Session 112-04, Eichmann Adolf

As will be remembered from the testimonies of Mrs. Szenes,
Dr. Freudiger and Dr. Brody, Eichmann took the first train
out of Kistarcsa by stealth. Dr. Brody, who was a detainee
at Kistarcsa, heard this from the Hungarian commander of the
camp, Vasdenyei, Brody had permission to travel from the
camp to Budapest, according to the document which he
submitted. He travelled into town immediately, informed the
Jewish leaders, and suggested intervention with Horthy.
Immediately connections and influences were brought to bear,
through various persons, particularly Dr. Petoe. Horthy did
intervene. The immediate intercession by the Jews brought
results: the train was detained en route in Hungarian
territory and was brought back. There was much rejoicing,
as Freudiger stated.

But a man like Eichmann would not give up. He behaved like
a madman, he screamed at Janos Gabor, the liaison person of
the Jewish Committee, in a fit of fury: “How dare the Jews
interfere in a matter like this,” and after that, he went
into action. Two days later, all Jewish representatives
were called together to Eichmann’s office, in the Majestic
Hotel. Hunsche kept them there, from 10 a.m. until he
received a telephone call at approximately 7 p.m. His reply
to the person who spoke to him on the telephone was: “Good,
very good.” This was heard by the Jews, and later on he
told them: “Now you may go.”

Dr. Brody was at Kistarcsa, and he told us how it looked
from the inside during those hours. Novak, Eichmann’s
representative, arrived at the camp and informed Vasdenyei
that nobody could leave the office any longer, that no one
could use the telephone, and that Eichmann would not allow
his orders to be disobeyed, not even by the Regent, Horthy.
Then the SS people started throwing the Jews brutally into
the cars, amongst them sick persons and old people. The SS
men said that the invalids could leave behind their
crutches, wheel chairs and walking sticks, because they
would no longer need them. Then there began bargaining
between Vasdenyei and Novak as to whether they would take
only the persons who had already been on the first train and
were in the camp, or whether, instead of the 280 Jews who
had been taken to another camp during those few days, 280
others would be taken. Novak insisted on the full quota of
1500 persons, barring not a single one, but in the end he
yielded, and only 1220 were deported. Brody adds: “We were
happy about the rescue of those 280.” Even that was a
source of joy for Jews in those days. But even that
particular joy did not last long. On the next day, it was
learned from the camp at Sarvar that the 280 had been taken
from there.

Vasdenyei helped Brody elude deportation, and he went to
Budapest immediately. At the office of the Jewish
Committee, to his surprise, he found no one. During the
night he got in touch with Petoe and Stern, but this was
already after Hunsche’s “Good, very good!” The train had
already crossed the Hungarian border in the direction of
Auschwitz, bearing its victims, among them the husband of
Mrs. Reich, who had written her that heart-rending letter
and postcard.

Novak was in charge of this deportation. His photograph was
identified here by Dr. Brody, by Brand, and by Eichmann
himself. Novak belonged to Eichmann’s unit and acted under
his orders.

The next day, Wisliceny told Freudiger: “Did you think that
Eichmann would agree that this old fool, Horthy, would bring
back his train?”

What did Eichmann have to say, when he was examined about
this affair?: “Even if we assume that all this is correct,
there is one thing which I cannot understand. This matter
of the lorries at Kistarcsa. Why, I had no lorries at my
disposal.” When questioned by the Court, he admitted that
the Hungarian gendarmerie did have enough lorries, and
therefore the puzzlement came to an end.

This affair of the deportation from Kistarcsa sheds the
proper light on the man and his work. The passionate zeal
to send Jews to their death, even if not ordered to do so at
that particular time, the tough way in which he carries out
the task in spite of all difficulties and obstacles, the
arrogance driving him to have his word respected, no matter
what – that is the true Eichmann, as he was described by the
witnesses who had come in contact with him, as he was
described by his co-conspirators in crime, as his figure
emerges from the written and oral evidence. It was not in
vain that he represented himself to Joel Brand as he did.
And as he stated here in his testimony, Joel Brand reported
things as they were. I will not deny that he was entitled
to adopt the name of “the destroyer of European Jewry.”

However, when he is brought to trial, Eichmann, the expert
in camouflage, deception and subterfuge, knows how to make
use of the same qualities which he had used in those years,
and adopts a different style when he speaks in Court.

First he puts on an act during the police interrogation and
says that Jewish children were not deported from Hungary,
and he even claims that he reached the point of differences
of opinion between himself and the Hungarian authorities in
this matter. This is one of the lies from which he had to
retreat during cross-examination. He then admitted that
children were deported with their parents, and we heard from
Hansi Brand that when she pleaded with him for the lives of
these children and told him, “Do you have no children of
your own, that you are so lacking in compassion?” he scolded
her and ordered her not to come back to him any more. We
read in the Kasztner Report that in Budapest Eichmann had
said that many Jews from Carpatho-Russia could be loaded
into the railway cars, because out there they have families
with many children, and the children, naturally, occupy only
very little room. About that there is the evidence of Hansi

Presiding Judge: I would like to announce the order of the
coming sessions of Court. At the request of the
representatives of the two parties, there will be no Session
this afternoon. The Attorney General will complete his
argument at tomorrow morning’s session, then there will be a
recess until Monday, and the Defence Counsel will probably
begin and, at any event, complete his arguments on Monday.
Apparently he will do so, as he has informed us, already at
the morning Session of Monday.

Attorney General: And now, Your Honours, to the famous
transaction of “Blood for goods.” Negotiations about
rescuing Jewish lives in exchange for paying money or
handing over assets to the SS went on in various ways. The
Kasztner Report deals with this at length, and in the
written summary the Court will find quotations about the
details concerning these developments. Freudiger has
testified to you about the suitcases full of money and
jewels which were handed over to the Germans. This was
confirmed also by Krumey, when he was examined in Germany.

At a certain stage, Himmler saw – whether on his own
initiative or upon advice by others – an opportunity to
exploit these negotiations for personal and political
purposes, and particularly that this might provide him with
an opportunity of making contact with the Western Allies.
This was also stated in the testimony by Kaltenbrunner, and
in this matter there is no reason to doubt his veracity,
because he is not saying that in order to defend himself.
He adds:

“From this moment on, Himmler was totally out of favour
in the eyes of Hitler, because this action was most
damaging to the interests of the Reich abroad.”

There was testimony about this also by Schellenberg. This
evidence supports the version which Becher gave of the whole
matter immediately after the War, in his examination at
Nuremberg, as well as in his testimony for this trial, taken
from him in Bremen. Becher does not hide the fact at all
that the instruction which he received from Himmler was:
“Promise the Jews what you will, what we shall keep of this
is a different matter,” and that the transaction was
designed primarily to serve Himmler’s political purpose.
Therefore, as we know from the Kasztner Report, he saw it as
an important achievement that a meeting was arranged for him
with McClelland, a personal representative of President
Roosevelt. For that reason, Becher tried at that time to
praise and glorify Himmler and to describe him, to Kasztner
as well, as a trustworthy person and almost as a man who
defends the Jews against the evil designs of Kaltenbrunner.
Therefore, the entire matter of this transaction was, as is
well known, kept secret from the German Foreign Ministry,
and Ribbentrop angrily asked his ambassador in Budapest what
this matter was about, when he learned of it from Radio
London two months after Joel Brand went on his way, and then
Veesenmayer gave his reply with evident embarrassment,
apologetically and with many excuses, basing himself on
Winkelmann and Grell.

Neither did the German Foreign Ministry know about the
dispatch of the “train of the notables,” or the prominent
persons, to Bergen-Belsen, and in a minute prepared for
Ribbentrop it was explained that this matter was assigned by
Himmler to Eichmann. Eichmann received an order to conduct
these negotiations, apparently in order to give them proper
weight, based on his experience in dealing with Jews. But
he was not made privy to the political aspect of the matter,
which appeared to him undesirable and strange, and he dealt
with it because he was compelled to do so by order. In his
police interrogation he had this to say:

“The order was given by Himmler. From whom the idea
had come, from Becher or from Himmler or from myself,
or whether it was formed in any other way, this I do
not know.”

In that same interrogation he further said that he could not
at all remember a conversation with Brand, that he had no
point of reference for this episode, and that for his part
he could not take upon himself responsibility for such a

This is also what he told Sassen in the passage that was
read out in Court, in Session 103:

“A matter like that, with ten thousand lorries, I would
not have considered at all. I could not have dared to
consider such a thing, I would not have entertained the
idea at all.”

Parenthetically, let me comment here that contrary to his
claim that the Sassen stories were designed to glorify his
status, so that the book be interesting and a bestseller,
this passage here proves the contrary, and the truth emerges
from it, and the lie is given to his excuse for finding
fault with other passages. It could be that Eichmann in
fact is angry at Becher who interferes with him regarding
Jewish affairs. He was always angry when anybody interfered
in his affairs, or wanted to take them out of his hands, as
had happened in Holland, when somebody from the local
authorities wanted to interfere and to make his own
decisions on Jewish affairs. At that time he called this,
in public, foolishness (widersinnig), as he admitted in
cross-examination. Perhaps he was similarly angry also with
Becher who invaded his own sphere, but this fury did not
stem from any consideration other than his desire to be the
one and only person who dealt freely with Jewish affairs, at
least on the executive level.

Hansi Brand has testified before you: “I can say with a
quiet conscience with regard to that transaction that he was
gratified that it did not materialize.”

Wisliceny spoke of Eichmann’s joy when Brand did not return,
and in view of that Eichmann did not want to receive
Kasztner either for any further talks and planned to
liquidate him at an early opportunity. Eichmann anticipated
that this transaction would fail, and for his part was
prepared to contribute to its failure, without, of course,
it becoming evident that he was openly contravening
Himmler’s instructions. In order to create a fait accompli,
he began stepping up the pace of deportations at a dizzying
rate, beginning on the day Joel Brand left, and from that
day on, every day twelve thousand persons were dispatched to
Auschwitz. His own attitude to this whole matter Eichmann
divulged to Sassen, in a passage which you have before you
in the typed copy.

“My heart was not with the enemy… I prefer to see a
dead enemy rather than a live one… But when I have
before me an order from the Reichsfuehrer to provide
mechanized transport for the 22nd and 8th Divisions –
ten thousand trucks – then let one million Jews go to
hell… I did not consult my heart at all, I had to
consult Germany… In case of dire need, we would have
given them even two million in exchange for these ten
thousand trucks, because I would have extracted from
this transaction what was possible…and again this was
proof that not all Jews were fed into the furnaces,
because they were still there, the Jews.”

Thus Eichmann to Sassen. In his examination he claims that
it seems to him that his remarks were somewhat corrected and
that they were “retouched,” as he put it. But these very
remarks are the ones that do describe his true attitude
towards the transaction, and his wish to thwart it, as
emerges from the Kasztner Report, from the testimony of
Hansi Brand, and from the testimonies of Becher and
Wisliceny. Have we not heard, once before, similar words
from him which he admitted having said, when Brack, of
Hitler’s office, asked him for a few trains, which he had
obtained so laboriously, only because Brack – I am now
quoting Eichmann – “wants to stoke the furnace with a few

That is his language, and these are its fingerprints spread
throughout the Sassen manuscript, including the typical
swear-words, the vulgarities and other idioms of his.

People going up in the fires of the crematoria – they are
material for stoking the furnaces. The dead Jew is always
preferable to the live Jew. This is what he told Hoess,
too. But when there is an order to let the Jew survive, and
this is the way to obtain equipment for two divisions of the
SS, and this is an hour of need – all right, let it be, said
Adolf Eichmann. But this whole show which we heard from him
here, that he, like Joel Brand, is full of sorrow to this
day that the transaction failed – that is hypocrisy for
which it is difficult to find words. And, really, why
should he show human feelings toward the Jewish enemy when
he wanted to destroy even the enemies from among his own
people? He did admit in his cross-examination that he had
suggested to Mueller putting one hundred thousand Germans to
the wall for lacking loyalty to the Fuehrer. He admitted
that he had said that only after their own stables are
cleaned could they make order with others. In the Sassen
Document, which I read out to him, the reference is not to
one hundred thousand Germans but to five hundred thousand.

The “gems” of his language in Hungary are known from the
Kasztner Report and from other items of evidence. “I have
to clean the provincial towns of this Jewish garbage,” he
said to Kasztner, “if no answer is received about the
transaction within forty-eight hours, I shall give orders to
throw out the entire Jewish dung heap of Budapest.” And
what testimony did we hear from the witness Friedman about
Eichmann’s visit to Majdanek, when he looked at the
detainees and said: “Remove the dung heap from here!” That
is the language of Adolf Eichmann.

He continued to scheme for the detention and deportation of
the Jews of Budapest also when Horthy stopped the
deportations, and made all necessary preparations for that.
In a report sent to Ribbentrop, in the handwriting of
Wagner, the official in charge says that Eichmann had
arranged with Veesenmayer all the details concerning a
lightning operation for the arrest of all Jews in the city.
In his cross-examination, Eichmann in the end also admitted

The series of official correspondence reveals the
bloodthirsty plot against the Jews of Budapest and the
dramatic struggle to put their hands on the remaining Jews.
All preparations were made, camouflage arrangements were
discussed, but in the end it was apparently decided not to
use camouflage. The proposed excuses apparently were not
satisfactory. The Hungarian Council of Ministers decided on
13 August 1944, that the lightning arrest should be carried
out on the 25th of that month. Eichmann did not agree. He
demanded of the Hungarian Minister of the Interior that the
date be advanced to the 20th of that month. The Hungarians
said that this would require a new arrangement, and then
went back to the 25th of the month as the date. The Jews,
who got wind of the matter, continued their efforts in
various directions, as we know from the Kasztner Report.

Suddenly Himmler, too, ordered that the operation be
stopped. On the same day – in fact after receiving the
order from Himmler – Becher telegraphed Himmler, making a
request on the same subject. Eichmann did not give up, even
in the face of the order from Himmler. He asked Winkelmann,
Himmler’s personal representative in Budapest, to keep
Himmler’s announcement secret, since in the meantime he had,
as we know, already secured the consent of Horthy to the
deportation of the Jews of Budapest. However, Wisliceny
learned about the contents of Himmler’s order and he
informed Kasztner about it, in words recorded in the
Kasztner Report: “You have won, Eichmann will go away.”
Through the Jewish leaders, the existence of the order from
Himmler became known to Horthy as well, and he became
courageous and once again stopped the arrests. At this
point, Eichmann became so furious that he suggested that he
and his unit be withdrawn from Hungary.

The Germans still continued to try and win the Hungarians
over, and at the end of August still conducted talks
concerning the arrest and deportation of the Jews from
Budapest, but this was not implemented. What caused the
Hungarians to withdraw? Certainly the pressure on the
approaching front, the fear of adding this further crime,
the intervention of many persons and groups with Horthy.
What influenced Himmler to halt the deportation? This
cannot be answered with certainty, and it is a secret he
took with him to his grave. Perhaps it was precisely the
fact that Joel Brand was delayed on the way that may have
caused it? Perhaps just the very fact that he did not
return from his mission was preferable to having him return
with empty hands. These are all plausible conjectures.

It seems that in the meantime the Germans believed that the
Jews already had 250 trucks, as we know from Freudiger’s
testimony. Kasztner applied constant pressure to stop the
deportations by arguing that they were hampering the
transaction. Grell, the Embassy Counsellor, informed
Veesenmayer that, in spite of the fact that the BBC had
broadcast that the Allies would not agree to this
transaction, there was still a chance that it might be
carried out, because the broadcast was a smokescreen for the
negotations. Rudolf Hoess testified explicitly that when
there was a sudden halt in the transports to Auschwitz, and
he wanted to know what was happening and travelled to
Berlin, they referred him, in turn, to Eichmann in Budapest,
because in Berlin nobody was able to give him complete
information. In Budapest he learned, he writes, that the
negotiations about the transaction were the cause for
halting the deportations, as the Jewish functionaries
demanded an end to the extermination as a token of
earnestness that the Germans were proposing this transaction

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14