The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 10
(Part of )

Session No. 103

6 Av 5721 (19 July 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the one hundred and third Session of the trial open. The Accused will continue with his testimony in cross-examination. I remind the Accused that he is still testifying under oath.

Accused: Yes, I am aware of that.

Attorney General: In March 1944 were you sent to Hungary?

Accused: Yes.

Q. Before that a commando was prepared in Mauthausen, including - according to your information in the Satement to Bureau 06 - Dannecker, Hunsche, Abromeit, Wisliceny, both Brunners, Richter, Gurtschik, Kaltenberg, Martin, Schmidtsiefen, Rausnitzer, Lemeke, Naumann. Is that correct?

A. There are a few names there which I do not recognize at all, but there were various members of IVB4 and of all sorts of officers who were assembled at Mauthausen. That is correct.

Q. Krumey volunteered, did he not?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. I do not wish to take up too much of the Court's time, so I shall simply say that Wisliceny belonged to the commando. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is also correct.

Q. Hunsche?

A. I do not know whether from the start, but in any case he was also in Hungary.

Q. Novak?

A. As well, yes.

Q. Dannecker?

A. I am not sure, but it is more likely than not, it is just that I cannot...

Q. That is what you said on page 1470 of your Statement to the police.

A. I do not wish to dispute this, but now that I am under oath, I must be careful, and that is why I am saying that I am not quite sure. It is indeed possible, but I am not sure.

Q. Abromeit?

A. Yes. I remember him fairly clearly.

Q. Burger?

A. I think Burger, too, although I am not quite sure.

Q. You said that on page 276 and on another page in your Statement, that he was there.

A. I am not absolutely certain of that.

Q. Seidl?

A. I am not absolutely certain of that - it is possible that he was there.

Q. You said that on page 842.

A. As far as Seidl is concerned, the reply is the same. They were all in Hungary, but it is a fact that they were constantly replaced. That is why I cannot say for certain.

Q. Very well. In any case he was there. The two Brunners?

A. I would not wish to subscribe to the two Brunners - I do not even know if one Brunner was there. I can never say for certain about the Brunners. I always confuse the two of them.

Q. In any case you said that on the pages I have mentioned, first without being asked, and then after you were asked, on page 267 of your Statement to the police. And Richter?

A. I have only become confused by reading about it, for example about the Brunners, because I read that...

Q. Was Richter there?

A. No.

Q. I shall find Richter immediately as well. Was Gurtschik there?

A. Gurtschik, Gurtschik does not even mean anything to me now.

Q. It says here Girtschik. Girtzik.

A. Possibly, but I am not sure.

Q. That is what you said on page 1431. Hartenberger.

A. The same thing - I am not sure. I must correct my Statement here: Richter, for example, certainly was not in Hungary - he was a Police Attache in Romania. If I said that in my Statement, I made a serious mistake.

Q. Martin?

A. Martin was not in Hungary - he was the Registrar in Berlin.

Q. You were asked about this on page 1436. You said: "I am not absolutely sure about Martin either, but I would tend to believe that he was there, rather than otherwise."

A. It is quite obvious that in my Statement I was also not sure, but I preferred to admit something rather than deny it. But now I must also say, if asked now, that it would seem illogical to me, because, as I have said, Martin was the Registrar in Berlin. He might have had the Registry under him, as a specialist, I would say. Those are the points I would make about this.

Q. Schmidtsiefen?

A. Schmidtsiefen? I am not sure - the name sounds familiar. Schmidtsiefen was one of Krumey's men, who never served with me. But it is quite possible that Krumey took Schmidtsiefen with him.

Q. All right. Klausnitzer?

A. Klausnitzer? At present, this is something of which I have never heard.

Q. Lemeke?

A. Also a name I have never heard of.

Q. Naumann?

A. Naumann - Oberfuehrer Naumann - he cannot have been there.

Q. No, not Oberfuehrer Naumann. Another Naumann.

A. Don't know him at all.

Q. Zoeldi?

A. Zoeldi - I was asked about him. For a while, Zoeldi was seconded to me from the Hungarian gendarmerie and then vanished somewhere in the provinces.

Q. The instructions you received were to evacuate Hungarian Jewry, as far as possible, to camps in the East. Is that correct?

A. I did word it in such a fashion. Today, having read through all the history, I must say that I cannot maintain this in such a manner, because it is just not feasible that I myself, with the couple of people who came to Hungary with me, could have managed to carry out such a thing. So it must have been like this.

Q. One moment. I shall ask you another question. It is possible that this or that document will refresh your memory on a particular point. You are not, however, trying to tell us, are you, that the purpose of your being sent to Hungary became known to you in this country? Are you?

A. No, I certainly am not trying to say that, that is clear.

Q. And so the definition you gave in your interrogation by the police is the true and correct definition, correct?

A. I do not remember what I said. I have not looked it up.

Q. You said the following - I am reading from page 3117, the second line from the top: "The general order of the Reichsfuehrer-SS and the Chief of the German Police ran: 'Evacuation of all Jews from Hungary, and to comb the country from east to west, and to dispatch them to Auschwitz.' That was the standing order."

A. Yes, that is correct. But I must make a reservation about Auschwitz. That cannot be correct. I must have made a mistake there, because I have read here in a document that even Veesenmayer asked me in Berlin to name the final destination, and I concluded from that that the final destination could not therefore be known, because otherwise Veesenmayer would not have asked Berlin about it.

Q. We know already that the purpose of your assignment to Hungary was known to you before you looked at the documents - there is no point in repeating that. Now, your mission, as Himmler put it, was to send "the master" to Hungary, in order to avoid any repetition of the shameful episode of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Is that correct?

A. I must simply say here that "the master" is in fact correctly described, if the documents are...

Q. No, no...we will have none of this...without the documents, please! You have already been told time and again that we want to know what you remember. In your evidence here it is not the documents which are the main issue, but what you remember. And so, what is the reply to the last question?

A. Because I know that a term such as "the master is being sent" can be misinterpreted and is not evaluated in terms of this soldiers' slang expression, that is why I thought that I could refer to the documents...

Q. Do you know that Himmler used this expression about you?

A. I have never heard that Himmler is supposed to have said this.

Q. Thank you. Even if you did not hear it from Himmler's lips, perhaps Mueller told you something about it?

A. I do not know for certain. There is only one thing I do know: Mueller had a rather blunt Bavarian way of expressing himself sometimes, and that is why one must understand in a totally different manner than literally, the expression "the master is being sent to Hungary," or something along those lines.

Q. Sassen - you said - said: "Let us now send the master down there."

Presiding Judge: Who is being quoted here?

Attorney General: Sassen asks him the question and he replies.

Presiding Judge: And what is the reply there?

Attorney General: It reads: "I assembled these people of mine round me in a relatively short period..."

Presiding Judge: So that means that Himmler's name is not mentioned here - this is as if this came from Mueller's lips, or it is not clear who is supposed to have said this.

Attorney General: We shall come to this in a moment. We shall also talk about the Life article and ask for the Accused's position.

And when you were shown document T/47(51), which referred to Sassen's description in the following words: "As Mueller said, they had sent the master himself there, in order to be quite sure that the Jews would not rebel as in the Warsaw Ghetto" - you did not make any comment on that, did you?

Accused: The reason why I made no comment on that is connected with the fact that I said if I am to comment on everything here, then I would have to write just as much as I have been shown in writing, and then I would not need to use this; it would be sufficient for me to give a general statement and comments on this.

Q. And what you said is not true. On the same page you made at least four or five, or five or six, comments - it is just this particular passage which is in question, which you allowed through without any comments.

Presiding Judge: Which page, please?

Attorney General: Apparently this is page 44.

Accused: The extracts from Life I have been given here...

Q. Yes, yes.

A. What is there is what I have just said: After I had filled some five to six pages of official paper, I asked to speak to Captain Less, and then I said to Captain Less, I have now filled six or seven...that is to say, many pages of official paper; if I am to continue to give detailed comments, I will produce more or less as much material as I am shown. And then I was told I did not need to comment on everything. And then I stated my position in more general terms and wrote why I had to reject this matter.

Q. But not this one!

A. This applies to the entire excerpt which was shown to me...

Q. Pages 45 and 46, Your Honour, I was mistaken.

[To the Accused] I am telling you that what you are saying here is not true, because you were asked to mark certain passages which you challenged, and you marked the passages which you wanted to challenge, as you agreed with Captain Less, and you did not then challenge this section. That means you had no objections to it, and this objection on your part has only developed now in some way.

A. No, I believe that what I have just said was in fact stated by me in writing to Captain Less, and that should be in the files.

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