The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 103
(Part 4 of 5)

Q. I asked both about the Reich and also about those countries, but that really is not important. In any case, you had around you all the men who had acquired experience in the various European countries. So if an SS man is referred to here as being helpful to the Hungarian Government on anti-Jewish legislation, he was probably also one of your men. Perhaps you can give his name?

A. This could be Hunsche, just as well as the legal adviser to the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service. I just do not know.

Q. Who was this? Who was the legal adviser to the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service in Hungary, if there actually was such a person?

A. I do not know. In any case, there were several, and they would definitely have been in Department II of the Commander of the Security Police in Hungary, just like with any other commander. Every senior commander had his legal set-up.

Q. You will agree that in your group there were the men who had worked at this job for years, both in the Reich itself and in the various European countries, and when someone was needed as an adviser on such matters, then Wisliceny, Hunsche or Abromeit was definitely the right or the suitable person for such an assignment, correct?

A. The only thing I would think is that the person must at least have been a jurist, in any case an Assessor or a Government Counsellor. So that is why I said that it was just as possible - I would not wish to deny this at all - just as possible that it was Hunsche, but it was also just as possible that it was the commander's jurist or jurists.

Q. All right. Can you tell me why you dealt with the case of Gisi Fleischmann in Hungary?

A. Gisi Fleischmann means nothing to me. That may have been the Slovakian affair?

Q. Yes.

A. But I did not deal with that in Hungary.

Q. Did you not actually deal with that at all?

A. This is new to me. Although the name Fleischmann is very familiar to me - it has been mentioned here several times, Wisliceny also refers to it - I did not deal with Fleischmann in Hungary.

Q. Perhaps you could recall that the instruction was given to send her to Auschwitz, and you were asked to cancel this instruction?

A. I never issued any such instruction.

Q. I did not say that it was issued by you. An instruction was issued to deport her from Slovakia to Auschwitz, and you were asked to intervene and cancel this instruction. Do you remember that?

A. I do not remember that, but it was not possible for me to deal in whatever fashion with any intervention by another country, when I was in Hungary. For that, it was Section IVB4 in Berlin which was competent, or some other body, which would then have had to submit it to the Department Chief. I had no such possibilities.

Q. Not even to recommend or to ask for it? You told us you came to Auschwitz in order to ask for easier work for Storfer, and you asked Mueller to approach Gluecks, in order to have it entered in the Auschwitz books that Storfer was to sweep the floors there. And so you could not interfere in the Gisi Fleischmann affair?

A. If it had been submitted to me, perhaps, depending, but it was not in fact submitted to me. In Hungary I had no idea of any Fleischmann case.

Q. And everything which has been related here, that you were approached, that you promised that the deportation order would be cancelled - all that is untrue, right?

A. What deportation order, if I might be permitted to ask? Neither in Slovakia could I cancel any deportation order, nor in Hungary.

Q. It was said that an order was issued to deport Gisi Fleischmann to Auschwitz, and that you were asked to intervene, and you promised to intervene and even produced a telegram, as if you had sent off some intervention against her arrest or her deportation to Auschwitz. So is all that not true?

A. In any case, I cannot remember one single detail of this matter. Even if I were told today that I had intervened in the Fleischmann case, it would definitely would not in fact be a bad thing. But I would still have to say that I can no longer remember any part of this matter, and so I must say that I was not responsible for this matter. I would not even consider it possible.

Q. Perhaps the next matter will remind you of it? That immediately after your ostensible intervention, you immediately sent another instruction to deport her to Auschwitz? And she appeared there with the card marked RU (Rueckkehr unerwuenscht, return undesirable).

A. Not a word of that is true.

Q. During your absence in Budapest, was your deputy Guenther appointed Section Head?

A. I do not know. In any case, I was officially released from my Section duties.

Q. So he ran the Section as he always ran it in your absence, without receiving any permanent appointment. Correct?

A. I do not know. In fact, finally Guenther became the IVB4 Section Head. He was after all an Adviser on Jewish Affairs, just as there was an Adviser on Church Affairs. I was...

Presiding Judge: No, no, that was not the question. The question was whether he received a permanent appointment for this task, or for the position which you held before you were sent to Hungary.

Accused: I must assume so, because the Section could not be left orphaned. I was officially released from my work in the Section, and also I gather this from a document in which I received instructions from Guenther. So he must have been appointed Section Head, because in Hungary I did in fact receive instructions from him. If I had still been his superior, I would not have received instructions from him. So I must assume that Guenther was duly appointed to this position.

Attorney General: You have told us here that when you found out about Becher's activities in connection with Jewish emigration, you were furious. You were the person who always wanted to push for emigration, and now suddenly along comes someone else and snatches this out of your hands. That is how I understood you. Correct?

Accused: In principle that is correct. No one snatched it out of my hands, but I flew into a rage because the emigration which had been banned all along was now being carried out by someone who had nothing whatsoever to do with the police, but I had to deal with deportations. I did not accept this, no; I became furious, and then I finally resigned myself to such a final solution.

Q. You will agree that, at that time, it was in fact three years that you had had nothing to do with emigration, but only with deportation, and you had refused and rejected every single case of emigration throughout these three years?

A. I had to do that because that is what the orders were.

Q. At that time you no longer had anything to do with emigration?

A. Yes...

Q. All right, yes will do. Now suddenly you, the person who does not even dare make a proposal about sending a relief parcel to the Generalgouvernement or to unoccupied France, suddenly you suddenly have the idea of making a vast proposal to Himmler. Is that what you wanted to say?

A. Yes. I must also explain this, because...

Q. Without explanations.

Presiding Judge: Look, you still do not grasp the purpose of the cross-examination. I told you right at the beginning in the very first sessions: Answers are to be given to questions, without explanations, unless the explanation is necessary in order to understand the answer.

Accused: I just avoid a mistaken impression. That is why I wanted to explain this. But if this is not permitted, then all right.

Presiding Judge: I do not believe that a mistaken impression would be given, but very well, go ahead and explain.

Accused: It is quite obvious, if the matter is considered, that it is strange how I suddenly am on this tack; but if it is borne in mind that this man, who as a result of a special assignment can now deal in emigration, but on the other hand interferes with my field of vision and now presumes constantly, without possessing any police status, to set some deadlines for me which anyhow I cannot give instructions and orders about, then naturally one would get furious, and that was the reason why I commented on this matter, and that is how it came about.

Presiding Judge: All right, that is exactly what you said in the examination-in-chief, as far as I remember.

Attorney General: But why did you have to fly into a rage? You had received an order to carry out a transaction. Is that what you got so furious about?

Accused: No, if my superiors gave me orders, I had to carry out these technical transport matters, that is quite clear, I had to obey. But if someone who is not a member of the police presumes to give me orders about deportation matters, while he deals with emigration...

Q. That is infuriating, right?

A. Yes, that is infuriating.

Q. And then you have the idea of suggesting not just ten thousand Jews, but a million Jews; that is your idea, or at least that is what you wanted to have us believe, right?

A. Yes, the hundred thousand or the ten per cent, and then the million. This is what happened, and it cannot be dismissed.

Q. That is your idea, you are saying, this is your proposal and your idea, right?

A. At least no one else had it.

Q. Do you remember that in your conversations with Sassen there was a great deal of talk about this matter, and also a large number of passages were recorded in your conversations with Sassen. There was a great deal of talk about the transaction, right?

A. I have not looked it up, but that is quite conceivable, yes.

Q. Well then, I should like to read out to you what you said to Sassen, just one sentence: "Such a subject as ten thousand winter-resistant trucks in return for a million Jews I could never have dared even to plan in my office, I would never have even had the idea." That is what you said to Sassen, is it not?

A. That cannot be correct - a great deal was in fact written, as you say, Mr. Attorney General, and so probably the other version must also be written down somewhere.

Q. Very well, we shall show you something else where you can also identify your own corrections. Would you please look at this.

A. The marked passage?

Q. Yes, but first of all there are corrections on this passage in your handwriting, aren't there?

A. Yes, there are a few.

Q. Would you now please read out what is marked, starting with the words "I have the following to say," up to the words "non-Jew"; all of this concerns the transaction.

A. In other words, "We would rather have..."

Q. Very well, read from there.

A. Where?

Q. In other words, "We would rather have done away with them."

A. I do not know who that is...

Q. We shall hear your reply in a moment.


"I have the following to say: I never whole-heartedly related to any opponent whatsoever - if I had related whole-heartedly, I would rather have seen every single opponent of the Reich dead than alive, because the only good opponent of the Reich is a dead one. I would like more particularly to say about this that when I received an order, then damn it, I certainly carried this order out. I am still proud of this today. Because I observed my oath, and I have no more to say about this."

"Do you remember any conversations or comments which could seem to indicate that this business was in fact repugnant to you?"

"No, no, why should it be repugnant to me - at that time everyone had a best friend, and for me this friend was..."

Attorney General: "then" - the name has been corrected there, right? "then."


"...then of the 22nd SS Cavalry Division. I knew how this man was short of breath doing his best to protect his couple of square kilometres. I related how I got grenades for him, how I celebrated his birthday with him - I told him how we had got to know each other as junior commanders, when I could help him..."

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