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.
June 21, 1998