Testimony by Avraham Gordon at the Eichmann Trial


APOSTEL 13 BUDAPEST139

Budapest - Apostel Street 13 - 2011 (Chris Webb Private Archive)


State Attorney: Bach: Your Honours, our next witness is Avraham Gordon

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Gordon: Yes, I speak Hebrew

Presiding Judge: What is your full name

Witness: Avraham Gordon

Presiding Judge: Please reply to Mr Bach's questions

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Gordon, were you born in Hungary?

Witness Gordon: Yes

Q: In Budapest?

A: Yes

Q: In what year?

A: In 1927

Q: Where were you in 1944?

A: I was in Budapest. I was at school in the sixth grade of the Gymnasium - this corresponds to the tenth grade in Israeli terms

Q: Do you remember 19 March 1944?

A: It was a Sunday, the day on which the German army occupied Hungary, and also entered Budapest

Q: How did this affect your studies?

A: In the following two weeks our studies went on, and thereafter, a general closure of all the schools in Hungary was declared. We finished the school year and after that classes were stopped and also the air-raids began. This was the reason given for ceasing all teaching in Hungary that year.

Q: Did the studies of all pupils cease?

A: Of all

Q: Not only of the Jewish pupils?

A: No -all of them

Q: Were you living with your family?

A: Yes, I was staying in the district of Buda, Quarter No.1

Q: Who were the members of your family?

A: My father, my mother, my brother, my grandfather and grandmother

Q: When were the Jews ordered to wear the yellow Shield of David?

A: As far as I remember, it was on 5 April. This is the date I recall

Q: Do you remember receiving, on one of those days, a certain order from the German authorities?

A: That was about a week before Hitler's birthday, on 12 or 13 April. I think this order came from the Jewish Council, with the approval, and by order of the German security services.

Q: What was the order?

A: It was stated in the order that we were to report on the Schwabenberg in the morning for labour service.

Q: What was the Schwabenberg?

A: Before the War Schwabenberg served as a resort place, and it had many private villas. When I arrived, I found most of the headquarters of the German army there.

Q: You say there were private villas there?

A: There were private villas and hotels

Q: Were there also Germans in the occupying army?

A: Yes. There were many German soldiers

Q: And did you report for labour service?

A: I reported, and I was referred to a Jewish engineer named Kolbach

Q: Only you, or were there other Jews as well?

A: When I came to the Schwabenberg, I found between one hundred and one hundred and fifty other Jews.

Q: Were they all about your age, or were there also people of other ages?

A: Most of them were young people, under the age of 18, but there were approximately 20-30 older persons, about the age of 50.

Q: Please tell the Court what happened after you reported to Mr Kolbach?

A: They detailed us to various types of work. They were drilling two tunnels there, one in the direction of the Eden Hotel, which was opposite the Majestic Hotel and the other leading to the Majestic Hotel. We did not know exactly the uses to which these tunnels were to be put. We thought they would serve as shelters and as arms depots.

Q: Arms depots and shelters for whom?

A: For the German Army.

Q: You say that you reported to Kolbach. Was he in charge of this work?

A: Kolbach was the person in charge on behalf of the Jewish Council, but there was a liaison officer on behalf of the SS, named Buehring, a young man who was also an engineer, and he supervised all these works

Q: How long were you engaged in this work?

A: i was engaged in this work for approximately one month

Q: When was this roughly? From when to when?

A: It was in 1944, from the middle of April to the middle of May 1944

Q: And throughout this time, you worked at the same place?

A: They also sent us to so-called outside jobs. We worked both at the Eden Hotel and also at the sanatorium, and once or twice I was also sent to work in the building of the Hungarian Political Police. The building of the Hungarian Political Police was near the Majestic Hotel.

Q: Mr Gordon, did you see Adolf Eichmann at the time you were working there?

A: No, during the time I worked on the Schwabenberg, I did not see Adolf Eichmann

Q: Did you see Adolf Eichmann at all while you were working in that service?

A: Yes

Q: When?

A: After the middle of May 1944, we received an order, we were classified - they sorted out about fifteen Jews - about ten young people and five adults - and we were transferred to a particular place, which was called the Rose Hill, in one of the districts of Buda, and we were taken to a villa, which as it turned out afterwards, was the private residence of Adolf Eichmann. Previosly, before the War, this villa belonged to a Jewish industrialist, the owner of the Tunsgram and Orion factories

Q: What was his name?

A: Leopold Aschner

Q: Was Leopold Aschner the Jew to whom the villa belonged?

A: Yes. He was the legal owner of the villa

Q: And that was where Eichmann lived?

A: Yes

Q: What were you supposed to do in this district?

A: First of all, a German awaited us - he was dressed in short trousers, a man by the name of Slawik, and he showed us a small storeroom for work tools at the rear entrance of this building, and he gave us tools, and we went out into the garden of the building. It was a large garden and he ordered us to dig ditches.

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Budapest - Apostel Street - 2011 (Chris Webb Private Archive)

Q: When you say 'us' - how many were you?

A: There were fifteen of us

Q: Were these the same fifteen?

A: The same fifteen

Q: Do you know who this Slawik was - what was his rank and his duties:

A: We do not know exactly what his duties were, but we thought he was Eichmann's bodyguard

Q: Did he sometimes walk around in uniform, or was he dressed in the way you have described?

A: I only saw him wearing civilian clothes

Q: How did you know his name was Slawik?

A: He introduced himself, saying that his name was Slawik and that, 'You had better beware of me.'

Q: And he made you dig these ditches?

A: It was in this garden, a very large garden, and we were forced to dig about twenty ditches in that garden

Q: How long did you work there?

A: I worked at that place for about a month, until the middle of June

Q: Every day?

A: Yes

Q: And all the time with the rest of your companions?

A: No. Although the group did not change, in the middle of this period, when the deportations began from the suburbs of Budapest, from Ujpest, Kispest, and so on, there were also some Jews from these localities who came to work. And in the middle of this period they suddenly stopped coming. And then we understood that they had been deported.

Q: You told us about Slawik. How did you know that this villa served as the residence for Adolf Eichmann?

A: First of all, the engineer in charge of us told us that one of the Gestapo commanders from Budapest, whose name was Adolf Eichmann, lived there, and Slawik also mentioned his name.

Q: Did you also see Eichmann?

A: I saw him a number of times

Q: You see the Accused here. Are you able to say with certainty that he is the man?

A: I must point out that he has changed since then. But I have seen old pictures of him

Presiding Judge: Where did you see his pictures?

Witness Gordon: In the press

State Attorney Bach: Mr Gordon, look at these photographs. Are you able to say anything about them?

Witness Gordon: This is the man - without a shadow of doubt

Q: These are three photographs here. Mr Gordon. To which photographs are you referring?

A: To the right-hand photograph, mainly at the top

State Attorney Bach: I would apply to submit this document to the Court. The Court will notice that this exhibit is actually signed on the reverse side by the Accused.

Presiding Judge: Has it been showed to the Accused?

State Attorney Bach: Yes, and he has acknowledged it

Presiding Judge: Did he acknowledge it in his statement?

State Attorney Bach: I believe that these photographs, each one separately were shown to him. But I shall check this matter once more. If it should be necessary we will submit additional proof on the question of this signature.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1125

State Attorney Bach: When you saw Eichmann, how was he dressed?

Witness Gordon: He used to walk around inside the villa. I saw him first on the verandah, on the balcony of the second floor of the villa - what in European terms is called the first floor

Q: How many floors were there in the villa altogether?

A; I would say one floor, but in Israel this would be referred to as two floors. There was a ground floor and another floor.

Q: And where did he reside?

A: He resided on the upper floor

Q: And where did you see him?

A: I saw him for the first time when he was sitting on the balcony and drinking, sipping drinks. I saw him a second time during a bombing, an air raid. On that occasion he was walking around, strolling in his garden, and we were carrying on with our work in the trenches. He started shouting at us to get into the trenches. And Slawik came after him.

Q: Did he himself also get into a trench?

A: No, he did not get into a trench

Q: What did Slawik do?

A: Slawik stood next to him

Q: How many times in all, did you see Eichmann?

A: The next time I saw him when I was working in one of the trenches and I suddenly heard shouts. I saw Eichmann's chauffeur, who was a young man.

Q: What was his name?

A: i remember his name as Teitel. i saw and heard this soldier approaching one of the Jewish boys working with us. I knew him by the name of Salomon

Q: Was that his surname or his first name?

A: i don't know. We knew him by that name

Q: When you say, 'boy' - how old was he?

A: He was our age, 16 years old- 17 at most

Q: Tell us in your own words what happened

A: I saw how this soldier, Teitel went up to this boy and shouted at him. I saw how Slawik also appeared suddenly, clad in his short trousers, as I remember it, and half-naked.

Q: What do you mean by 'half-naked?

A: Without a shirt or vest

Q: That means that the upper half of his body was completely exposed?

A: Yes

Q: And so, what were they shouting?

A: They were shouting something like, 'You have stolen cherries from the tree (as if it were so in fact). Eichmann was standing on the upper floor balcony. Apparently some conversation between them had taken place.

Presiding Judge: Between whom?

Witness Gordon: Between Slawik and Eichmann above

State Attorney Bach: Before you refer to that conversation - where was this Salomon boy working at that time?

Witness Gordon: I was working on the trench in the centre, and it seems to me that he was working on the trench to my right - a distance of 10-15 metres from me.

Q: Were there trees there, cherry trees?

A: i don't remember whether there were cherry trees in that garden. But close to this villa there was an orchard of fruit trees, and this orchard also formerly belonged to the owner of the villa, Aschner

Q: Tell me further. When Slawik and Teitel shouted at Salomon, how did the boy react?

A: He began shouting, 'I didn't do it. I am innocent.' After that I saw how Slawik and Teitel were leading the boy, holding him

Q: Before you come to that - you said there was a conversation between them and Eichmann who was standing on the balcony. Did you hear what they were saying?

A: I heard Teitel say that the boy had stolen fruit cherries - had stolen them from the trees. Apparently he asked what should be done with him. This I could no longer follow. That apparently is my conclusion.

Q: Did you hear the reply?

A: I did not hear the reply

Q: What was the next thing you saw?

A: I saw how the boy was taken by Slawik and Teitel towards the tool shed, the shed from which we used to take out work tools for our work. I saw how they shut the lad in, pushed him. They were leading him on against his will. They forced him into the shed and locked him in there. After that I saw that the chauffeur went away. I did not notice where he was after that. I noticed Slawik returning, going round the building, suddenly he disappeared from my view. Afterwards, I saw that he returned with Eichmann, and the two of them entered the tool-shed.

Q: Now please explain something to me. You said that he returned with Eichmann, from which direction did they come - Eichmann and Slawik

A: They came round the building

Q: Was it not possible to reach the toolshed from inside the house? Did they have to leave the building?

A: This tool-shed, which I have referred to, was to the rear of the building, and there was only one entrance - from the road in order to get to the shed, they had to go right round the house.

Q: Mr Gordon would you kindly make a sketch of the building, showing where the front was, and where was the rear, where was the balcony you mentioned, where was the tool-shed, and where you standing when you saw all these things happen. I think this will make it clearer to the Court. It doesn't have to be exactly to scale- we require to see the various directions so that we may understand your story

Your Honour, the exhibit, which was previously submitted by me, has already been marked T/37 (7)

Witness Gordon: Shows the sketch he has drawn

State Attorney Bach: Perhaps you would explain what you were doing and whenever you come to a particular place, mark it with a letter, so that the Court may know what you are referring to.

Witness Gordon: Pointing to the sketch he has made. The entrance to the building was on Apostel Street - that was the name of the street where Eichmann lived. I don't remember the exact number, but I think it was No.13 . Here is the entrance to the front garden - the building begins here - this is the front of the house, the main entrance. In order to reach the place where we were working we had to pass on this side and to go in through the back entrance. This is the entrance to a small cellar - it was not really a cellar. We had to go down a few steps. On the right hand side there was a door, and that is where the tool-shed was. This is the garden of the villa. This lay in the direction of the Danube. It was a very large garden. I don't think there are gardens of this kind in Israel. Our task was to prepare some rows of trenches. I have not sketched in all the trenches. Here, roughly, is the set of trenches, the place I am speaking of is the entrance here. One had to go down two or three steps. The corridor is narrow and the entrance on this side - that is the place I am talking about. Here is the tool-shed

Q: Would you please mark this with the letter 'A.'

A: i have marked the place with the letter 'M.'

Q: Where is the corridor you are talking about?

A: This part here

Presiding Judge: And what is that on the side?

Witness Gordon: This is also a balcony, on the side of the building, its side facade. There were also balconies on the front side, but I do not remember them.

State Attorney Bach: Would you please mark with an 'A' the balcony you saw the Accused?

Witness Gordon: Does so

Q: Were these orchards in the direction of the Danube?

A; Both the buildings and the orchard led towards the Danube. It was a slope, a decline in the direction of the Danube. This is the orchard. The building and the fruit orchard did not have a common fence. In order to get to the orchard, one had to pass along a narrow path.

Presiding Judge: Please explain why it was necessary to go around this shed?

Witness Gordon: This shed ended against a wall. There was no entrance at all from the front side. To get to the shed one had to go right around for there was no entrance from the back

Q: From which orchard did they say that this boy stole fruit? Was it from the orchard to the side or from another one?

A: We do not believe for a moment that this boy stole the cherries

Q: I am saying that they said that he had stolen. From which orchard?

A: i don't know. I don't remember

State Attorney Bach: By the way, were all the fifteen young men working there all Jewish?

Witness Gordon: Yes

Q: Including this Salomon?

A: Yes

Presiding Judge: I have marked the sketch T/1153

State Attorney Bach: Do you know anything at all about this boy, where he came from?

Witness Gordon: We knew about him. He didn't tell us, but it was said that he had escaped from the zone of Carpatho- Russia, the region of Munkacs. He fled to Budapest and was accepted for work on the Schwabenberg

Q: You told us that you saw Eichmann and Slawik coming together towards the shed. How was the Accused dressed?

A: He wore long trousers and a light-coloured shirt. He was not in uniform. Perhaps the trousers were part of a uniform, but I cannot say this with any certainty.

Q: What kind of shirt was it?

A: A light-coloured shirt - that I remember

Q: Could you kindly tell the Court what happened after that?

A: The boy was locked up in the shed. I saw the two of them going into the tool-shed.

Q: Where precisely, were you standing when you saw it?

A: On the sketch I have shown a trench opposite the back entrance. I was working in this trench

Q: What distance was that trench from the door of the shed?

A: Ten to twelve meters

Presiding Judge: Would you, perhaps, show us to what trench you are referring and mark it, let us say with the Hebrew letter 'Bet'

Witness Gordon: I have already marked it, in error, with the Roman letter 'B.'

Q: These circles, are they the trenches? What were the trenches for?

A: At that time we did not know why we were digging these trenches, but later on, it became clear to us that these were apparently for mortars. I am not absolutely sure of this, that was the conclusion we reached later.

Q: What was roughly the size of the trench?

A: I think 150 centimeters deep and about 160-180 centimeters wide. At any rate we were able to stretch out our arms inside the trench

State Attorney Bach: Now tell us in your own words, what happened afterwards, exactly as you saw and heard it

Witness Gordon: I was standing in the trench and i saw Slawik and Eichmann open the door and go in

Q: Who was with you in the same trench?

A: There was a Jewish boy, whose name - I am not sure that I remember this correctly - was Bruck. I think that was his name

Presiding Judge: Are you sure, or not sure?

Witness Gordon: I am not sure of this. We worked there in all kinds of pairs. Generally I used to work with this boy and I presume that on that day as well, I was working with him.

State Attorney Bach: Were there other young men together with you or near you who were also able to see and hear what was going on there?

Witness Gordon: Yes, it was nearby, they could hear what was going on there, and from some of the trenches they could also see

Q; But you were together with one other young man in your trench?

A: Yes. i saw Eichmann and Slawik entering the tool-shed. The door closed. After that I heard terrible screams, beatings< blows and crying

Q: Did you identify the screams?

A: Yes - it was the voice of the boy who had been taken, and whom we knew by the name of Salomon. These screams lasted about 10 -15 minutes - I didn't measure the time, but I assume that it was so. Suddenly there was silence. And after I didn't hear the shouting any more, the door opened and Eichmann came out. I saw him, his clothing was disheveled, he looked wild, his shirt was sticking out - I noticed stains on his shirt and I thought that these were bloodstains. I didn't only think so, I knew, almost for certain that these were bloodstains. 

Q: Were these stains also on his shirt when he went in?

A: No. He went away quickly and at that moment he passed by us he muttered words, which I heard quite clearly. He said, 'Uebriges Mistvolk' I have remembered these words for seventeen years.

Presiding Judge: How would you translate that? You know Hebrew quite well

Witness Gordon: I would translate it, 'Superfluous dirty people, Superfluous garbage people.'

State Attorney Bach: Do you know German?

Witness Gordon: I understand some German

Q: Are you fluent in the German language?

A: No. I can read a little German. I understand it fairly well

Presiding Judge: Did you learn German at school?

Witness Gordon: At the age of 17 I knew German far better than I know now

Q: Up to that age, in how many grades had you learned German?

A: Eight grades - during the whole period of the Gymnasium. Those were the words I remember - I didn't want to change them

State Attorney Bach: You said that he looked wild and you told us about his shirt. What can you tell us in general, what did you notice in his external appearance that was different from his earlier appearance?

Witness Gordon: I came to the conclusion that he had taken an active part in beating the boy

Q; Was that the conclusion you came to?

A; Yes

Q: On the basis of what facts did you reach these conclusions?

A; First of all there could have been only two persons there

Q: What did you notice about him that led you to draw these conclusions?

Presiding Judge: He has already described his appearance

State Attorney Bach: Tell us simply everything that you saw

Witness Gordon: When he went inside, he was dressed meticulously. When he came out, his shirt was hanging out and his clothing was disarranged. I would say that he was tired - he was breathing deeply. That's it

Q; Those stains that you saw - how big were they:?

A; I don't remember

Q; Approximately?

A; I can't remember that

Q; On what side of the shirt did you see these stains, on the front portion or the rear?

A: On the front, at any rate

Q: After he went out, in what direction did he go?

A; He went the same way as he had come

Q; Did you also see Slawik

A; Yes, I saw Slawik afterwards

Q; Please continue with your account

A; A few minutes after Eichmann came out and left the place, Slawik came out, I saw that he was looking for his driver

Q; For Teitel

A; Yes, and he also shouted for him. Later on I saw Teitel appear, but I did not notice from what direction. They went into the shed and they dragged the boy's body outside. I saw how they were holding him by the legs and dragging him. The boy was lifeless

Q; Did you see any signs of life in the boy?

A; No

Q; Perhaps you would describe what you saw on the boy?

A; It was no longer a human form. I could see his eyes, the face was swollen. It was completely covered with blood. It is difficult for me to describe it exactly. He was torn, rent apart, they dragged him away and put him down in front of the back entrance. After that the driver went away and brought back a kind of car-boat - the kind used by the German army

Presiding Judge: An amphibious car?

Witness Gordon: Yes it was a car that was equipped for riding both on water and on land

State Attorney Bach: Was this a car that belonged to Eichmann?

Witness Gordon: I assume so

Q; It was at his disposal?

A; Yes. It was a car which we saw every day. Apart from that, there was also a black private car in front of the building

Q; You saw this car every day at this villa?

A; i can't say exactly - but I think so

Q; What happened then?

A: After the car arrived I saw how the body of this boy was placed in the back seat. As it looked to us, it appeared that they placed the body under the back seat. Then the chauffeur drove off and returned about half an hour later and ordered us to carry on working. He came up to us - we were then in a larger group, working together. I don't remember what we were actually doing at the time, but he came up to us and spoke to us, expressly in Hungarian. He was a Swabian who knew Hungarian.

Presiding Judge: From Transylvania?

Witness Gordon: No. The Swabians lived in an area near the Austrian frontier. This was a Hungarian Sect, speaking German

Judge Halevi: Are you speaking about Slawik?

Witness Gordon: I am speaking of Teitel. He said to us, 'I threw the carcass into the Danube. You will all suffer the same fate as that boy.'

State Attorney Bach: This Teitel - where was he when Eichmann and Slawik were inside the shed?

Witness Gordon: I didn't understand the question

Q; Where was this Teitel when Eichmann and Slawik were inside the shed together with Salomon?

A; After they had brought the boy inside the shed, he went away. I didn't keep track of him - I don't know where he went to

Q; Did he only come back subsequently when Slawik called him?

A; Yes. We were then far to shocked and did not notice exactly what was happening

Q; Apart from Eichmann and Slawik were there any others who went into that shed, together with Salomon?

A; No

Q; Did this Slawik talk to you again, afterwards, about this occurrence?

A; No

Q; But you continued working with him?

A; Yes, we continued working with him

Q; Did you ever see Salomon again?

A; No

Q; Did you subsequently see your other comrades who worked with you on that day?

A; Yes. I saw one of them, the one who worked with me, called Bruck, in 1945, in Budapest. He survived, but later on I met him once on the street and we spoke about this incident.

Q; I am referring specifically to the days following this incident. Did you continue working in the same place?

A; Yes

Q; For how long afterwards did you go on working at this villa?

A: i can't tell you exactly, for two other incidents also occurred at the same building

Q; Please tell the Court about the two later incidents which you witnessed

A: After one of the three incidents - I shall refer to the other two later- after one of the incidents, we ceased working at that building. I don't remember after which of the incidents it was that we finished working at that place.

Q; Which of the other two incidents?

A; Yes

Q; You don't remember the chronological order?

A; No. I don't remember the chronological order

Q: Nevertheless, please describe these two incidents

A: One evening we were about to go home. We came to work every day. It was almost dark

Q: When you say 'we came to work every day,' how were you able to travel to your place of work?

A: We were provided with passes which we received from the SD or SS. I don't remember. I think these passes we received from the SD, and this pass forbade the Hungarian authorities to touch us, to take us to other work

Q: Please continue

A: The person in charge of all these operations, whom I mentioned - his name was Engineer Kolbach - came that evening to supervise the work. Before we left the building an SS soldier came to Engineer Kolbach and called to him to go inside the building. He said that Eichmann was calling him. While this was happening we saw Eichmann standing outside, not on the balcony I mentioned earlier, but on the side balcony. After Kolbach entered the building, Eichmann disappeared from the balcony. We stood there for a moment, waiting. We were not permitted, at that moment to leave the place. We heard how a quarrel broke out upstairs, we heard shouts, and we heard what seemed to be slaps on the face

After several minutes we saw that same SS soldier, who had called Kolbach, accompanying Kolbach and putting him into a car. To me it seemed to be the same amphibious car - and he drove away in it. A brother-in-law of Kolbach, also an engineer, whose name was Hegedus was working with us. He was very frightened and understood immediately that they were taking his brother-in-law, Kolbach up to the Schwabenberg, to the Majestic Hotel.

We waited for a further half hour and then we were allowed to go home. Hegedus came to me, since I lived in the same quarter of Buda and could speak German, and asked me to go up with someone to the Schwabenberg, to the Eden Hotel, in order to speak to Buehring. Buehring was the liaison officer between the Jews and the Germans. He asked me to find out from Buehring what had happened to Kolbach. When I think of it, it was somewhat of a crazy thing to do to go there, but despite that we went.

Q: But you did so?

A: Yes, I did it. I knew that Buehring resided at the Eden Hotel which was opposite the Majestic Hotel

Presiding Judge: Did you go there alone, or with Hegedus?

Witness Gordon: No. I went there with another boy who also lived in Buda. We went to the Eden Hotel. Between the Eden Hotel and the Majestic Hotel there was a small bridge, and on it stood a sentry. We went up to the sentry and asked him to call Mr Buehring. He had the rank, it seemed to me, of Oberscharfuhrer - something like that - a sergeant. Buehring came out, they called him. I told him about Engineer Hegedus whom he knew, and he also knew Kolbach, and we said that we thought Kolbach had been taken in error and was now already at the Majestic Hotel. This Buehring generally behaved towards us in a very decent and honest manner, he never shouted, and he treated us in a humane way. He promised to find out about this. We went home, it was very late, and we never saw Kolbach again. I, at any rate never saw him again.

State Attorney Bach: Did Buehring or anyone else inform you definitely of his fate?

Witness Gordon: No

Q: This was the second incident you spoke about. Now tell the Court about the third case

A: The third incident also occurred in the course of the morning

Q; Where did it take place?

A: I remember this incident, and I can also remember the approximate date. I am positive that, on this occasion, the Jews who used to come from the suburbs of Budapest were already no longer there. By that time we were eight to ten persons, no more.

Q: Of your Jewish comrades?

A: Of the fifteen of us who were taken from the suburbs of Budapest

Q: There were then only eight or nine of them?

A: Yes

Q: What was the reason that the others no longer came?

A: We knew that the Jews of the environs of Budapest had been deported

Q: That is to say, there were still eight or nine of you working there?

A: I think it was about ten - up to ten, no more.

Q: And so?

A: That morning Slawik appeared with a Hungarian woman, he led her by the arm. This woman was apparently the wife of the gardener or of the man in charge of the house. We were given an order to line up inside the tool-shed. Then Slawik began shouting at us that this Hungarian woman had a daughter 8 or 9 years old, and that one of the Jews had tried to rape this girl. He asked us who had done it. In the middle of this shouting Eichmann came inside and without inquiring what was happening there, began slapping several of us in the face. Amongst the others, I too, was privileged to receive a slap from him.

Q: Did he walk from one to the other and give each one a single slap in the face? In what way was this done?

A: I did not pay attention. I was dazed from the slap

Q: Was it a strong, heavy slap?

A: I think it was fairly strong. After that, this woman - in the middle of the shouting - began crying. I understood that she was arguing that it was not true, it was a false charge. Suddenly we were told to leave the place.  

Presiding Judge: I do not understand this now. Did the gardener's wife begin to say that this was a false charge?

Witness Gordon: Yes

Q: And who spread the libel - do you know that?

A: i think it was Slawik's doing. We believed that we could thank this woman for the fact that we came out of this place without harm. I think it was after this incident, that we went back to work on the Schwabenberg.

State Attorney Bach: How was Eichmann dressed during this third incident which you have just described?

Witness Gordon: I didn't manage to see what he was wearing during this incident, but he generally went around in long trousers and a shirt. I never saw him with a jacket

Q: Did you occasionally see people who visited Eichmann in this villa?

A: Yes. On one of the occasions a large car with a diplomatic number - C.D. - arrived. Our engineer said that this was the Ambassador Veesenmayer.

Q: Did you see this man on that occasion?

A: Yes. I saw him but only from the side - I didn't see his face

Q: Mr Gordon, after that incident occurred, the one which you previously described concerning Salomon, did you also talk about it to other persons?

A: First of all I spoke about it to my family, after I returned home. At the beginning I was reluctant to tell my parents for I did not want them to be unduly worried. But I told my brother who was also working on the Schwabenburg, but who had not come to work on Apostol Street.

Q: How long after the event did you tell your brother?

A: On the same day

Q: Where is your brother today?

A: In Kibbutz Kfar Hahoresh

State Attorney Bach: Thank you very much


Sources:


The Trial of Adolf Eichmann - The Nizkor Project Online Resource - June 6, 1961

Photographs: Chris Webb Private Archives

Holocaust Historical Society March 16, 2021