Session 060-06, Eichmann Adolf

Judge Halevi: On what page was this in the Accused’s

State Attorney Bach: 1320-1321.

And now, Your Honours, we are not only dealing with reports
from Veesenmayer. The next document is number 182, which
was also shown to the Accused and was given the number
T/37(91); this was a letter from Eichmann himself to
Guenther, dated 24 July 1944. Incidentally, the date of the
previous document was 25 July 1944, and this one, in fact,
is dated 24 July, from Budapest. Here, Eichmann himself
informs Guenther that papers were already being prepared in
the foreign legations, in order to permit the emigration of
Hungarian Jews, and he writes:

“In the German note in reply, emigration to Palestine
is not strictly forbidden, but it says that emigration
to Palestine must be avoided as far as possible. While
it has so far not become apparent that emigration to
countries other than Palestine had been tried by the
foreign neutral legations concerned with the matter,
they are already, from the outset, furthering
emigration to Palestine. The German embassy here has
so far not stood in the way of these efforts, as it is
believed that emigration to Palestine was not rejected
by Germany in principle. We, for our part, saw to it
that also on the part of the embassy here, everything
possible should be done, in order to delay the
emigration efforts, and in the end to prevent them,
after the evacuation of the Jews was continued. This
step would be rendered possible all the more, since
every emigrating Jew has to be in possession of a
German visa or a special transit visa for departing
from Hungary, issued by the German military authorities
through the German embassy. In order that emigration
to Palestine might be prevented more efficiently, it
seems to us to be useful to formulate with greater
clarity and greater stringency the consent of the
German Reich, which was given on this point in the
first place, so that emigration to Palestine within the
framework of this operation will not receive Germany’s

Judge Raveh: Do you know where this document is kept?

State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, this copy is to be found
amongst the documents of the German Foreign Office.

Judge Raveh: This is, on the face of it, some kind of
internal matter between various departments of the same
section in the Head Office for Reich Security.

State Attorney Bach: The copy was sent to the German
Foreign Office, apparently – we don’t know this exactly –
through some office, or the copy was passed on to
Veesenmayer, and through Veesenmayer to the Foreign Office,
or in some other way. It may be that, since this letter
from Veesenmayer was written on 25 July and this letter from
Eichmann on 24 July, it is even possible that the letter
from Veesenmayer was written on the basis of this letter.
This we do not know. But it is a fact that this letter
ultimately reached the Foreign Office.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1216.

State Attorney Bach: Now there is reference not only to the
proposed submission of an appeal. This we can see in our
following document No. 156 which was shown to the Accused
and was given the number T/137(111). Here, there is a
report from Veesenmayer to the Foreign Office, a cable dated
14 August 1944. He says that the Hungarian Minister of the
Interior, who had just been appointed, announced on the
preceding day to the commander of the Special Operations
Unit of the local SD, Eichmann, that the last Council of
Hungarian Ministers had decided to propose to the Regent
that the evacuation of the Jews from Budapest commence on
the 25th of that month. Upon Eichmann’s demand, the
Minister of the Interior expressed his readiness to advance
the date to the 20th of the month. It could be presumed
that the Regent would agree, if only in order that the
implementation of the proposed transports of emigrants could
begin, to which Germany had agreed through the intervention
of the embassies of Switzerland and Sweden.

Thereafter, he says in paragraph two:

“Simultaneously with the anticipated announcement of
the Regent’s approval, it had to be taken into account
that Hungary would now demand the granting of German
visas or transit certificates for the applications
which are now before us. In view of the fact that the
Reichsfuehrer-SS had, according to a statement by
Eichmann, raised objections to putting into effect the
transports to Palestine via Romania, I hereby
accordingly request instructions by immediate cable, as
soon as possible, whether nevertheless the existing
applications – particulars of which are again given
below – can be acceded to at the appropriate time.”

Veesenmayer expresses his view that, for reasons of the
Reich’s prestige, it would be desirable to implement those
promises which Germany had given. At the end, there is a
list of these promises. Your Honours asked what these
promises actually were. Here it states what, in fact, was
promised, where those Jews had to be sent, where those Jews
should depart from, on their way to Palestine.

Thereafter, he comes to the subject of Budapest, and he

“For the implementation of the Budapest operation,
apart from this, everything is ready from the technical
point of view. Eichmann presumes that incidents,
mainly by armed Jews, will not be entirely absent.”

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1217.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is No. 976. Here,
Grell reports in a cable dated 19 August 1944 on the
shocking details in the plan for the deportation of the Jews
of Budapest:

“The Hungarian Minister of the Interior has informed SS
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann that the Hungarian
Government, with the approval of the Regent, would
begin evacuating the Jews from the area of the city of
Budapest on the 25th of this month. The Regent agreed
to the evacuation of only a limited number of Jews, but
the government came to a decision to evacuate all the
Jews, apart from those Jews who had already been set
aside, the ‘excepted’ (Ausnahmejuden) Jews.”

After that it says:

“The concentration will begin on 25 August, as planned,
in three camps. The first transport, consisting of two
trains, with a total of twenty thousand Jews, will
depart on 27 August, and on the following days, there
will be three trains daily, containing nine thousand
Jews each. The concentration will be carried out by
the Hungarian gendarmerie alone.”

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1218.

State Attorney Bach: I pass on to document No. 154, which
was given the number T/37(93). Here, Veesenmayer, on 24
August 1944, advises of a sudden new development:

“The Hungarian Minister of the Interior has just
notified SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann that contrary
to previous announcements, he had given an instruction,
by virtue of an order of the Regent, to begin
concentrating the Jews of Budapest on the 28th of that
month, into five large camps which still had to be
erected outside the city limits, without providing for
deportation from these camps to the territory of the
Reich. Eichmann would report on that to the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt and would ask for him and his
unit to be repatriated from here, as they had become

Judge Halevi: Did he threaten to draw his own conclusions?

State Attorney Bach: In actual fact, he did not do so. The
struggle continued. On the same day, a letter was forwarded
from Veesenmayer, in which he wrote that Eichmann regarded
himself as being superfluous.

Judge Halevi: He threatened to draw his own conclusions?

State Attorney Bach: Yes, and it appears that, in fact, he
continued the struggle in Budapest.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1219.

State Attorney Bach: Now we come to the two documents
which, as I informed the Court, we obtained from America –
from the personal archive of Himmler; they were in America
and reached us from there. The one document is a cable sent
by Becher to Himmler on 25 August, at 18.10 hours. Our
number for this cable is 1421. Here, he writes to the
Reichsfuehrer at Hochwald. It says here:

“The other side did not seriously believe our desire to
conduct negotiations. It assumed that we wanted to
make use of its consent for propaganda purposes only.
As a result of the discussions in depth and of the fact
that at that very moment three hundred units* {*In
German: “Stueck” (pieces); the reference is to Jewish
human beings.} were crossing the border, this
impression was altered. The other side specifically
declared its desire, in principle, to implement it, and
was strengthened by the realization that there could be
no one who would give a clear ‘no’ to a one-time
possibility such as this. The other side thinks that
implementation by means of the supply of trucks alone
was not practically feasible, seeing that, even with
the best goodwill of the American Government, it could
not expose itself to such an extent. On the other
hand, in view of the size of the undertaking, the plan
would be feasible only with the consent of the highest
authorities. I propose that, apart from the trucks, we
should demand those commodities which can be supplied
under bilateral treaties with neutral states, such as
Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal, but delivery of which
was cancelled on a number of occasions, owing to the
intervention of the Allied Powers; for example, chrome,
nickel, ball bearings, survey instruments, tool
manufacturing machines, wolfram, aluminium, etc.
Consequently, I agreed with the other side: (a) To
secure authorization and cover by the supreme American
authority for implementation in principle (there follow
some sections which are not legible in the reprint);
(b) The total amount of foreign currency which must be
found in order to carry out the arrangement; (c) The
creation of an overall pattern for the supply
programme; (d) Specification of the merchandise which
can be supplied immediately.”

And he informs the Reichsfuehrer that he would be flying to
Friedrichshafen on 4 September for the purpose of personal
negotiations, and then he would be able to give final

“The other side declares that, if further deportations
to the Reich were now carried out, the deciding
authority will not regard the negotiations as serious,
and hence they would fail. Meanwhile, the relevant
order from the Reichsfuehrer has reached us. I humbly
request permission to continue the negotiations, in the
spirit of this information. With absolute loyalty to
the Reichsfuehrer – Becher, Obersturmbannfuehrer.”

Judge Halevi: What is the relevant document?

State Attorney Bach: “The relevant order” – this will
become clear not by the next document, but by the next but

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1220.

State Attorney Bach: The reply to this cable of Becher’s is
contained in Himmler’s cable to Obersturmbannfuehrer Becher.
This is our document No. 1422. This cable was sent to
Becher on 26 August 1944. It says: “Your cable dated 25
August was received. I give you authority and confirm the
continuation of the discussions in the spirit of your
message.” Signed: Himmler. This is a cable which was sent
on the following day, 26 August.

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1221.

State Attorney Bach: The next document is our No. 1441.
This is a cable sent on 25 August at 11.15 hours by
Veesenmayer to Ribbentrop, the Reich Foreign Minister. He

“SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmann has advised me by
telephone just now that, during the night, at 3 a.m.,
he received a cabled order from the Reichsfuehrer-SS
forbidding, absolutely and with immediate effect, any
deportation of Hungarian Jews to the Reich. In reply
to my question whether this was official and whether I
could make use of it, Winkelmann answered in the

Presiding Judge: This will be exhibit T/1222.

State Attorney Bach: There is no doubt that the cable which
arrived at three o’clock on the morning of 25 August, to
which Veesenmayer refers here, is the cable which Becher
mentioned at six o’clock of the same day, when he says:
“This morning an order in the matter was received from the
Reichsfuehrer concerning the cessation of the deportation.”
He says this in the same paragraph as the one in which he
talks about the cessation of the deportations.

Now, Your Honours, the following extract appears on page 92
of Kasztner’s report:

“On 25 August at 20 hours (that is to say at 8 p.m.),
Wisliceny requested me by telephone to come to him,
since he had an urgent matter to relate to me. He
received me with a sly smile and told me: `You have
won. The Headquarters is leaving!’ What happened?
Himmler had partly taken account of the Hungarian
Government’s request, that is what Wisliceny said to
him. He thought that it would be right, after they had
left Romania, not to irritate Hungarian
susceptibilities too much. Therefore, he brought about
the departure from Budapest of Eichmann and his
commando, but he left the Gestapo behind…”

Presiding Judge: Is that Kasztner’s interpretation?

State Attorney Bach: That is what Wisliceny apparently said
to Kasztner.

Presiding Judge: No, that is his interpretation.

State Attorney Bach: It is perhaps not so clear from the
report, but I agree, Your Honour, that this could very well
have been the interpretation of Kasztner, which Kasztner
gave to that statement of Wisliceny. And he describes the
situation thus:

“The Judenkommando evacuated the offices on the
Schwabenberg. Eichmann shut himself up in a farm in
the provinces. It is said that he applied to Berlin by
telegraph for permission to extend his stay in Hungary
by one week, for Veesenmayer was already working behind
the scenes, in order to overthrow the Horthy regime and
to bring Szalasi to power. Then Eichmann would get a
free hand on the Jewish Question. He accordingly
remained in Hungary, in order to spare himself the
journey there and back. The news of the departure of
the Judenkommando spread like wildfire amongst the Jews
of the capital. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief –
it seemed that `the Battle of Budapest’ was won.”

And the last sentence:

“Strangely enough, rumours were circulating at the same
time about the imminent total deportation of the Jews
of Budapest.”

This was on the same 25th day of the month which had indeed
been fixed as the day on which the action was to begin.
That is to say, all this was not known, neither to Kasztner
nor to anyone else. Hence it is interesting that on the one
hand there were rumours that the operation was to be carried
out, and at the same time, there was Wisliceny’s statement
at eight o’clock in the evening.

In his comments on Kasztner’s report – this is T/1116, on
page eight of the German copy – Wisliceny describes this
situation. He says that this order of Himmler’s was
obtained by Becher. And now the crucial sentence: That

“Eichmann asked Winkelmann to keep this cable from
Himmler confidential since the formal agreement of
Horthy had already been secured. I obtained the text
of this cable, this “Fernschreiben” [the reference is
to Himmler’s] through Eichmann’s secretary, and I
immediately passed its contents on to Dr. Kasztner.
Horthy, who became aware of the new situation through
Komoly and Ferenczy, withdrew his consent to the

On this point, on this argument of Wisliceny, there is some
corroboration, and that is in the last document that I would
like to submit.

Presiding Judge: Was this Komoly the Zionist?

State Attorney Bach: Yes, he was head of the Committee for
Relief and Rescue. Wisliceny told Kasztner, and Kasztner
also mentions here in his report that he at once told others
about it, and, through Komoly and Ferenczy, it also reached
Horthy. Consequently Horthy, at a later stage, cancelled
his consent. But the Accused sought to keep this cable a
secret, on the grounds that, for the time being, there was
no need for it, since Horthy had agreed to the deportations.

The last document I wish to submit in this context is our
No. 155. This is a cable from Veesenmayer, dated 30 August.
Here he reports to the Foreign Minister about a meeting of
the new government in Hungary, where the principal item was
the evacuation of the Jews from Budapest, and where it was
resolved that the operation should be carried out
immediately, that the rounding up of the Jews ought to take
place on 1 September, and that the deportation should
commence on 2 September. That is to say, despite this cable
of the 25th or 26th of the month, they were still talking on
the 30th of the month about deporting the Jews from
Budapest, which, in fact, was not carried out, except on a
much later occasion and in a different form. But, at that
stage, it was not carried out.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1223.

We shall adjourn at this point. The next Session will be
held tomorrow morning, at 9.00 o’clock.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/07