Session No. 58
15 Sivan 5721 (30 May 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare the fifty-eighth Session of the
trial open. We have just received the application from Dr.
Servatius to take Novak’s testimony in Austria. Have you
received this, Mr. Bach?
State Attorney Bach: No, not yet, unless it is in the file
we have just received from Dr. Servatius and which I have
not yet opened. I see here something about Kappler…There
is also something here about Novak, but I have not managed
to read it yet.
Presiding Judge: I should like to fix a time immediately for
submission of your questionnaire – within a short time –
since I should like to send these questionnaires together
with the Hoettl questionnaire which, I should imagine, you
will submit today.
State Attorney Bach: We promised the Hoettl and
Huppenkothen questionnaires for this evening. As far as
Novak is concerned, since I have not yet been able to read
the questionnaires, I would ask the Court if we might set
the final date for tomorrow morning.
Presiding Judge: Of course, if you surprise us with the
questionnaire itself, we shall not object.
State Attorney Bach: Generally speaking, we refrain from
surprising the Court, but I can understand that, in this
particular instance, there would be no objections.
Presiding Judge: In any case, I am sure you understand what
I am aiming at constantly.
State Attorney Bach: Your Honour, before I call the next
witness, I should like to submit various documents, in order
to be able to relate the testimony to the document. The
first document is Prosecution No. 380.
Presiding Judge: What is the general description or the
heading of the documents which you are submitting now?
State Attorney Bach: All the material relates to Hungary.
Presiding Judge: May I ask if there is some subheading to
make things clearer?
State Attorney Bach: No, there is not. For the moment, I
am submitting documents which relate to the Hungarian
situation up to the beginning of the deportations, that is
to say up to 15 May 1944. The Court will recall that I have
already submitted the first set of documents, up to 19
March, i.e., up to the entry of the Germans into Budapest.
I shall now submit the documents relative to the period up
to the beginning of the mass deportations on 15 May 1944.
Judge Halevi: We have already had the reports of Ferenczy
about the way in which the Jews were concentrated.
State Attorney Bach: I have submitted these reports
separately. This was by way of preparation for the
testimony of a witness relative to the evidence of Dr.
Ferencz Tibor. I admit that, chronologically speaking, I
did get a little ahead there. I am now submitting documents
from German sources; these are mainly from the German
Foreign Ministry and deal with the first period.
The first document, as I have already said, is No. 380.
This is a telegram from Veesenmayer, dated 3 April 1944. He
reports to the Foreign Ministry on the reactions of the
Budapest population to the air raids, and he says that there
is an increase of anti-Semitic tendencies, and that
handbills were distributed the day before, demanding that a
hundred Jewish lives be taken for every Hungarian killed in
the bombing. He also says, “I would have no objections to
shooting ten suitable Jews at the next air raid for every
Hungarian killed.” He asks for instructions from his
ministry as to whether such retaliatory measures might be
proposed for the next air raid.
Presiding Judge: I mark this T/1178.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is Prosecution No.
527. It consists of two parts: A letter from Veesenmayer,
dated 12 April, in which he asks for Hezinger, who is the
person in his office who preceded Grell as the official in
charge of Jewish affairs in the embassy [to be sent to him];
then there is a memorandum from Ribbentrop’s staff, also
dated 12 April, describing efforts to prevent Jews escaping
from Hungary to Slovakia and Romania. It says that
Wisliceny states that thousands of Jews have managed to
escape from Hungary to Slovakia, although the [German]
minister thinks otherwise. It also says that there are
plans to hold a meeting between Veesenmayer, Ludin and
Wisliceny in Budapest, and it is claimed that the Slovak
Government is interested only in Slovakian subjects in
Hungary, and is not interested in other Jews.
Presiding Judge: This is marked T/1179.
Judge Halevi: If I might return to the previous exhibit,
T/1178. I do not know if Mr. Bach dealt with the last lines
of the document, in which something is said about
suggestions from the German Foreign Ministry to the Fuehrer
to offer all the Jews as a present to Roosevelt and
Churchill. What is this about?
State Attorney Bach: This is not connected with the deal we
have heard about here. We shall look at this in later
documents, which show that the German Foreign Ministry knew
nothing at all about these negotiations and asks for
explanations from Veesenmayer.
Judge Halevi: I was not implying that this was connected
with this deal. But were there in fact such proposals from
the German Foreign Ministry to Hitler, offering all the Jews
as a present? And under what conditions?
State Attorney Bach: We have no other evidence, apart from
this document, about this proposal…I have just been
informed by the Attorney General that there were proposals
from Ribbentrop to scatter the Jews in various countries,
also in order to spread anti-Semitism in various countries;
but this proposal of making some kind of present to
Roosevelt and Churchill, this we only know about from this
document. However, we do not know of any details of the
Judge Halevi: In any case, Veesenmayer refers to this as a
possible argument against his proposal with regard to
executing Jews in Budapest, but he wishes to know if there
State Attorney Bach: Veesenmayer wants to know. It is
possible that he is here acting in opposition to the general
approach, and it is possible that the general approach is to
stop retaliatory action against the Jews, and therefore he
asks for directives.
The next document is 361 – a letter from Guenther, dated 13
April. This is a reply to the Foreign Ministry to its
enquiry with regard to a Jewish woman by the name of Magyar,
in whom they were apparently interested. Guenther writes
that, in the light of the changes which have occurred in the
situation in Hungary – meaning, the German conquest – the
enquiry is now irrelevant.
Presiding Judge: I mark this T/1180.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 157,
which was shown to the Accused and given the No. T/37(89).
This is a communication from von Thadden, dated 19 April
1944, to Eichmann in Berlin, notifying him that he has been
informed that “the Hungarian Prime Minister is allocating
fifty thousand Hungarian Jews to work in Germany.” This was
how the matter was camouflaged at the beginning, as if only
fifty thousand Jews were being asked for as labour, thus
hiding their intention, which was more far-reaching.
Presiding Judge: I mark this T/1181.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 366, a
communication from von Thadden dated 22 April 1944. He
refers to the preceding communication and reports here to
the Foreign Minister that the Head Office for Reich Security
has given final notification that the fifty thousand Jews
will be sent from Hungary as labour in closed camps. He
then refers to the proposed transport schedule and
reservations of railway carriages – all of which is to be
dealt with by the Head Office for Reich Security. He adds
an interesting sentence: “Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, who
is himself in Hungary, will today receive all the requisite
instructions from the Head Office for Reich Security.”
Presiding Judge: This is marked T/1182.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 381, a
communication from Veesenmayer to the Foreign Ministry,
dated 19 April 1944. This contains many details about
arrests of Jews and where they are imprisoned. There is an
interesting item in the second paragraph. This reads: “In
Szegedin, there was the successful arrest of the sister of
the Jew David Frankfurter, Ruth Loewi, a married woman. The
father of the Frankfurters has apparently been missing since
November 1941. Although it has not been possible to prove
that Mrs. Loewi participated in the murder of
Landesgruppenleiter (National Group Leader) Wilhelm
Gustloff, she is to be transferred to the Reich. She has
repeatedly visited her brother in Switzerland.”
There follow reports about the first arrests of Jews and
where they are being held. The Court will perceive that,
inter alia, some five to six hundred Jews are being held in
the factory of Manfred Weiss.
Presiding Judge: This is marked T/1183.
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, may I point out that it says
here, “The Higher SS and Police Leader reports” – in other
words, not Eichmann, but the authority which, he maintains,
was his superior.
Judge Halevi: Who was that – Winkelmann?
State Attorney Bach: That was Winkelmann. If the Defence
wishes, I can say more than that, that actually all the
reports by Veesenmayer to his office – when he reports to
the Accused’s Section – the information is normally
transmitted to him through the Higher SS and Police Leader.
In any case, Veesenmayer normally provides his information
by saying “the Higher SS and Police Leader reports.” We
shall come back later to the significance of this.
The next document is Prosecution No. 771. This is a
communication from Veesenmayer, dated 22 April 1944. This
states that “Control of the implementation of Hungarian
Jewish laws is ensured by the participation in an advisory
capacity of an official drawing up and implementing
regulations, and by permanent personal contact with Laszlo
Endre, the Secretary of State in the Ministry for Home
Affairs.” He also refers to a liaison official between his
office, Veseenmayer’s office, and the SD. This is the
Hezinger we have heard about, and later Grell who replaces
Presiding Judge: Is this a reply to the instruction from the
State Attorney Bach: Apparently this is a reply to the
communication dated 11th of the month.
Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit T/1184.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is Prosecution No.
151, which was shown to the Accused and given No. T/37(110).
Von Thadden writes to the Accused on 24 April 1944,
notifying him of the reports he has received from
Veesenmayer. It says here that “on 15 April ghettoization
began in the Carpathians. Meanwhile, one hundred and fifty
thousand Jews have been seized. It is hoped that the action
will be completed within the next week and will round up a
total of some three hundred thousand Jews.” It also says
that as of 15 May, transports will start, and indicates that
they will transport three thousand Jews daily, and that
Auschwitz is to be the place of reception. Then there comes
the following interesting sentence. The suggestion is to
postpone slightly the dispatch of the fifty thousand Jews
from the Budapest region for labour, which has already been
promised by the government, in order not to endanger the
implementation of the entire action. Planning aspects are
already referred to here. This is the first time that
mention is made of a foot march (“Fussmarsch”). It says
that it is not possible to carry out the transport on foot,
since matters of provisions, footwear and guarding involve
major problems. Finally, the ambassador indicates that “he
considers the plan outlined above to be correct, since the
Jewish action is an overall whole.”
Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit T/1185.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is Prosecution No.
213, which has been presented to the Accused and received
No. T/37(114). In it Guenther writes to von Thadden on 24
April about the allocation of Hungarian Jews for labour,
about the promise of the Hungarian Prime Minister to make
available fifty thousand Jews. He also says that it is
possible to send these Jews to camps in the Reich. “What is
called open allocation of labour in plants in the Reich
cannot be considered for reasons of principle, as has
already been stated in telephone consultations, since this
would be in contradiction to the de-judaization (Entjudung)
of Reich territory which has, by and large, been concluded,
and would also run counter to the removal of Jews from
plants, as accomplished already some time ago. Any further
information should be kept back until the receipt of the
report requested from SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann.”
Presiding Judge: This exhibit is marked T/1186.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 180. This is
a report from Veesenmayer, dated 29 April 1944, reporting on
the first transport of eighteen hundred Jews which has left
Budapest. The Court will recall testimony about the same
first transport from the Kiskarcsa camp.
Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit T/1187.
State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 227, which
was shown to the Accused and given No. T/37(116). In this
Veesenmayer reports to the Foreign Ministry on 4 May 1944.
He indicates that to date two hundred thousand Jews have
been seized, and that the liaison officer of the embassy
with the “Eichmann Sondereinsatzkommando” will take steps
to separate Jews holding the nationality of neutral or enemy
countries. He also reports for the first time on a plan to
despatch twelve thousand Jews a day, four transports a day,
three thousand Jews per transport.
Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit T/1188.
State Attorney Bach: There is another document, No. 158,
which is a teleprint message from Veesenmayer, dated 11 May
1944. He already refers to the timetable conference, and
says that deportations should start from the Carpathians and
Transylvania, and that the plans are for three trains a day,
each with three thousand Jews, so that by mid-June of this
year the evacuation action from these zones should be
Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit T/1189.
State Attorney Bach: As I have already indicated, these are
our documents up to the date of 15 May. I should now like
to call to the stand Mrs. Hansi Brand.
Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?
Witness Hansi Brand: I speak Hebrew, but not very well.
[The witness is sworn.]
Presiding Judge: Which language would you like to speak?
Witness Hansi Brand: May I suggest, since I am excited,
that perhaps I might speak German?
Presiding Judge: All right, you may speak in any language
you feel comfortable with. You may sit down.