The Trial of Adolf Eichmann – Participants, Then & Now

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Gurfein, Jacob
Witness to transport to the Belzec concentration camp, Poland

Photo 1961: Gurfein, Jacob1961 Quote: 5/1/61: ATTORNEY GENERAL GIDEON HAUSNER: Tell me, at the railway station when they packed you into a trail going to Belzec, when you thought that it was likely to go to Belzec, why didn’t you resist, why did you board the train?

GURFEIN: We no longer had any strength left. Very simply, we wanted it to end very quickly. This was in 1943. After so many years we did not have the strength to resist any more.

HAUSNER: You wanted it to end?

GURFEIN: We wanted to die more quickly.

HAUSNER: Then why did you jump from the window?

GURFEIN: There nevertheless was an impulse. For from the moment that we saw that the train was going in the direction of Belzec some spark was ignited. We saw someone jumping and some spark was kindled within people who wanted to save themselves. I wouldn’t have jumped, if my mother hadn’t pushed me forcibly.

Photo 1996: Gurfein, Jacob1996 Quote: The trial was a breaking point for the younger generation in Israel. I think they started to understand what happened to the Jewish people in Europe then because from reading books or stories in the newspapers they could not understand it but when you see people alive in front of them and everyone explaining another story you know and such terrible stories, this was the point, the breaking point for them. I think they started to understand what happened to the Jewish people during the war.

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