Theodor Horst Grell-02, Eichmann Adolf

When problems arose, the Senior Commander of the Security
Police and the Security Service in Hungary,
Standartenfuehrer Geschke, also intervened. I once learned
in the course of my duties that the Special Operations Unit,
behind the back of the legation and the top Hungarian
Government authorities, had, in conjunction with the
Hungarian gendarmerie and the State Secretaries at the
Hungarian Ministry of the Interior, evacuated a camp outside
Budapest, contrary to the agreement made at the time between
the German Reich Government and the Hungarian Government.

The Reich Ambassador to Hungary, Veesenmayer, did not play
any role in planning and implementing deportations of the
Jews. I believe that in the first few months of his
activities he made proposals and became active in taking the
initiative. In this phase, Veesenmayer always stressed that
the Jews were needed in Germany for war work. Later,
against his own better judgment, he intervened with the
Hungarian Government in order to advance anti-Semitic
measures, in accordance with instructions from the Foreign
Ministry. Veesenmayer’s attitude to Eichmann was a negative
one. There was no personal relationship between the two.
The official relationship passed through me. Prosecution
document 871,* {* exhibit N/89} a telegram, was not sent by
me. I consider the form and the contents of the telegram to
be correct.

I was never Adviser on Jewish Affairs at the German legation
in Budapest. I had never previously dealt with Jewish
matters. My task in Budapest was to single out Jews from
neutral and enemy countries, and to provide regular reports
to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. I would like in this
respect to refer also to Prosecution document No. 985,** {**
exhibit T/691} more precisely to my solemn statement of 31
May 1948, point two. There are several factual inaccuracies
in Document No. 16. I stated this earlier in Nuremberg when
I confronted its author. I was a Specialist Officer
(Referent), and not an adviser nor a Head of Section
(Dezernent). The author of Document No. 16 was chief
witness for the American prosecution in the Wilhelmstrasse
case, and unlike all the others, he was not in custody.
This also explains the tenor of his statement. My written
statement, dated 7 October 1957, in the case of Krumey
before the Stuttgart Criminal Investigation Department, is

In my view, the Reich Ambassador to Hungary conducted the
negotiations with the Hungarian Government which were
decisive for deportations, acting on instructions and on a
diplomatic level. The term deportations was not common
usage at that time. These operations were carried out under
the heading of “anti-Jewish measures in Hungary.” When I
was stationed in Budapest, the introductory measures had
already been completed. In a conversation, Veesenmayer once
told me that the negotiations on this matter had been
conducted without intermediaries at the highest level at
Klessheim Castle.

I do not know who instigated what is called the Fussmarsch
(foot march). I did in fact once – but I cannot say today
when that was – inspect a trek of this type, not far from
Budapest, in the direction of the Austrian border, acting on
instructions from the Ambassador, to whom I subsequently
submitted a report. I was not able at this inspection to
confirm anything to which the witness Juettner has
testified. I never saw Juettner in Budapest. In the case
of the trek which I inspected, the people were Jewish
families from Budapest. They were accompanied by wagons
requisitioned from farmers for transporting luggage.

I believe that the order to disband the Eichmann Special
Commando came from the Head Office for Reich Security. I
cannot imagine anybody else disbanding it. I acknowledge
Document No. 387 as being genuine. I became aware of the
content of this document on the basis of information from
Eichmann’s office.

My statement of 31 May 1948 was formulated by the defence,
for purposes of the defence, and is not in formal terms a
solemn statement as defined in the Penal Code. Given these
conditions, my statement is understandably somewhat
tendentious, without this making it untrue. However,
because of this it is also somewhat incomplete on certain
matters. Moreover, because the matters were far fresher in
my memory then, the statement I made at the time is more
precise on various points than what I remember now. Also,
at that time it was customary, under the impression of a one-
sided victors’ court, for the accused before the court to be
cleared of guilt, to the detriment of persons not present or
presumed dead.

I would wish to supplement my statement of 31 May 1948 as
follows: Point 2, penultimate paragraph, is not true to the
facts. It is not true that I drafted and dealt with all
reports on Jewish matters. As proven by Document No. 871
and others, the higher echelons also carried out work in
this area. I did write Document No. 973, on the basis of
information from Eichmann’s office. From its appearance, I
would judge Document No. 525 to be authentic, but I did not
write it. The minute reproduced in Document No. 104 was
made by me on instructions from the Ambassador, and then
presented to the Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs in
the Szalasi Government. The minute was designed to comply
with the express wish of the Ambassador that in this area
the new government should continue the previous line, and
more particularly continue to recognize what was called the
safe conduct operation, rather than – as we feared on the
basis of its more radical approach – to exceed the methods
practiced until then.

Under point 3, it seems to me that the figures are indicated
as rather too definite. I was only able to estimate things;
it was Veesenmayer’s defence which put things in this form.
However, basically I consider my statement to be correct.
The concentration measures were based on regulations of the
Hungarian Ministry of the Interior and publications in the
Hungarian Official Gazettes (supplement to point 5). In the
late autumn of 1944, Eichmann once said to me during a
conversation that the enemy powers considered him to be war
criminal number one, and that he had some six million people
on his conscience. In this context, he was speaking not of
Jews, but of enemies of the state. I understood this
comment by Eichmann along the lines of “viel Feind, viel
Ehr” (many enemies, much honour), and it was not until the
American prosecution put it to me that I remembered it. As
far as I was concerned, this statement was part of
Eichmann’s efforts to emphasize the importance of his
position or of his own person. To the best of my memory,
this conversation took place in late autumn of 1944, after
Eichmann had returned from service at the front, on the
Hungarian-Romanian border. During his service there,
Eichmann had won the Iron Cross, Second Class. During this
conversation, Eichmann was neither drunk nor tipsy.

I am utterly convinced that the crucial factor in carrying
out the deportation of Jews from Hungary was that of the
Hungarian Government of the day. The Hungarian Government
was probably not informed of the final destination of the

The negotiations with Hungarian State Secretaries Endre and
Baky on the deportation of Hungarian Jews and other
anti_Semitic measures in Hungary were conducted by Security
Service and SS offices, including the Eichmann Special
Operations Unit. On a political level, where necessary –
particularly after the measures to halt matters on
instructions from the Foreign Ministry in Berlin –
Veesenmayer negotiated with the Hungarian Government.

Eichmann never made any difficulties for me in my area of
singling out foreign Jews in Hungary. The date of each
transport was given to me at my request by his office or by
Eichmann himself.

My Section – and in my opinion the legation, too – were not
involved in negotiations on the exchange of Jews for money
or goods. These negotiations were conducted behind the back
of the legation in Budapest. I really cannot say anything
about Eichmann’s attitude to what was called the “Final
Solution of the Jewish Question,” and his participation in
the destruction of European Jewry. I always talked to
Eichmann only about the “Jewish measures” (Judenmassnahmen),
as they were called, in Hungary. However, in conversation
Eichmann did mention that he had worked in other countries
as well. The conversation with Eichmann referred to above
about the six million was not in reference to Jews
specifically, but to people generally, including Germans, as
I understood it.

Eichmann did not sabotage the protective measures – this
relates to certificates of safe conduct – but neither was
his attitude positive about them. The reason for his
objection was that these certificates of safe conduct could
be misused – and that is what actually happened – and also
because he feared that he would be unable to cope with his
assignment of sending all able-bodied Jews capable of labour
to Germany for labour service. Eichmann never said that
these people had to be exterminated, but that Hungary was to
be rid of its Jews, and that they should be sent to the
Reich for labour service, because, after Weizmann’s
declaration of war, all Jews were considered as enemies.
For the rest, I stand by my written statements in the
criminal proceedings against Krumey and Hunsche, letter d of
7 October 1957, of which the Prosecution has just shown me a

In my opinion, Eichmann did not know the Swedish consul,
Raoul Wallenberg at all. I did once try to get the two to
meet, but without success. Wallenberg refused the
invitation. Eichmann did not curse Wallenberg in my
presence. I have absolutely no memory of Eichmann
mentioning Wallenberg’s name in my presence. Eichmann’s
attitude to Wallenberg’s activities was the same as his
attitude to protective measures generally.

In the period after what was called Horthy’s “halt,” we in
the legation had the impression that, on instructions from
the Head Office for Reich Security in Berlin, Eichmann was
dealing independently with the Hungarian Ministry of the
Interior, or at least was trying to do so.

In a conversation with the liaison officer,
Lieutenant_Colonel Ferenczy, I heard that his chief, General
of Gendarmerie Faragho, was directing Hungarian measures for
concentrating the Jews entirely on his own responsibility
and in a completely positive attitude. I met Waffen-SS
Standartenfuehrer Becher only once, in the course of my
duties as the representative of the Economic Affairs
Department of the legation. This was a discussion about
labour service in the Weiss-Manfred Works. My own
impression was that Becher and Eichmann were not on very
friendly terms. The impression that we had at the time was
that Becher had Himmler’s ear, while Eichmann had
Kaltenbrunner’s ear.

I do consider Eichmann to have been the man in charge of his
office in Budapest, but not a man who did, or was able to,
act independently and decisively on his own initiative in
his field. In view of what I know of the organizational
structure before 1945 and of Eichmann’s personality as I saw
it while I was in Budapest, I consider that then, as well as
today, Eichmann was simply a recipient of orders – a
particularly good and ambitious one – who for this reason
did his very utmost to cope with the assignment he received.
I therefore consider it not unlikely that for this
particular reason – as has already been stressed repeatedly
– he acted on many matters on his own initiative, in
opposition to the diplomatic viewpoint. However, he always
acted on the basis of instructions from above. He did at
least feel that he was covered from above. I consider it
impossible for Eichmann to have ever acted in opposition to
Kaltenbrunner’s line, or to have deviated from this line.
However, I do think it likely that he did not respect
Ribbentrop’s line. My impression was that Eichmann was a
faithful follower of Kaltenbrunner.

I have given my testimony to the best of my knowledge and
belief, but I must state explicitly that it is possible
that, in terms of detail, but not the general trend, my
powers of recollection have been affected firstly by the
passage of time and the effect on me of the post-war period,
and secondly by publications which have appeared since 1945.
I would also refer to No. I in my written declaration in the
case of Krumey and Hunsche of 17 October 1957.

I am prepared to take an oath upon my testimony.
Read by myself, approved and signed.
(-) Horst Grell

The judge announced the Decision that the witness should not
have an oath administered to him.

The reasons for this are that preliminary proceedings
against the witness are in progress on suspicion of aiding
murder. These proceedings concern the subject of today’s
examination of the witness. The witness is therefore, in
the opinion of the Frankfurt am Main prosecuting
authorities, suspected of the act which is the object of the
investigation, or of participating in such an act.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 60, paragraph 3 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure, there were compelling reasons to
refrain from administering an oath.

(-) Senft, Judge of First Instance
(-) Kain , Legal Assistant

Certified as a true copy of the original.
Berchtesgaden, 14 June 1961.

The Court of First Instance:
(Stamp of the Court of First Instance, Berchtesgaden)
(-) Senft, Judge of First Instance.

Last-Modified: 1999/06/14