Session 112-03, Eichmann Adolf

After Horthy returned to Budapest from his meeting with
Hitler, he received a visit from Veesenmayer, the Reich
Ambassador, who informed him that he, Veesenmayer, would now
set up the new Hungarian Government, together with Horthy,
On that same day, Eichmann came in with the Special
Operations Command named after him, Sondereinsatz-kommando
Eichmann,” in order to carry out one of the major purposes
of the German take-over. This unit included his chief
assistants – he listed their names – the hangmen of European
Jewry, from all countries.

The object of this mission he defines, in his police
interrogation, thus: “The speedy deportation and evacuation
of all Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz.” And elsewhere he says:
“The order of the Reichsfuehrer was the deportation of all
Hungarian Jews; to comb Hungary through from east to west
and to send them to Auschwitz. That was the standing

When examined, he took back only the word “Auschwitz,” and
here in Court he says:

“True, my instruction was to deport them to Auschwitz,
but now I do not remember, it was not only Auschwitz,
the documents show that some of them were sent to
Austria as well. Here speed was of the essence, so
that there should not be a recurrence of the disgrace
of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, of which they were

Kasztner wrote about this in his report, that this was one
of the objects, and this was disclosed by Eichmann himself,
when he spoke freely to Sassen. I examined him about this
in Session 103. For that reason “the master” himself was
sent to Hungary, as Himmler or Mueller put it. Today he no
longer wants this title, by any means.

“The documents do not correctly describe `the master'” –
that is how he responded to my question during the
examination, and the comradely expression of Mueller’s about
“the master” can today be interpreted in ways which do not
fit with the “soldierly idiom.” I am quoting Eichmann
during the examination. Therefore, perhaps to make doubly
sure, he denies this time that which he did not deny during
his police interrogation – that he had earned this title at
all in connection with his mission in Hungary.

“What kind of a master I was there,” he says, “that is
proved by the documents.” The bloody harvest of about half
a million persons apparently is not sufficient for him.

The story of the deception and lies started immediately.
The representatives of the Jews were called together on the
day following the German take-over, and Eichmann, who denied
at first, during the direct examination, that he had in any
way ordered the Jewish representatives to be summoned, now
argued that he was not connected at all with what had
happened in those early days, that Krumey and Wisliceny were
not subordinated to him at that time, but eventually he
admitted – when I presented Krumey’s testimony – that in
fact he had ordered this meeting to be convened.

Freudiger has told us what happened there. Krumey told the
Jews that they should understand that in times of war
certain restrictions must be put into effect, but in the end
everything will turn out all right. If the Jews would only
see to it that there be calm, hand over the documents which
describe all the communities and their functionaries, if
they co-operate – everything would be all right. The tenor
of his remarks was totally reassuring. But what would
happen in case of a refusal to co-operate – that was
demonstrated by the SS soldier who was standing with his
pistol drawn, aimed at the Jewish representatives throughout
this meeting. Wisliceny and Hunsche were also there.

Then “the master” himself entered into contacts with the
Jewish representatives. On 21 March, he ordered them to
present themselves to him again, this time to him directly.
We have two reports about this meeting, and the Accused did
not dispute their accuracy. He announced that he would be
in charge of all Jewish affairs in Hungary, but he would be
prepared to grant to the Council of Elders some executive
powers. “You have to give orders to the Jews,” he said.
“Stop all your liberal attitudes, stop asking for authority
from the Jews.” In any case, the Jews will be sent for
labour, he declared, and he was not prepared to say whether
it would necessarily be within the boundaries of Hungary,
but the Jews had better volunteer for this, for if they did
not, they would be taken forcibly. Henceforth, the Jews
were forbidden to transfer their residence without
permission from him. The deception tactics continued, as
was done in the ghettos, in the manhunts, and at the very
entrance to the gas chambers. Eichmann continued: This will
be only for the duration of the War; after that, everything
will return to its normal course. But immediately there
came this addition: There must be co-operation, because he
had heard that in places where the Jews did not co-operate,
there were also a number of killings. Therefore, this was
not worth while. “We do not have such manpower,” he said,
“we cannot place a lot of supervisors over you. Wherever
there is resistance, we shall use force, and there will be
killings. It is desirable that you, the Jewish
representatives, make these matters public, so that everyone
is aware of this.” He already had much experience in Jewish
affairs, he said, and he would see to it that he was obeyed,
and let them not think that they could deceive him; if
anyone thinks so, he will fall into his hands.

As I have indicated, Eichmann admitted in cross-examination
that the minutes of that meeting, in which these matters
were stated, is generally a correct reproduction of what was
said and proclaimed. Here again, there was a mixture of
glib talk and threats. On the one hand, an expression of
the will to have industrial production sped up – a hint that
the Jews were meant to stay alive. He also gave a promise
that he would zealously guard the lives of the Jews and
suggested that they speak to him frankly, “since I myself am
also talking frankly.”

Your Honours, he has told us here that the apparatus of
deception which he put into operation towards the Jews, was
being operated upon instructions. But a person has to get
to the point of total identification with these cunning
methods, with lying and deception of this kind, in order to
announce to the Jewish representatives, when he knows that
the people whom they represent are marked to be sent to
death, to tell them: “I am talking to you frankly, I am
open, you speak to me openly as well.” This is not the
manner of a person who puts into effect an apparatus of
deception, camouflage and deceit only under orders. This is
the manner of a person who is immersed up to his neck in
heaps of abomination, who identifies himself
psychologically, entirely, and without reservations, with
the task he has undertaken, with his base, murderous job.

He told the Jewish representatives that he was interested in
Hebrew literature, that he spoke Hebrew better than they did
– which was a kind of compliment and token of interest. In
the same breath he announced that he would mercilessly mow
down anyone standing in his way. This is taken from the
report. And after he spoke in this way to the
representatives of Hungarian Jews and spiced deceitful
promises with threats of murder, his messenger Novak was
sent, as he himself admits, to Vienna, to plan the course of
the trains from Hungary to Auschwitz. Well, he admits in
his own words that he seized control of Hungarian Jewry,
forcibly, by threats of terror and deceitful promises. That
entire story of his, that he came there to report about
timetables of transports, collapses totally. He also
vehemently denied that he received Jewish prisoners from the
Hungarian authorities. But this is recorded explicitly in
the official Hungarian report of his liaison officer,
Ferenczy. He himself told Freudiger that he was responsible
for the ghettoization of the Jews in Hungary.

From that point on, Eichmann and his gang of criminals
seized control of Jewish life in Hungary, by ways and means
which were described in detail in the Kasztner report and in
Freudiger’s testimony. The Hungarian reports show that this
was done in full co-operation with the Hungarian state
authorities and through them. About the perfect co-
operation between him and the criminals Endre and Baky, we
have heard from the witness Dr. Ferencz and this was also
reported, with satisfaction and great willingness, by the
Reich Ambassador Veesenmayer to Berlin. To celebrate the
authority given by the Hungarian Government for the
operation to begin, those men made themselves a little
banquet. The co-operation also covered the formulation of
anti-Jewish laws: a ban on travel, the expulsion of Jews
from gainful vocations, confiscation of property, seizure of
hospitals, ghettoization and curfew. Experienced men from
the Security Service helped in all these matters, since,
after all, they knew their job by heart. Everything went
here at a speedy pace, one edict following another, and all
stages of the liquidation were concentrated and brought down
upon the heads of the Jews in a series of blows.

In the meantime, “the master” was also engaged in fulfilling
the second part of his mission – the reception at Auschwitz.
It was a heavy burden, even for this camp, to receive all
those masses, “diese alle Juden zu verkraften” (to process
all those Jews), as he put it in his Statement in the police
interrogation. For that reason, as we know from his
statements, he had to maintain special contacts with
Auschwitz, he travelled there, and after the usual
subterfuges in his testimony, he finally admitted that he
went there to ensure the reception of the number authorized
for deportation.

Rudolf Hoess testified in his trial that Eichmann had from
the first agreed to undertake the mission in Hungary only on
condition that Auschwitz could receive all the transports
that he would direct there. To that end, he first went to
Auschwitz for inspection. “The master” also made the
arrangements for burning the bodies and complained that no
railway side line had been constructed to make possible
greater efficiency. In view of his requests for stepped-up
activity at Auschwitz, Hoess was returned to take command of
the camp, after he had already been transferred elsewhere,
in order that he personally would overcome the difficulties,
and in order that he could match the pace of deportations by
Eichmann with the pace of extermination.

Between the two of them, there was bargaining about the
number of trains that would go there, with Eichmann
demanding more and Hoess agreeing to less. In the end, a
deal was worked out. Hoess adds that Eichmann personally
arrived with the first transport at Auschwitz. In his cross-
examination Eichmann stated that he did not remember whether
he had arrived with the first transport, but he did travel
with one of the first. A specially appointed person from
his unit was present during the assembly and loading of
these unfortunates. The Accused wants to restrict the
duties of this representative of his to supervision over one
aspect: that these transports do not include, Heaven forbid,
foreign nationals. He paid a lot of attention to this. But
again, lies tend to collapse of their own weight, because,
as Veesenmayer confirmed in a telegram to the Foreign
Ministry in Berlin, this task was assigned to some official
from the German embassy. Eichmann told Sassen that he had
been in charge of a few hundred people of the Order Police
who were engaged in all arrangements for transport to
Auschwitz. For that reason, he was also responsible for the
indescribable suffering of those people on the way,
suffering which was described here, just as he was
responsible for the fate of these people inside Auschwitz

The campaign of deception went on. Hungarian Jews began
receiving, from the deportees, the well-known “Waldsee”
postcards, in which the relatives who had allegedly been
sent to labour assignments, reported that they were well.
Freudiger discovered that, under the word “Waldsee,” the
postcards bore the word “Auschwitz,” and asked Krumey about
it, and Krumey replied: “Mr. Freudiger, you are an
intelligent person; there is no need to see everything.” We
have heard from Foeldi that he himself had been ordered to
write such a postcard from Auschwitz to his sister, and you
have it before you as an exhibit, T/1151. Eichmann did not
deny that he had set in motion this apparatus of deception
and lies. This is one of the examples of that method.

His work bore fruit. The Hungarians produced the Jews.
Vehicles were found. We may imagine what supreme effort was
required, in the critical phases of the War in those days,
when Nazi Germany was fighting for its life along all
fronts; what difficulties “the master” had to overcome in
order to obtain these trains, and even the few that were
given to him, when every railway car was needed for the
front, when every man had to bear arms. But he knew how to
overcome difficulties. The liquidation of Hungarian Jews
went on at full speed. The chapter is summed up in a number
of German interim reports, and finally, in a report of 9
July 1944, which shows that 437,402 Jews were deported from
Hungary to their death.

That was his harvest in three and a half months of work.
The ovens at Auschwitz worked almost to the point of
bursting; day and night, the Moloch swallowed up his victims
there. And he wanted to see them there, to the last man.
When Hitler himself was prepared to make a deal with Horthy,
and in exchange for receiving all the Jews of Budapest,
Luther was prepared to yield 8,700 Jewish families who would
emigrate to Palestine – when Eichmann learned about this
from Veesenmayer, he announced that he would appeal through
Himmler against this decision and would ask for a new ruling
by the Fuehrer (“Er beabsichtigte, im Hinblick auf die
Fuehrerentscheidung, ueber die er unterrichtet wurde,
Reichsfuehrer-SS zu berichten, und gegebenenfalls um
erneuten Fuehrerentscheid zu bitten”).

Why did he go to such lengths? That, too, was stated in the
document. “Because, in his opinion, among those marked for
emigration, there were Jewish elements of biological worth
and also numerous Zionists.” According to this same
official report, he wanted to seize even those who had
already somehow managed to leave Hungary, and were in French
territory on their way to Palestine.

All this was not enough for him, but he wanted to secure
this aim in a third way. And this is how it is reported: He
planned the deportation so speedily and so skillfully
(schlagartig) that, until the Jews would be able to arrange
emigration papers, even if this were allowed them, there
would no longer be anybody to emigrate, because all of them
would be deported. And indeed, he did not sit by idly. He
actually appealed against the Fuehrer’s decision, and it is
stated specifically in an official document that, upon
Eichmann’s application, Himmler intervened in the matter and
asked the German Foreign Ministry to act in order to prevent
the emigration of these families to Palestine. Here we see
that he took the most extreme position, more extreme even
than that evil man Hitler himself, who was prepared to
release a handful of Jews, so that he could receive all of
them, and was therefore prepared to make a deal with Horthy:
You give me 300,000 Jews, and I shall give you 8,700
families. Eichmann does not agree even to that. He is not
prepared to make even that concession.

When I examined him about this, he said that it was true,
this was the way in which he had to act, since Himmler’s
order to ban emigration had been given in writing, whereas
this Fuehrer-order was presented to him by Veesenmayer

But Hitler’s original order to kill all Jews, how did that
come to his attention? Did he not say that in the summer of
1941 Heydrich reported that the Fuehrer had decided to
liquidate physically all Jews? An order for extermination
given orally sufficed for him. A Fuehrer-order given orally
to save a handful of Jews – that was not enough for Mr.
Eichmann. That he wants to see in writing. And then he
added in his examination, as usual, that he acted only upon
instructions. And finally he said about that entire
document that Veesenmayer apparently did not write the truth
there. And once he started finding fault with documents, he
added that his own letter to Guenther on this matter, of 24
July 1944, was also a forgery, because it did not bear a
file-notation or the proper heading, and the style also did
not appear to him to be his own. May I remind you, Your
Honours, that this document was found in the records of the
German Foreign Ministry, which received a copy of it, that
nobody disputed its authenticity when it was submitted, and
what I said yesterday about official documents applies to
this as well.

Eichmann’s allegation here again reflects the last absurd
refuge of this man, when there is no escaping any more in
the examination, and when the document speaks against him
strongly, then he tries to get rid of it by claiming that it
is a forgery. That is the way of his defence. And, in
fact, he has reason to fear this document, because in this
letter to Guenther he asks his office to take steps to
induce the Reich Government to adopt a tougher policy, which
will prevent any possible emigration to Palestine.

In the meantime, Horthy stopped deportations because of the
pressure to which he was subjected. However, at once
Eichmann still managed to carry out the deportation of the
Kistarcsa train. He told us that he has some kind of a
vague recollection about a train that left and was brought
back. The other details, so he says, are shrouded in his
mind in the fog of oblivion. Once again he offered us his
help in reconstructing the documents. But the evidence
speaks for itself, and we do not need this help.

Here, too, the struggle goes on, “the duel,” as the witness
Freudiger termed it, between Horthy and Eichmann. In spite
of the ban by Horthy, Eichmann persuaded the Hungarian
gendarmerie to co-operate with him in carrying out the
deportation. Grell says in his deposition that Eichmann
performed the deportation from a Hungarian camp “by a
trick.” In his testimony, taken from him in Germany – he
was a counsellor at the German Embassy in Budapest in those
days – for this trial, in which it is evident that he is
trying to help the Accused just a little, he is compelled to
say the following, and I quote from his testimony, Testimony
No. 5, p. 4: “I found out officially once that the Special
Operations Unit carried out a deportation from the vicinity
of Budapest behind the back of the German Embassy and the
top ranks of the Hungarian Government, in co-operation with
the Hungarian gendarmerie and the State Secretaries in the
Ministry of the Interior, contrary to the arrangement that
existed between the German Government and the Hungarian
Government.” So much for the statement by Grell in his

The deportation from Kistarcsa is one of the proofs of
Eichmann’s fanatic desire to bring about the extermination
of Jews under all conditions and by all means possible, even
against the spirit of the instructions he had, as long as he
did not contravene…

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14