Eichmann in Hungary Meeting at Mauthausen Concentration Camp

On July 19, 1961, Adolf Eichmann took the stand during his trial in Jerusalem to answer questions about the Aktion in Hungary during 1944, where hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews perished in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau: This is a selected extract from his testimony:

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 Statement to Bureau 06 - Dannecker, Hunsche, Abromeit, both Brunner's Richter, Girzick, Kaltenberg, Martin, Schmidtseifen, Rausnitzer, Lemeke, Naumann. Is that correct?

Accused: 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 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 Bunner's?

A: I would not wish to subscribe to the two Brunner's - I do not know if one Brunner was there. I can never say for certain about the Brunner's. 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 Brunner's, because I read that.

Q: Was Richter there?


Q: i shall find Richter immediately as well. Was Girtzik there?

A:Gurtschik does not mean anything to me now

Q: It says here Gurtschik, 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- Oberfuhrer Naumann- he cannot have been there

Q: No, not Oberfuhrer 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 gendarmarie 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 you 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 Reichsfuhrer-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 dispatch them to Auschwitz.' That was the standing order.


The Trial of Adolf Eichmann - The Nizkor Project Online Resource - July 19,1961

  Holocaust Historical Society February 26, 2021