Dr. Servatius: I now submit the next exhibit, document No.
673. This is a memorandum from Wagner, of the Foreign
Ministry, for submission to the Reich Foreign Minister. It
is dated 6 July 1944, and deals with the same complex. It
“In the enclosed telegram, dated 29 June, Ambassador
Veesenmayer has requested instructions as to how to
deal with the various proposals from the Swedes, Swiss
and Americans for evacuating Jews.”
Page 2, the last paragraph, reads:
“In view of the consistent approach to policy on Jews
pursued so far by the Reich, which aims at preventing
emigration of Jews as far as possible and, where this
is permitted, makes it dependent upon the provision of
suitable recompense, and also in view of our Arab
policy, Inland Group II suggests asking the Hungarian
Government through Ambassador Veesenmayer to reply to
the Swiss and Americans that emigration to Palestine
cannot be agreed to under any circumstances, as the
attitude here is that Palestine is an Arab country, and
the Hungarian authorities could not lend their hand to
Arabs being driven out of their homeland by Jews (by
analogy with the Feldscher Operation).”
The last sentence reads:
“Any reply to this position will probably take two to
three weeks, and by the end of this month the action
against the Jews in Hungary will largely have been
completed, so that in essence the intervention will
then have become pointless.”
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked N/84.
Dr. Servatius: I offer as further evidence document No.
848. This is a communication from Ribbentrop to Reich
Plenipotentiary Veesenmayer personally. The communication
is dated 10 July 1944. In the first paragraph it says:
“On my proposal, the Fuehrer has now decided to
accommodate the Hungarian Government in the matter of
the foreign offers for evacuating Jews to abroad.”
“Therefore the proposals from the Swedish, Swiss and
U.S.A. Governments contained in your telegram of 29
June under points 1 to 3 can be complied with, in
connection with which we assume that the groups of Jews
designated in their offers, will be received by these
countries, i.e., Sweden, Switzerland and U.S.A. Any
transfer of Jews to Palestine should be avoided if at
all possible, in view of our policy towards the Arabs.”
Then, at the end, it says:
“We are, however, able to decide on this concession
only on condition that the evacuation of Jews to the
Reich, which was temporarily halted by the Regent,
should be completed immediately and as rapidly as
Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/85.
Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1215, document No.
161. This is a communication from Veesenmayer to the Reich
Minister for Foreign Affairs. Vessenmayer is reacting to
the proposal of the Foreign Ministry. I would refer to the
bottom of page 2, item 2, which reads:
“Head of Special Jewish Operations Unit Security
Service here, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, has
indicated that, as far as he is aware, Reichsfuehrer-SS
is in no way in agreement with emigration to Palestine
of Hungarian Jews. He says that the Jews in question
are all biologically valuable material, many veteran
Zionists, whose immigration to Palestine would
therefore be most undesirable. With reference to the
Fuehrer’s decision about which he has been informed, he
intends to report to Reichsfuehrer-SS, and if
necessary, to request a new decision from the Fuehrer.”
Witness, would you please explain why, according to
Veesenmayer’s report, you did not agree with the order given
and asked for a new decision by the Fuehrer?
Accused: I am unable to check whether these are my words,
as it reproduces what I am alleged to have said. A whole
series of documents have already demonstrated that Himmler
gave extremely strict orders prohibiting emigration to
Palestine, and I had to follow these orders.
Dr. Servatius: Then it says:
“In any case it was agreed with Eichmann that, if
authorization is given for further evacuations of Jews
from Budapest, it should be attempted to carry these
out as suddenly and fast as possible, so as to make
sure that the Jews eligible for emigration would
already have been evacuated before the formalities are
Witness, would you tell the Court what you agreed to, and
what powers you had to make such an agreement?
Accused: In order to answer the question, I must base
myself on the documents. Now, it says an agreement was
reached to carry them out as fast as possible – this appears
for the first time in a memorandum from Wagner to the Reich
Foreign Minister, who cites this argument for the first
time. If therefore…
Presiding Judge: Let us first settle one thing. Is
Veesenmayer here giving a true report of what you said?
Before we proceed to the substance of the matter.
Accused: Do you mean in the entire paragraph, Your
Presiding Judge: Yes.
Accused: No, I deny that. I deny that, Your Honour,
because I can prove, as far as the last part of this
paragraph is concerned, because in a moment there will be
another document which maintains the contrary.
Presiding Judge: Very well.
Accused: Since Veesenmayer had received his strict
instructions and guidelines from the Head Office for Reich
Security – from the Foreign Ministry – as shown by the
documents, and since I was unable to determine the tempo of
the evacuations – this was something which the Hungarian
gendarmerie handled and which Veesenmayer in the end
determined on a higher level together with the Hungarian
Government – Veesenmayer was unable to agree to anything
with me – the most he could do was to give me an
instruction, but not agree to something.
Dr. Servatius: The next document is No. 162 – I submit this
as evidence. This is a communication from Veesenmayer to
the Foreign Ministry, dated 3 August 1944, regarding
departure via Romania. This shows that Eichmann did not
decide on his own initiative, but applied to higher
authority. Item II reads:
“I would inform you confidentially that Eichmann has
again applied to the Head Office for Reich Security to
obtain a final decision on the part of the
Reichsfuehrer-SS as to whether the Swiss action for
emigration via Romania to Palestine can be authorized.
Eichmann has repeatedly proposed that transport should
be authorized only to Lisbon via Western Europe.”
Presiding Judge: This will be marked N/86.
Dr. Servatius: Next, exhibit T/1217 – document No. 156 –
communication from Veesenmayer to the Reich Foreign
Minister. Under (1) it reads:
“Recently appointed Hungarian Minister of Interior
yesterday informed Chief of Security Service Special
Operations Units here, Eichmann, that last Hungarian
Council of Ministers has decided to propose to Regent
that evacuation of Jews from Budapest should start on
25th of this month. At the request of Eichmann,
Minister of Interior indicated willingness to bring
date forward to 20th of this month.”
Witness, would you tell the Court whether what it says here
is correct – that you proposed to the government to advance
the date of the evacuation?
Accused: Today, I am unable to reply to this question,
either in the negative or in the affirmative. But since the
difference involved is five days, it seems to me that the
reason must and can only have been a demand by the Reich
Transport Ministry related to drawing up the timetable. I
cannot imagine anything else.
Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1219 – document No.
154. This is a communication from Veesenmayer to the
Foreign Minister, dated 24 August 1944. He reports that the
Hungarian Minister of the Interior has just informed
Eichmann “that contrary to his previous agreement he has now
been instructed, by order of the Regent, that concentration
of the Jews from Budapest in five large camps yet to be set
up outside the city limits should start on the 28th of this
month, without evacuation from these camps to Reich
territory being envisaged.”
Then, at the end, it says: “Eichmann will report on this to
the Head Office for Reich Security, with the request that
since they are superfluous, he and his units should be
recalled from here.” At the bottom of the document there is
a handwritten note which I would decipher as follows:
“(1) Mueller” – this appears to be Sturmbannfuehrer or
Gruppenfuehrer – “is not available, spoke to
Sturmbannfuehrer Guenther. He says that in any case part of
the unit will remain behind for observation purposes. Von
Presiding Judge: Are these von Thadden’s initials, in your
Dr. Servatius: That is my impression. I have seen the
handwriting several times. It is the competent department
in the Foreign Ministry.
Witness, that would seem to show that you are now making
some protest to the effect that from now on you are going to
be unemployed; so you are saying, if I am to be superfluous,
I want to be recalled from here. Would you state your view
Accused: From what I have so far – or how I have so far
dealt with the matter and spoken about it – it is quite
clear that once I had received the first official
announcement, “It is all over,” I would immediately have
wanted to take the first opportunity for clearing out of
Hungary. That had nothing to do with protesting, but I
reported back to Berlin. And I would like to state finally
that I did not succeed in this, either, because von
Thadden’s memorandum says that orders had been given for
part of the unit to remain in Hungary.
Dr. Servatius: Next, exhibit T/1222, document No. 1441.
This is a communication from Veesenmayer to the Reich
Foreign Minister, dated 25 August 1944. It reads:
“SS Obergruppenfuehrer Winkelmann has just informed me
by telephone that at three o’clock last night he
received a teleprinter order from the Reichsfuehrer-SS,
according to which the deportation of Hungarian Jews to
the Reich is strictly forbidden, effective
Veesenmayer appears to be surprised, for it then says: “When
I enquired as to whether this was an official order and
whether I could use it, Winkelmann answered in the
Next, exhibit T/1220, document No. 1421. This is a
teleprinter message from Becher to Himmler. This deals with
various points concerning the implementation of the matters
with which he is dealing here by order of the Reichsfuehrer.
“(1) The other side did not believe that we seriously
wanted to negotiate. They believed that we only wanted
to use their agreement for propaganda purposes.
“(2) Detailed discussions and the fact that at the same
time three hundred pieces had moved across the border
without any conditions changed this attitude.
“(3) The other side has stated unequivocally their
basic desire to carry things through, and this is
substantiated by the view that there will be no one who
will say a clear ‘no’ to this one-time possibility.”
Then, under (4):
“However, the other side considers it not feasible to
implement in practical terms only by supplying trucks.”
Instead of these, he proposes other bottle-neck
articles which should be demanded.
Under (6), it reads: “I have therefore agreed with the other
side,” and then there is a series of proposals, and under
(9) it says:
“Other side indicated that if further evacuations to
the Reich were to occur now, negotiation would not be
considered as serious by those in power and would
therefore not succeed. Meanwhile, Reichsfuehrer’s
order on this has been received.”
Witness, can you indicate what were the negotiations which
were involved here, and were you informed of these
Accused: Generally speaking, I would definitely have been
in the know at that time, although Becher did not disclose
all the details to me. This communication proves what I
have said – that this is when the petty bargaining started,
instead of what I had suggested and got approval for, that
is to say, as an initial, immediate measure to have 100,000
emigrate first of all – I forgot to say that there was an
addendum which stated, “their destination should be up to
Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1221, document No.
1422. A teleprinter message from Himmler to Becher: “I
authorize and permit you to continue negotiations.”
I now submit as evidence document No. 572. This is a
memorandum from the Foreign Ministry – Wagner – for
submission to the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, dated
15 September 1944. It deals with the efforts of the Swiss
legation to obtain larger numbers of departures, viz. of two
thousand Jews in return for two thousand Reich Germans
interned abroad. The Swedish legation has also intervened,
and at the end it says: “Inland Group II proposes dealing
with both interventions in a dilatory fashion until a final
decision is reached on the question of how to deal with the
Jews still remaining in Hungary.”
Presiding Judge: I mark this exhibit N/87.
Dr. Servatius: The next exhibit is T/1231, document No.
449. This is a memo from the Foreign Ministry, dated 16
September 1944, and signed by Wagner. It announces that 318
Jews from the camp near Hannover – which is probably Bergen-
Belsen – have arrived in Switzerland, without any papers at
all. The Foreign Ministry had no information; at the bottom
of page 1, at the end of the letter, it says: “Inland Group
II immediately initiated the requisite steps to clarify the
facts of the matter.”
Then we have exhibit T/1232, document No. 450, memorandum
from the Foreign Ministry, dated 29 September 1944, for
information of the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs. It
says that, as far as the 318 Jews who reached Switzerland
are concerned, this involved procuring equipment of military
importance for the SS. The consideration in return for the
release of the Jews benefited the SS.
Then it says:
“Exactly what this transaction involved, according to
the Head Office for Reich Security, is not known in
Berlin, as the negotiations between the Reichsfuehrer
and the person in charge of implementing the matter,
Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, were conducted directly
and orally only. For reasons of a Security Police
nature, nothing has been put down in writing about the
matter, and it can be assumed that there will be no
further case like it, in view of the severing of
relations with Turkey.”
And then, at the end, it says no reply should be given to
the Swiss, and if the Swiss bring the matter up again, they
should be informed orally, after a suitable delay, that
investigations of the matter have been without result.
Witness, you appear here as the person in charge – the
person in charge of implementing the matter. Is it true that
you implemented the matter, and what can you say about this?
Accused: No, it is not true; I was not the person put in
charge of this by the Reichsfuehrer-SS, nor did I have any
dealings whatsoever with him at that time, because I first
met him on 4 December of the same year. But the best proof
that what I am saying is true is to be found in exhibits
T/1220 and T/1221, which have just been dealt with, that is
Becher’s letter to Himmler and Himmler’s reply to Becher.
This matter is dealt with there.
Dr. Servatius: I now turn to the next list.
Presiding Judge: There are still documents here; are you
dropping all the other documents given in the list?
Dr. Servatius: No, that was an error, my list has been
divided into two parts.
Presiding Judge: I see. Please proceed.