The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Seventh Day: Tuesday, 12th February, 1946
(Part 17 of 18)


In March, 1941 Eberhard Kinzel, a colonel of the German General Staff, visited Budapest. The purpose of this visit was to make final arrangements for the attack on Yugoslavia.

[Page 292]

This is what Ujszaszy has to say on the matter (Page 5 of the Russian text, Paragraph 3, from the bottom of Page 152 of the document book):

"Colonel Kinzel arrived in Budapest in March, 1941, bringing with him a letter from General Halder to General Werth. This letter contained an urgent request on the part of Germany that Hungary should participate in the possible war against Yugoslavia by mobilizing the following Army Corps: I. Budapest, II. Szekesfehervar, III. Szombathely, IV. Pecs, V. Szeged, and in the war against Soviet Russia by mobilizing 15 operational units, including one cavalry division, two mechanized brigades, and one mountain (rifle) brigade.

The letter announced the imminent arrival in Budapest of a German delegation, headed by Lieutenant-General Paulus, for discussing combined operations and the movement of German troops against Yugoslavia through Hungarian territory.

In reply to this letter General Werth issued an invitation to the German delegation, held out prospects of Hungary's participation in the war against Yugoslavia and of mobilising, for this purpose, three Army Corps, i.e., I, IV and V.

Concerning the war against Soviet Russia, he agreed in principle, promising at least to mobilise Army Corps VIII, Kopitze, as well as the mechanized tactical units demanded by Halder.

I was informed personally about this exchange of correspondence by Colonel of the German General Staff, Kinzel."

THE PRESIDENT: General, speaking for myself, I cannot see that it makes the slightest difference to this Tribunal whether Hungary was going to put one Army Corps, or two Army Corps, or three Army Corps against the Russians. It was absolutely clear from what you have already read, if we are to believe it, that Field Marshal Keitel, in December, 1940, was demanding that Hungary should put at Germany's disposal, for the war against Russia, certain units. What does it matter if subsequent negotiations alter the number of units?

It seems to me that this evidence which is given is entirely cumulative. It doesn't add anything in the least to what you have already given us, and you could go on to the next document, which is No. USSR 150. Everything up to there is simply the negotiations between members of the German and Hungarian General Staffs as to exactly what units of the Hungarian Army were to be used.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: I quite agree with the President that the presentation of the documents on this question should be restricted.

THE PRESIDENT: The next one is 150?

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: The Ujszaszy document contains certain information pertaining not only to the number of units pledged by Hungary to Germany in case of war with the Soviet Union; but there is, for example, an indication as to what methods in the preparation for war were being used by the Fascist clique in Hungary, in agreement with the Hitlerite conspirators. I consider it imperative to dwell on these methods, and that is why I request your permission to quote certain passages in this document.

What I now have in mind, for instance, is the falsification of the information regarding the number of Soviet units concentrated on the Hungarian border.

THE PRESIDENT: Please, go on.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: Page 155 of the document book reads as follows:

"My immediate superior, Major-General Laszlo, as Chief of the Operational Group, ordered the Second Section of the General Staff to prepare a situation report according to which fourteen Soviet Russian operational units were concentrated on the Hungarian border, including eight motorized units. This situation report was prepared by Colonel Cornell Hidai, of Intelligence.

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I should like to point out that according to subsequent explanations supplied by the Second Section of the Royal Hungarian General Staff, there were only four Soviet operational units actually concentrated on the Hungarian border. This circumstance I truthfully reported to General Werth and Major-General Laszlo, but the latter altered my truthful, objective report in accordance with his wishes."
Further, Ujszaszy speaks of plans for provocation drawn up by the militarist clique in Hungary for the purpose of creating incidents abroad to justify an attack on the Soviet Union.

Ujszaszy states (Page 10, Line 4 from the top of the document, Page 157 of the document book):

"These plans emanated from Lieutenant-General Fuetterer, from his assistant Lieutenant-Colonel Frimond, and from Major-General Laszlo. They proposed that, if necessary, German aircraft, camouflaged as Russian planes, should bomb the Eastern border districts of Hungary, with bombs of Soviet Russian origin."
And finally, Ujszaszy describes the events of the few days preceding the attack on the Soviet Union (this is Page 11 of the document, Page 158 of the document book):
"On 24th June, 1941 (if I remember correctly), at 12:30 p.m., I was informed that Soviet Russian planes were bombing Rahivo in Carpathian Russia and firing on trains in the vicinity with machine-gun fire. On the same afternoon news reached us that Soviet Russian planes were bombing Roschitze. The Crown Council, with the Regent in the chair, met on the same evening and, 'on the strength of Soviet Russia's provocation,' decided to declare war on that country. I am convinced that the bombarding was carried out by German planes with Russian markings. My conclusion was based on the following facts:

a) Lieutenant General Fuetterer and the German propaganda machine publicised this bombing on a very vast scale.

b) Lieutenant-General Laszlo immediately gave me orders, through the Propaganda Sub-section of Section 2 of the Royal Hungarian General Staff, to obtain photographs of such fragments of the 'Soviet Russian bombs' as could still be found and to publish these photographs in the Press of the Fascist countries.

c) Lieutenant-General Fuetterer, Major-General Laszlo, and Lieutenant-General Frimond spread, by a whispering campaign, the rumour that Slovakian pilots in Russian Service had bombed Roschitze. The accuracy of the hits was explained by the fact that these pilots were well acquainted with the terrain."

This happened, according to Ujszaszy, on 24th June, 1941, at 12:30 p.m. We have a document that establishes the fact that long before this date the participation of Hungary in the war against the Soviet Union had been decided.

The document presented to the Tribunal and which contains the depositions of Ruskizai-Ruediger explains the reasons for the Hungarian assault on the Soviet Union. It may be that Ruskizai-Ruediger's viewpoint is not shared by everybody, but still, as it is the testimony of the Hungarian Deputy Minister of War, this statement cannot, of course, be without interest.

On Page 10 of the Russian text of his testimony, Ruskizai- Ruediger states that towards the end of May, 1941, he received an order to supply, first of all, the troops concentrated in the Transcarpathian Ukraine; two days afterwards a secret meeting took place of the Army Corps Commanders, at the headquarters of General Werth, Chief of the General Staff, at which the forthcoming attack on the Soviet Union was announced.

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I quote from the testimony of Ruskizai-Ruediger (Page 108 of the document book and Page 9 of the document itself). I am only quoting the passages underlined, in order to save time:

"General Werth, Chief of the General Staff, gave us an account of the military and political situation.

It appears that an attack against the Soviet Union by Germany is forthcoming, in which Roumania and Hungary will take an active part on the side of Germany."

Ruskizai-Ruediger further points out that:
"The decision to declare war was taken by the Council of Ministers, after Premier Bardossy and Minister Barta had made their reports, and was ratified by the Crown Council. The question was not submitted to Parliament.

These decisions caused no surprise, and were the result of the voluntary military collaboration with Germany which had actually existed for many years past.

The Hungarian General Staff and the political leaders of Hungary as from the beginning of the aggression against Czechoslovakia, considered Germany as their mainstay in their plans of revision. Afterwards followed the occupation of Transcarpathian Ukraine and the strategic organisation of this region as a military base in preparation for an attack on Soviet Russia."

Ujszaszy, in his report, mentioned the German Military Attache in Budapest, Krappe.

The former Lieutenant-General of the German Army, Guenther Krappe, was the German Military Attache in Budapest from November, 1939, to 30th April, 1941.

After that, Krappe commanded the 10th Corps of S.S. troops of the Army Group "Vistula," and was captured by Red Army units.

I request the Tribunal to accept in evidence a statement made by Krappe in January of this year and presented as Exhibit USSR 150. It should be noted that the main facts mentioned in Krappe's statement coincide with those on Ujszaszy's report.

I shall therefore read only a few excerpts from Page 4 of Krappe's document, corresponding to Page 165 of the document book:

"In October, 1940, I was ordered by the O.K.H. to report on the conditions of fortifications in the region bordering Russia, that is, in the Carpathian Ukraine. The Chief of the Operations Section, Colonel Laszlo, informed me that, so far, there were only simple anti-tank obstacles in existence, varying in depth from 1 to 2 kilometers and that the construction of barracks had just begun. The necessary surveys for erecting concrete pillboxes along the border and the highways would be made during the winter, and in the spring of 1941 it would be possible to proceed with the actual construction. It appeared to be a question of raising some 6,000,000 pengos.

General Werth gave me permission to make an automobile trip through Mukashevo to Ujoksky Pass. I communicated the results of the inspection tour and of the information obtained from Colonel Laszlo to Berlin. Some time later Colonel Laszlo informed me that the necessary sum for the building of these fortifications had already been allotted."

In order to save time, Your Honours, I shall briefly summarise the remaining part of Krappe's testimony: an agreement was reached with the War Minister, Barta, to organize war communications and war transports of the German Army in Hungary. A special mission arrived which was entrusted with these transports. At the same time, your Honours, permission was received

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to establish jointly with the postal services, a special communication system for military requirements, and, furthermore, a number of German officers were attached to the Hungarian Army for the mutual exchange of experience and instruction. Krappe states that as from December, 1940, Hungarian industry was reorganized and worked for the increase of the German military potential. General Leeb, the Chief of the Armament Department, was in charge.

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