Session 059-06, Eichmann Adolf

Presiding Judge: Who is to continue?

State Attorney Bach: If it please the Court, yesterday I
informed the Court that in presenting the documents I had
reached 15 May; today I shall continue as of 15 May 1944.
With the Court’s permission, not in chronological order, I
should like to cite two documents which relate to the
testimony of the last two witnesses who have testified here,
that is to say, to the mission of Mr. Joel Brand.

The first exhibit is our document No. 447. In this, the
German Foreign Ministry informs Veesenmayer about a
particular broadcast which was picked up from Radio London.
The document is dated 20 July 1944, and it says that, on the
evening of 19 July, under the heading “Germany wants to do
business with Jewish blood,” the London radio broadcast an
item which said that two emissaries of the Hungarian
Government had recently appeared in Turkey, in order to make
the following proposal from the Gestapo and the Hungarian
Government to the representatives of the Allies there.
According to this proposal, all the Jews who were still in
Hungary would be allowed to leave, on condition that England
and America would supply Hungary with a certain amount of
pharmaceuticals and means of transport, including trucks.
It was promised that this equipment would not be used on the
Western Front. For the time being, the names of the
emissaries have to be kept secret, and in the meanwhile, the
matter is being examined in London. Competent British
circles consider this to be an impudent attempt to weaken
the Allies, whose sympathy for Hungarian Jewry is well
known. Official British circles consider the plan to be a
crude attempt to set the Allies against each other. There
is not even the slightest chance of the British and American
Governments considering something of this type, although
saving Hungarian Jewry is important to them. It also says,
it is not yet clear to what extent the plan had the approval
of the supreme German and Hungarian authorities, but the
British authorities state that they know for a fact that the
Gestapo was aware of it.

The Foreign Ministry now informs Veesenmayer that
Ribbentrop, the Reich Foreign Minister, wishes to be
informed about the facts of the matter.

Presiding Judge: I mark this T/1190.

Judge Halevi: Is this an accurate translation into German
of the British broadcast? Do you also have the British
broadcast from a British source, or are there no

State Attorney Bach: I have not checked the English

Judge Halevi: I assume it is in the Rescue file to which
you referred yesterday. If there are no differences, that
is alright.

State Attorney Bach: I have gone over that material. I did
not find this broadcast in it.

I come now to Veesenmayer’s reply. This is our document No.
448, which was also submitted to the Accused and was then
given No. T/37(151). The reply is dated 22 July 1944. In
it Veesenmayer reports that:

“Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmann has informed him that
four or five weeks ago the Jew Brand from Budapest was
given the mission of obtaining goods in short supply in
Turkey for Germany, in return for which a few Jews are
to be allowed to leave for Turkey. Matters had not
been concluded, but Winkelmann assumes that Brand has
fallen into the hands of the Secret Service and made
statements to them. Brand’s wife is in Budapest and is
at present still not detained. Moreover, I have been
confidentially informed of indications that the
broadcast from London is accurate, and that there are
indeed two SS emissaries currently in Turkey. The
matter has resulted from secret orders from the

“Legation Councillor (Legationsrat) Grell informed me
today that he had heard that the negotiations in Turkey
were proceeding well, and that the Reuter report was
apparently only being published, in order to camouflage
the matter from the Russians, but that, in fact, the
Western powers were ready to agree to such a

In this connection, I shall subsequently draw the Court’s
attention to passages in the Kasztner Report, indicating
that these really were rumours which were put about by the
members of the committee to the Germans.

Judge Halevi: Freudiger has already testified about this,
about what Rabbi Weissmandel said, in the sense that the
opposite conclusion is to be drawn.

State Attorney Bach: Yes. The idea was Rabbi
Weissmandel’s; afterwards Freudiger spoke frequently about
it with Eichmann and others. And we can see that, in any
case, the rumour worked. The Accused reactions on this
matter are on page 1948 ff; and when he was questioned about
the passage which says that there was a secret order from
the Reichsfuehrer-SS, he says on page 1955: “Yes, that is
also correct, Captain. The Reichsfuehrer-SS gave the order
on this matter.”

Presiding Judge: I mark this T/1191.

State Attorney Bach: With the Court’s permission, I shall
now draw the Court’s attention to various passages from the
report of the Aid and Rescue Committee which relate to this
transaction, these same transactions with the Germans, in
order to see how the matter looked to the committee. It
seems to me that there are here also some answers to the
questions asked today and yesterday by Your Honours.

First of all, on page 23 of the report. This refers to the
first contact with the SS, Wisliceny’s appearance at the
head of the “Jewish Commando,” which raised hope that it
might be possible to obtain something by means of
negotiations on an economic basis and by means of diplomatic
manoeuvres. Dr. Kasztner adds:

“It is true that on all fronts oppressive silence
prevailed, but there was no doubt that, above all, we
had to gain time, in the hope and assumption that the
Anglo-Saxon invasion, and also the Russian spring
offensive, could not be far off.”

On page 33 there is a passage about the Brand-Eichmann
meeting. Naturally, Kasztner could only have heard about
this from Brand, and we have already discussed it this
morning, so I shall not quote from this.

Next, on pages 38 and 39 of the report, there is a reference
to the first meeting of Dr. Kasztner with Eichmann in the
presence of Mrs. Brand. Here, too, we have the same
conversation about which we have already heard from Mrs.
Brand, and I shall not return to this. The Court will note
that the details are identical.

There is just one further detail here which was not
mentioned by Mrs. Brand. This is item No. 3, where it says
that Eichmann said to them that it was entirely out of the
question for him to stop or suspend the deportations, and
that they should not think him an idiot. After all, if he
stopped the deportations, then there would not be any
readiness abroad for negotiations with him. That we should
pursue the discussions in Istanbul more energetically, he
would not allow himself to be deceived, and that, after all,
there was a limit to his patience.

On page 41 we already have a reference to the first attempts
at deception, with fictitious telegrams on the part of the

“As soon as we were released from detention, I went to
see Eichmann. I showed him the telegrams from Istanbul
and asked him to stop the deportations until the draft
interim agreement arrived. Eichmann refused and
stated: `That is quite out of the question. On the
contrary, I shall continue with them full steam ahead.’

“Afterwards, on the morning of June 3, Eichmann
summoned me and stated: `I cannot bring the Jews to
Budapest. Now I have to go to the Minister of the
Interior, Jaross. He is bound to ask me: What deal
did the SS make with the family of Baron Weiss? Do you
know of this agreement? Now I shall have to suffer
before Jaross because of this filth. Me, of all
people.’ He went on to say: `If Jews are now brought
from Transylvania to Budapest, Endre will ask me what
new deals we have made again with the Jews’.”

Kasztner says:

“`But you promised definitely, you always said that it
was your habit to keep your promises. I know that you
really did cable Klausenburg about this.’ Eichmann:
`Yes, but yesterday I cancelled the order by telegram.
Now everything is clear, is it not? I do not have any
time for you now.’ Outside, it took some time before
cold reason overcame the feelings of impotent rage and
desperation. I summarized the results of the

Then, on page 43, Kasztner once again insists that Eichmann
keep his word. On page 43, he describes how Eichmann
started to shout, and then relates the conversation: “`What
do you really want?’ says Eichmann in the end, opening the
conversation. `I must insist that the agreement we reached
be implemented. Are you prepared to bring the people we
have proposed from the provinces to Budapest?’ `Once I have
said no, it is no.’ `Then there is no point in our
continuing with negotiations.’ And I make as if to get up
and go. Eichmann: `Your nerves are too taut, Kasztner, I
shall send you off to convalesce at Theresienstadt, or
perhaps you would prefer Auschwitz?’ Answer: `There would
be no point to that, no one would replace me.’ Eichmann:
`Try and understand me, I must clean out the provincial
towns from this Jewish dirt, no arguments and no crying will
help here.’ Kasztner: `In that case, our arguments in
Constantinople will not help, either.’ Eichmann: `What do
you want with this handful of Jews?’ Kasztner: `It is not
just them. The situation in Constantinople looks bad
because you are speeding up the deportations. You must
prove that your proposal is a serious one. And what does
this handful of Jews matter to you?'”

Then, on page 44, Eichmann says: “You must understand me. I
cannot take upon myself such a major responsibility vis-a-
vis the Hungarian Government, I cannot play the role here of
the saviour of the Jews.”

And here Kasztner describes how Wisliceny, who had kept out
of things, now intervenes in the conversation and explains
to Eichmann that there is nothing to worry about as far as
the Hungarians are concerned, that he has already used some
pretext to Ferenczy, in order to explain why Jews have to be
sent abroad in some numbers, and Kasztner says that he left

In this context, I should like to draw the Court’s attention
again to Wisliceny’s comments on Kasztner’s report. When he
was asked about this meeting which Kasztner is talking
about, on page 10 of our exhibit T/1116, he describes the
meeting and says that Dr. Kasztner left the room and waited
outside: “As soon as I was in private with Eichmann, once we
were on our own, he flew into a rage and said that, in the
presence of that `Jewish pig,’ I had stabbed him in the
back. He was already discovering more and more of my
`tactics,’ and I was really on the point of overdoing it,
and so on and so forth.” With respect to the list which had
been submitted then, of the Jews who were to be transferred
from various camps to Budapest in order to be saved, here he
says on page 11 of our typed copy that Eichmann gave him a
personal order to bring five or ten people from each camp to
Budapest as a gesture, but “he was forbidden to find” the

After that, he describes telephone calls in which he
nevertheless gave instructions for these people to be
transferred. And he says that he had a row about it with
Dannecker, who did not agree to transfer so many persons to

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, perhaps I might ask the
following: Exhibit 900, report of the Rescue Committee – my
copy has no date and no signature; perhaps I could be given
the date when it was written. We have here Wisliceny’s
statement and reactions – when was that?

Presiding Judge: I cannot see a date on this exhibit, Mr.
Bach. What can you tell us about this?

State Attorney Bach: I do not quite see what the problem of
Counsel for the Defence is. We have heard testimony from a
witness that the report of the Rescue Committee was in his
hands, and that he passed it on to the Czech prosecutor, who
gave it to Wisliceny. Wisliceny gave his comments on 25
March 1947.

Presiding Judge: In other words, no later.

State Attorney Bach: Certainly. This report was submitted
in 1946, so that in that respect I do not know the exact
date. I think it was drafted in 1945 and submitted to the
Zionist institutions in 1946.

Judge Halevi: We could check on the date of the Zionist
Congress. That would be the latest date.

State Attorney Bach: Yes, Your Honour. There was the
Zionist Congress, and it was submitted there, so that it was
drafted before that. Wisliceny did not make his comments
until March 1947.

To proceed, Your Honours. On page 47 of the report it says:

“Eichmann demanded ever more impatiently that Brand
return; according to the agreement he was due to return
within two weeks at the latest. He wanted a `clear-cut
answer’ as to whether the German proposal had been
accepted in Istanbul or not. We had to explain to him
every day that discussions on this matter between
London, Washington and Moscow could be protracted.
There were enough reasons for delay. Apparently the
Allies could not easily be brought to a common
denominator about such a delicate matter. The
continuation of the deportations of Hungarian Jews was
complicating the negotiations.”

Then, on page 48, starting at the bottom of page 47, it says
that “on 9 June Eichmann said, `If I do not receive a
positive reply within three days, I shall operate the mill
at Auschwitz’.”

On page 48, he made another visit to Eichmann, and he says:

“I drew his attention to the fact that the
extermination of the Jews who had been deported to
Auschwitz was putting us – the committee – in an
impossible situation vis-a-vis foreign Jewish
organizations, as well as the Allies. We had lost our
moral credit. No one abroad still believed that the
rescue plan was ever meant seriously by the Germans.”

“What did you imagine?” screamed Eichmann. “Perhaps you
think that the Reich has enough food to feed hundreds of
thousands of Jews for months, or enough personnel and
doctors to look after your sick? If that is what you want,
the American gentlemen should choose a less cunning partner
than myself.”

Then, at the bottom of page 49 and the top of page 50, Your
Honours, there is the altercation about those thousands of
persons who should have reached Austria. There Eichmann

“They can only be Jews from the original area of
Hungary. Not from the Carpathians or Transylvania. In
any case, they no longer exist, and apart from that,
they are of greater ethnic value and more fertile – he
is not interested in keeping them alive.”

On page 52, there is a description of the beginning of the
negotiations about money with Becher, and later with
Eichmann. It says that “Becher was impressed by the
valuables. For his staff, they were considered to be an

On page 59, he says: “Oddly enough, Eichmann was cheaper. At
the beginning he demanded two hundred dollars per head, then
he demanded five hundred dollars per head. Becher’s
economic staff demanded two thousand dollars per head. As
the final authority, Himmler himself eventually set the
price at one thousand dollars.”

Your Honours, on page 74 it appears to me that there is an
answer to the question of His Honour, Judge Raveh, who asked
Mrs. Brand this morning what was the meaning of the
“Interimsabkommen” (interim agreement). What sort of
agreement was it: Was it actually a fictitious matter, or
was it a serious proposal? Here Dr. Kasztner states that
“on July 7 we received the text of the interim agreement.”
This contained the fictitious proposal of the Jewish Agency
to the Germans, to make available to them abroad food and
money, in return for freeing Hungarian Jews in groups of ten
thousand. He writes: “With this `agreement,’ the interim
agreement, I was trying to convince Eichmann and Becher that
our friends abroad in principle inclined to agree to bigger
deals with the Germans, as long as German demands stay
within reasonable bounds.” And he says again that “abroad”
– he is saying this to Becher – “there is a great deal of
suspicion vis-a-vis the Germans, and that the reason for the
failure of Becher’s mission is mainly that Eichmann has, in
the meanwhile, sent those Jews who were supposed to be the
counterpart of those goods to Auschwitz to be gassed.”

He goes on to say, “if, in the meanwhile the Jews of
Budapest are deported, there will be no grounds for hoping
to achieve any success.”

As far as the quantity and value of objects are concerned,
reference is made to this on page 75. There is a discussion
here about the value to be assigned to the valuables handed
over to the Germans. Kasztner argues that the price of one
thousand dollars per head has already been paid in actual
fact in kind and in cash, while the Germans think otherwise.

Then, on page 76, it says that “inter alia, Becher was given
fifteen thousand kilogrammes of coffee.”

I would like to draw the Court’s attention to page 79 of the
report, where this first group is sent to Bergen-Belsen,
instead of abroad, and then it says: “Visibly peeved,
Eichmann told me the same day that he had been ordered by
the Reichsfuehrer-SS to allow part of the Bergen-Belsen
group to go abroad. The order applied to five hundred
persons, but the number was not definitely fixed. It could
also be somewhat more or somewhat less. He would see.
However, he would only give the order for their departure
when a date had been set for a first meeting between Becher
and the representatives of world Jewry.”

On the same subject, he says on page 90:

“Krumey was waiting for us in a hotel. He had
previously gone to Bergen-Belsen, in order to put
together the group of five hundred candidates for
departure abroad and accompany them to the Swiss
border. He now notified us that the number of people
released had been reduced, on Eichmann’s orders, to
three hundred. However, he had allowed another
eighteen people to depart.”

And now, one last passage from the report, on page 133. Dr.
Kasztner spoke to Eichmann about the Brand mission. “Yes,”
said Eichmann, “I saw all of this in advance. I warned
Becher countless times not to allow himself to be led by the
nose. If I do not receive a positive answer within forty-
eight hours, I will have all this Jewish bag of filth from
Budapest laid low” (werde ich das ganze juedische Dreckpack
von Budapest umlegen lassen).

Presiding Judge: We can now recess, Mr. Bach. We shall
reconvene at half past three in the afternoon.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/07