
detained at that same assembly camp. I brought them to
Munkacs for purposes of interrogation and, after the
interrogation I handed them over to
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1165.
State Attorney Bach: The last report is our document No.
1322. Ferenczy’s report dated 9 July 1944, from Budapest.
Here it says: “From the beginning of the evacuations, on May
14 1944, until today 434,351 persons belonging to the Jewish
race, left the country in 147 trains.”
In paragraph 3 he says: “The Jewish community has now been
evacuated from all regions of the country, except from the
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1166.
State Attorney Bach: With the Court’s permission, I should
now like to present the evidence of Dr. Tibor Ferencz.
Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?
Witness Ferencz: A little.
Presiding Judge: Do you want to speak in Hungarian?
Witness Ferencz: Yes.
The witness is sworn.
Presiding Judge: What is your full name?
Witness. Dr. Ferencz Tibor.
Q. Is Ferencz your first name?
A. Ferencz is my surname – Tibor is my first name.
Q. Where do you live?
A. In Bnei Brak, on Rashi Street.
State Attorney Bach: Dr. Ferencz, when did you immigrate to
Witness Ferencz: On 22 May 1957.
Q. Where were you until then?
A. In Budapest.
Q. During the Second World War, where were you and what was
A. Prior to the War I was a lawyer in one of the provincial
towns. In 1942 I was mobilized for the labour service. I
served in the labour force with longer or shorter intervals.
Q. In the Hungarian labour service?
Q. After the War, in what were you engaged in Hungary?
A. When I returned home at the end of March 1945, I didn’t
find anything there, nor any members of my family. My wife,
my mother-in-law – all of them had been taken to Auschwitz.
Similarly my apartment had been robbed, and I didn’t find
anything there, except for one thing which was in the
garbage – and that was my diploma. I decided to discontinue
my law practice and to dedicate myself solely to the service
of the Jewish People. At that time I volunteered – I offered
my services to the People’s Prosecution Office. At the time
this office was devoted to bringing to trial those who were
responsible for war crimes. Within a short time I had risen
to the position of Prosecutor with the General People’s
Prosecution Office, and also Deputy Chief Prosecutor. All
matters were concentrated in my hands, in my office, all the
trials against war criminals and of those who had committed
crimes against the people. Thus I directed all these matters
which were within the competence of this office.
Presiding Judge: Was this the General Prosecution that was
attached to the special courts that dealt with war crimes?
Witness Ferencz: Yes.
State Attorney Bach: What are these documents?
Witness Ferencz: These documents are photostats of my
letters of appointment. I have the original documents,
bearing the seal of Ministers and of the Prime Minister.
State Attorney Bach: I apply to submit these letters of
appointment in the Hungarian language.
Presiding Judge: With or without a translation?
State Attorney Bach: I think it will be without a
translation. Perhaps the witness will be able to tell us
what they certify. This is our document No. 671.
Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1167.
Perhaps the interpreter can glance at the documents and tell
us what they contain. Without a detailed translation. Is
State Attorney Bach: It should not be necessary to
translate the whole document.
Interpreter: The first document is dated 15 June 1945,
signed by the Hungarian Minister of the Interior, Agoston
Valentin. In this certificate he appoints Dr. Tibor Ferencz,
advocate, to be a People’s Prosecutor with the General
Prosecution in Budapest. He requires him to report
immediately to the Director of Prosecutions. The second
document is from Prime Minister Miklos, dated 25 September
1945. He advises him that the Council of Ministers has
appointed Dr. Tibor Ferencz as deputy to the General
People’s Prosecutor on behalf of the government. The third
document is dated 28 December 1946, and in essence it is
identical with the previous one, except that it is from
another Minister of Justice. In the fourth document he is
released from his appointment, on 26 May 1948. But at the
same time he is appointed to another post with the Chief
State Prosecutor’s office.
State Attorney Bach: Did you also, by virtue of this office
appear personally in trials, or were you present at the
trials of Hungarian war criminals?
Witness Ferencz: In the proceedings of the trials I
directed the material for the prosecution and in most cases
I also appeared personally. Of course, I also had assistant
prosecutors, who prepared the files.
Q. Were you present at the trial of the deputy ministers
Endre and Baky?
A. On a few occasions I went in and out of the court-room, a
Q. What were the sentences given to Endre and Baky?
A. Death by hanging for both of them.
Q. Was the punishment carried out?
A. It was carried out.
Q. Do you remember when the sentence of death on Endre and
Baky was carried out?
A. I am sorry – I can’t remember now exactly when it
happened, since there were many cases of the execution of
the principal war criminals in those days. At any rate, I
remember that it was in the summer, but when exactly, even
if I make a special effort, I can’t recollect.
Q. In the summer of roughly what year?
A. Either 1946 or 1947. I would prefer to say 1946. I don’t
Q. Do you remember whether Endre and Baky were hanged on the
same day or on different days?
A. Yes, on the same day, I saw to it that they should be
hanged on the same day.
Q. Did you see them on the day of the hanging?
A. The court rejected their application for clemency.
Accordingly they knew that there was no way out and that the
death sentence would be carried out. And then, after
consultation with my Minister of Justice, Istvan Reiss, and
on his instructions, I went into the death cell and
questioned Endre and Baky separately, approximately an hour
or an hour and a half before their execution.
Q. Were they together or in separate cells?
A. They were separated.
Q. Was it only on that day that they were separated, or in
fact were they generally kept apart from each other during
the whole of that period?
A. All the main war criminals were kept in separate cells.
Q. Including these two?
Q. What was the object of your meeting them?
A. Endre, the proceedings of whose trial I remember in
particular, defended himself throughout the trial by saying
that he had acted in accordance with instructions and on
this ground he based his request for clemency – that we
should pardon him because he had acted according to
instructions. As a result of the consultation with my
Minister of Justice, I wanted, once again, before the death
sentence was carried out, to determine finally, perhaps for
the sake of history, what was the nature of the instructions
he had received and from whom he had received them. Perhaps
I may be permitted to add that Endre had previously been the
head of a small administrative district in Goedoelloe. He
was a most consistent anti-Semite. He did everything he
possibly could against the Jews. Subsequently he was
promoted to the post of deputy district governor for the
district of Pest. He was equipped with all the attributes
necessary in order to be in charge of Jewish affairs in
Hungary. Also on the occasion of this, our last meeting –
and this I definitely recollect – he referred to the fact
that the plans for carrying out the deportations and for the
“ghettoization” – that is to say the placing of the Jews in
ghettos – came to him in ready-made form. He told me that it
was the Accused who gave him these orders and he was obliged
to give an account to him of every deportation and on each
operation of placing Jews inside a ghetto.
State Attorney Bach: Perhaps, here, I am bound to ask the
Court for a decision which will enable me to question the
witness about the statements that were made to him by Endre
It is clear from the evidence of the witness that his
conversation with them actually took place very shortly
before these two men were executed, after their application
for clemency had been rejected and they did not have any
more hope of achieving anything as a result of the
statements that they made to him. It seems to me that this
is the closest case of a dying declaration that it is
possible to find, although from the legal point of view a
dying declaration is an exception from the rules of hearsay
evidence only in cases of murder trials, when the reference
is to the words uttered by the victim before he died. For
this reason I would not be able, according to the normal
rules of evidence, to produce this evidence.
But it seems to me that, from the point of view of its real
significance, when a man no longer has any hope and he then
says certain things that have greater weight, it seems to me
that there is an analogy between the present instance and a
The Court will also recall its decision in connection with
the evidence of Judge Musmanno, who also testified about
statements made to him by various war criminals. Defence
Counsel responded to that by asking a number of questions,
in which he tried to show that, in the case of some of the
offenders at least, there could have been contact between
the cells, which would have enabled them to co-ordinate
their stories, and so on. Naturally the more we shall be
able to point to a larger number of instances of this kind,
when we have one instance in a goal in Nuremberg, and when
we submit the statements of Hoess in Cracow and Wisliceny in
Slovakia, and the statements of war criminals in Germany,
and these two in Budapest, then the extent of the
consistency between these statements is greater, to that
extent it will be more difficult to believe in coincidence
or chance and in collusion between all those people who, as
it were, decided to shift the whole guilt on the Accused,
while he is innocent. Accordingly I request the Court to
permit the witness to quote the last words of these two men,
Endre and Baky, who throughout the final Hungarian period
had the closest connections with the Accused.
Presiding Judge: If you please, Dr. Servatius.
Dr. Servatius: Only one other analogy is possible. This is
not a dying declaration but the declaration of a man
anticipating execution. I agree with the Prosecution that
there was no co-ordination here. But, without doubt, there
was an intention to justify themselves morally before their
people and that is how they arrived at the Accused,
Presiding Judge: But what is your view, Dr. Servatius?
Dr. Servatius: I have no formal objection.
Decision No. 57
We allow evidence of the witness Dr. Ferencz about remarks
he heard from Endre and Baky before they were executed. (See
our Decisions Nos. 7 and 29).
State Attorney Bach: Which one of them did you see first –
Endre or Baky?
Witness Ferencz: First Endre.
Q. Did you go to him in his cell?
Q. How long did the conversation last?
A. Between a quarter-of-an-hour and half-an-hour.