Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Eichmann Trial -- Session 104 -- Cross-examination of the Accused re: Hungary

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.181 | Film ID: 2181

The footage begins in the middle of Session 104. Eichmann is shown examining a document. Cross-examination by Attorney General Gideon Hausner begins with questions about the deportation of Jews from Budapest, including the number of people deported and the deportation of Jewish children. Hausner asks about proposals made by Blaschke to Kaltenbrunner for the redirection of trains from Auschwitz to Austria.This is a reference to the "Blood for Goods" transaction, which was the attempt by members of the Hungarian Jewish Relief and Rescue Committee to negotiate with the SS for the exchange of one million Jews for trucks and other materials. Only one trainload of people made it to Switzerland. Kasztner, the leader of the mission, is mentioned.

Hausner asks about an "illegal transport" by Eichmann's Sonderkommando, in which Eichmann arranged for a deportation without the knowledge of Germany's official mission in Hungary (00:12:42). Eichmann attempts to shift blame by insisting that the loading was done by the Hungarian gendarmerie. Hausner asks if Eichmann remembers the detention of Jewish functionaries in Budapest. Hausner asserts that Eichmann detained the Jews because a previous deportation had been recalled by Hungarian regent Miklos Horthy after complaints from the Jewish group (00:18:45). Eichmann defends himself by saying that he did not have the trucks to do this sort of operation (Eichmann may here be referring back to the trucks to be exchanged for Jews in the Kasztner mission) and Hausner asserts that the gendarmerie gave him the trucks (00:20:32). During the translation there is a medium shot of Judge Halevi.

Eichmann is asked about his feelings about the escape and rescue of Jews from deportations and replies with a reference to the Freudiger group. Hausner then asks about comments Eichmann made to Wilhelm Sassen regarding his inability to keep up with the pace of deportations in Hungary. Hausner cites quotes in which Eichmann compared the deportation in Hungary with the ease of those in Denmark and Holland, referring to the Jews of Hungary as being offered to them like "sour beer" (00:29:08). This section duplicates footage from the beginning of Tape 2182. Hausner asks about Eichmann's role in the proposal of a foot march from Budapest to Vienna and asserts that the idea originated with Eichmann, which Eichmann denies (00:40:35).

There is a brief break in the video. Footage resumes with Eichmann reading a quote from the Sassen document which suggests his intent to carry on with deportations despite the destruction of the rail line by the allies. He accepts the fact that he did propose a foot march [death march] but insists that his involvement consisted in the planning of food and rest depots and that it was Winkelmann who came up with the actual proposal (00:55:21). There is a disruption in the courtroom and Presiding Judge Landau demands order (00:57:46). Hausner accuses Eichmann of heading up the foot march, which Eichmann denies and Hausner, quoting from Sassen, states that Eichmann and others even celebrated it. Eichmann asks the court to allow him to explain himself further and Judge Landau says that he will be allowed to explain but that now he should simply answer the question.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 July 20
Production:  1961 July 20
Jerusalem, Israel
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:00:40
This page: