Menu JTA Search

Jewish Witnesses Testify at Trial of Eichmann’s Aides in Germany

Rabbi Henry Fischer, chief rabbi of Budapest, and Stephen Roth of the World Jewish Congress told the court trying Hermann Krumey and Otto Hunsche, former top aides to the late, Adolf Eichmann, about the atrocities committed by the Nazis during the war, including the killing of the rabbi’s wife and young daughter and the betrayal of Hungarian Jewry by Krumey.

Facing the two accused Nazis squarely as he stood in the witness stand, yesterday, the rabbi told the court how, following orders by Eichmann, the Nazi actions against the Hungarian Jews had increased quantitatively as well as in intensity. Krumey had been Eichmanns’s top, personal aide, while Hunsche was Eichmann’s legal adviser. It was under their rule, the rabbi said, that 437,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered.

Telling the court that he and 5,000 other Jews were deported from Budapest to Auschwitz in June, 1944, the rabbi said that, as soon as his train arrived at Auschwitz, his wife and 7-year-old daughter was taken aside “and I never saw them again, and I cannot even find just when they were murdered.” “It is an understatement,” he said, “to say the Nazis ‘persecuted’ Jews. A persecutee could try to run away; there was no chance of escaping the Nazis.”

Mr. Roth told about secret conference in Budapest during the Eichmann-Krumey-Hunsche rule in efforts to save the Hungarian Jews. He said Krumey would give him and other Jewish leaders assurances that they would be allowed to save some Jews. Then, Mr. Roth said, Krumey would telephone Gestapo headquarters, telling the latter that his promises were not meant to be kept and that they could do what they liked with the Jews.

NEXT STORY