Session 060-04, Eichmann Adolf

Q. By what way did those from Kolozsvar come?

A. From Kolozsvar they came within Dr. Kasztner’s scheme, a
group of Jews who were selected to be included in the Bergen-
Belsen group.

Q. But they, too, came first of all to Budapest. Who
brought them to Budapest?

A. They came by train. They came organized on a Gestapo

Q. Were there more persons who came from other towns through
the Gestapo?

A. No. I know only of Kolozsvar. Those who came later from
Miskolc, from Nagyvarad, and from other towns came with the
aid of those emissaries whom we had sent.

Q. Not through the Gestapo?

A. Not through the Gestapo.

Q. With regard to Becher, you say that you know only of
sixteen Jews who paid him money and joined the train?

A. Yes.

Q. You said that they paid him large sums. How much?

A. Millions of pengoe.

Q. How much is that worth?

A. I don’t know. I only want to say how I came to this at
all. I know about everyone who joined the group, the manner
of his joining, whether he was a halutz, whether he was a
rabbi, or whether he belonged to the Zionist Organization,
or whether they were professors. I did not know particulars
about these Jews whom I met. I did not know them. I asked
them: “How did you get into this?” I also did not see them
in the camp.

Q. In the Columbus camp?

A. Not in the Columbus camp, nor in other camps, before they
boarded the train. I am a building engineer. They also
gave me the job of turning the synagogues into a camp. I
did so in the case of two synagogues, one on Arena Street
and one on Bocskay Street – I think that was the name. I
converted the synagogues into camps, so that it would be
possible to gather all these Jews together and bring them
over from the camp. I did not see them in these camps.
Suddenly I saw them on the train.

Q. And they paid Becher directly?

A. They paid him directly.

Q. And those who paid to the Rescue Committee, those that
did not travel free at public expense, but privately, what
was the price they had to pay?

A. That always depended on the standing of the person who
recommended his inclusion in this plan, and also on the
extent of his property.

Q. That is to say, each one according to his ability?

A. According to his ability, and also according to his
public importance. There was also the following procedure.
For example, there was someone, the father of a young rabbi,
who was a rabbi in Budapest. He said: “I want to include my
father in this plan, and I can pay for it.” They took three
thousand pengoe from him. The value of that sum was like
nothing. But there were people who paid a hundred thousand
pengoe and more.

Q. How did it work in practice? Was the demand greater than
the capacity, or was it the reverse?

A. It fluctuated greatly. There were times when we put
pressure on Rezsoe, Dr. Kasztner, to broaden the scheme,
since we could not leave out this one or that one. And
there were times when we saw that we had no one to include
in the scheme. We thought of sending six hundred halutzim.
But the halutzim were not so enthusiastic about this idea.
On the other hand, there was good news from the battlefront.
The Jews thought that were about to be liberated, and they
did not want to leave.

Q. And in the last days, when good political news came about
Horthy, and so on?

A. That did not reach us. We left, I would say, without any
prospects. The slightest prospect that the Jews of Hungary
had then for escaping at all from these clutches was only
this train. This was on 29 June. The declaration came, so
I believe, only on 2 July, and by then we were already
beyond the Austrian border, and we knew nothing about it.

Q. That is to say, the Jews in Budapest believed at the time
that they were about to be deported to Auschwitz?

A. Yes.

Q. You said you never heard that the Accused here was in
charge of all Jewish affairs, you never heard that he had
agreed to certain operations of smuggling out Jews?

A. I did not hear such a thing about him. If I heard about
him, it was only to the contrary. I was told that anyone
who fell into his hands was doomed.

Q. Did he agree to the Bergen-Belsen train?

A. He was in charge of the whole matter of this train, and
it was with him that the negotiations were conducted.

Q. It was with him and nobody else?

A. He and none other. When officers appeared – and I heard
the names of Novak and Krumey, or Wisliceny, whose name I
heard immediately from the beginning – no one was able to
promise anything, apart from him.

Q. You were in charge of self-defence, instead of Schweiger.
Did you achieve anything?

A. Activity for self-defence – I want to be very careful in
using this term. First of all, in order to organize self-
defence, we needed time – not arms so much as time. And
this is just how the Germans succeeded in Hungary, by not
giving us time. In the course of two months, there were no
longer any people. First of all, we made preparations that
if they caught us, the young men – I myself was not amongst
those who had a pistol, but I checked whether the young men,
whom it was my responsibility to finance, had bought these
articles. I served in the army once, and I knew something
about it – I was in the Austro-Hungarian army. I ensured
that proper ammunition and pistols were available. With all
my desire to be cautious in expressing myself – and later on
I learned even better how to respect this word – we prepared
ourselves for self-defence, in order not to fall into the
enemy’s hands without defending ourselves.

Q. Did you ever hear of any talk of killing Eichmann?

A. I did not hear that.

Presiding Judge: I would like to understand this activity in
regard to the provincial towns, to persuade them to come to
Budapest, or to smuggle people across the border – was this
a conspiratorial matter within the Jewish community?

Witness Rosenberg: Within the Jewish community? Certainly

Q. If that is so, how do you explain that there were such
scanty results to the initiative which came from you people,
in fact from you yourself in Budapest? Were you in charge
of this operation?

A. Your Honours, I would again ask you to allow me to relate
something personal. I said, earlier on, that I had a
brother with six children in one of the provincial towns. I
sent a certain non-Jew especially to him with a lot of
money, with a special letter, with appropriate papers – I
urged him – and I also had another brother there, as well
as other friends – to leave the provincial towns, together
with all the members of his family, and come to me. I did
not receive any reply.

Q. Did the message reach him?

A. The message reached him, for one child of the family was
saved, and he is now with me in Israel – he confirmed this
to me. But my brother did not come. If I want to explain
this thing to myself, I have to say that I have no
explanation, but perhaps I can throw some light on it. I
was evidently naive in believing that my brother would,
overnight, change his character, cut off his side-curls and
his beard, wear non-Jewish garb, come to Budapest with his
false papers, and take my word for it that the Rock of
Israel (the Almighty) at Csenger (this was the village where
I was born) would help him here and would not help him there
– that if he were to come to Budapest, he would find
something there that he could not find in the village.

Q. Who would help him?

A. That the Rock of Israel would help him in Budapest, but
would not help him in Csenger. Such a Jew had to take a
decision overnight, had to take this action, and, from being
a devout, religious Jew, to turn into a complete non-Jew, so
that he could traverse the distance of four hundred
kilometres between his village and Budapest. If I thought
that he were capable of doing this, or that some other Jew
was capable of doing such a thing overnight – then I was
naive. We did not have time. Had there been time, I
maintain, to recover, if at least two weeks had elapsed
between the occupation and my meeting with my brother – my
letter to him – or three weeks, or a month, he could have
understood all these matters.

Q. Did he understand that all the same, this was a case of
“Pikuah Nefesh?”* {*A question of saving life transcending
all other laws of Judaism.}

A. He had no doubts. For he knew about the situation from
me by word of mouth. I was in the know – I knew what was
going on.

Q. Not you, your brother.

A. I told him what was happening, without knowing there
would be a German occupation. I told him, and he knew what
was going on. A Hungarian officer had told me that in 1943
he had seen with his own eyes how they burned Jews in a
truck. He did not leave, because what we required – and
this murderer succeeded in robbing us of this – was time, so
that we could prepare ourselves for something like this.

Q. So this is the reply?

A. That is my opinion.

Q. You said that the halutzim were not keen to board this

A. Yes.

Q. How do you explain that?

A. The young people had all kinds of ways. For instance,
they preferred escaping to Romania. A successful escape to
Yugoslavia – this was good for them. The “re-tour” at the
time – I have already explained that this meant the return
to Slovakia – was very much better for them than to board a
train where the Gestapo began to guide us, and they did so
in the coarsest possible manner – I understand the young
people, and had I also been a young man, perhaps I also
would not have been eager to get onto it.

State Attorney Bach: Arising out of the Court’s question on
the matter of the telephone – at the time when the
“ghettoization” began, how many telephones remained
available to the Jews in the provincial towns?

Witness Rosenberg: I don’t know. I do know that they took
away my telephone at home. They forbade us to use the
telephone. They took away the radio and all such things.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any questions
arising out of the questions put by the Court?

Dr. Servatius: I have no further questions.

Presiding Judge: Thank you, Mr. Rosenberg, you have
concluded your testimony.

State Attorney Bach: With the Court’s permission, I should
like to submit now a document signed by Dr. Loewenherz, one
of those documents of Dr. Loewenherz, of Vienna, No. 1125.
This here is a report, an aide memoire about a train of
Hungarian Jews which arrived in Austria at a place called
Guenzerndorf, on 31 May 1944. Inside this train, forty-two
corpses were found – forty-one adults and of one child. The
identities of thirty-one bodies could not be determined.
And here there appears a list of the names of the people
whom they managed to identify. After that, on the
instructions of the Secret State Police in Vienna, the
bodies were placed in coffins by the Council of Elders of
the Jews of Vienna and were taken to the central cemetery.
This report was also presented to the Gestapo and bears the
seal of the Gestapo confirming the accuracy of the document.

Presiding Judge: To whom actually?

State Attorney Bach: This was the case, if Your Honours
will recall, with all these reports of Dr. Loewenherz – he
always submitted them to the Gestapo.

Presiding Judge: He always obtained this seal?

State Attorney Bach: Most of the reports, a large
percentage of them. The Court will find that most of these
reports bear the seal of the Secret State Police.

Judge Halevi: He submitted this report to the Gestapo, and
the seal was affixed when the report was received by them?

State Attorney Bach: Yes. There was, perhaps, another
special reason here. They received these bodies, they
received an order from the Gestapo to bury these forty-two
bodies. Perhaps they were required to obtain the
authorization of the Gestapo for doing this.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1202.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 419, which
was shown to the Accused and was given the number T/37(228).
The subject discussed here is about Hungarian Jews who are
in Greece. The letter is dated 21 June 1944, and here
Veesenmayer informs the Foreign Ministry that the Head
Office for State Security, Department IV, had informed
Sondereinsatzkommando Eichmann that the Security Police in
Greece had now been instructed to deal with the Hungarian
Jews in Greece in the same manner as with other Jews – in
other words, to arrest them, seize their property, and to
transfer them and their property to Germany. He suggests
that there is no need even to inform the Hungarian
Government of this, that these people simply have to be
deported and their property safeguarded, until such time as
there would be an overall arrangement with the Hungarian
Government concerning the property.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1203.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, may I be
permitted to draw attention to the first sentence in this
document which gives an insight into the organization. It
says here: “RSHA, the Head Office for Reich Security IV,
informs the Eichmann Special Operations Unit here that, in
reply to his query, the BdS in Greece had been
instructed…” And then follow the details.

State Attorney Bach: The following document is our No. 516,
which was given the reference T/37(22). It deals here with
the arrest of Mrs. Glueck, who was a Jewess and the sister
of La Guardia, the Mayor of New York. The letter is from
von Thadden to the Foreign Office, dated 6 June. He says
that in that conversation in Budapest on 23 May between von
Thadden and Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, Eichmann said
that he had ordered the arrest of Mrs. Glueck, a Jewess and
the sister of the Mayor of New York, La Guardia, if it had
not already been effected. They wanted to ensure that
taking into account the status of her brother, Mrs. Glueck
would not be deported in the general transport to the
eastern regions, but that she should remain in one of the
special camps in the Reich or in Hungary, under our
supervision, for possible political purposes. The Accused’s
observation on that was that he does not recall the

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1204.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1020.
This was also shown to the Accused and was given the number
T/37(283). This document, too, deals with Mrs. Glueck. This
time the letter originates from Section IVA4b – the
Accused’s Section had meanwhile been given this designation
– and here a person named Vansinger writes to von Thadden to
advise that Mrs. Glueck who, according to race, is of first
degree mixed origin, is deemed to be a Jewess. Mrs. Glueck
is the sister of the Mayor of New York, La Guardia; Glueck
is now kept, on the instructions of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, as
a political hostage in the concentration camp of

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1205.

State Attorney Bach: The following document is our No. 384,
which was shown to the Accused and was given the number
T/37(148). Here, Veesenmayer, on 8 June 1944, expresses his
anger at the publicity given in a Viennese newspaper to the
“exodus of the Jews of Budapest,” seeing that this
publication violated the principle of secrecy, which had
been adopted in order to prevent panic amongst Jewish
elements in Budapest. He says such publicity must be
avoided in future through co-ordination with the
Sondereinsatzkommando of the SD.

Judge Halevi: Was the paper the Voelkische Beobachter?

State Attorney Bach: Yes.

Presiding Judge: This will be marked T/1206.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/07