'To Sum It All Up, I Regret Nothing'


By Adolf Eichmann

To preserve appearances

As it turned out, the march cost more trouble than if I had sent 100 n. 500 trains to Auschwitz. Hungary was the window that showed the Reich to the neutral foreign countries, and we Germans had accordingly to preserve appearances. "You smashed our transportation routes but we will carry on in the most elegant manner." That was what the trek was for. The actual number of marchers was so unimportant that I have forgotten it. In any case it was less than 20,000.

The plan was for the Jews to march to the border at Burgenland, about 180 kilometers away. Every day a unit of 2,000 Jews began the march, and then in ten or twelve days the first of the marchers must have reached the border. Everything possible was done to make the trip hygienic and safe. I drove the route once myself, and on the whole distance I saw only two corpses. They were old people. It is clear, as they say, that where planing goes on, chips will fall. The over-all natural decrease on the trek, however, was only one per cent. When the groups arrived on the border, they were put to work helping German women, children and old people digging tank traps to defend the Reich.

With the march over, Dr. Endre congratulated me on the splendid fulfillment of the mission, and I must admit, we had a drink to celebrate, a kind of Schnaps called "mare's milk" which I had never drunk before. It was excellent.

With the Russian advance moving closer, conditions in Hungary became more and more chaotic. In Budapest the situation was tense. My old friend and comrade, Major General August Zehender, commander of the 22nd SS Cavalry Division, which we had hoped to motorize, was defending Budapest as the Russians drew near it. Then his artillery ran out of shells. Zehender's position was near a streetcar station on the east side of the city, but his ammunition depot was several kilometers beyond the last streetcar stop to the west. He told me is despair that the Russians were about to attack his division and he had no ammunition for his hundred guns.

Life, Vol. 49, No. 23, December 5, 1960, p. 148, 150

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Electric Zen
Ken Lewis
June 21, 1998
Rev. 1.0