Eichmann 'wanted to return to Germany': book

12th April 2011, Comments 1 comment

Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann wrote to West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer from Argentina saying he wanted to return, the author of a new book published in Germany this week said Tuesday.

"It is time for me to abandon my anonymity and introduce myself. Name: Adolf Otto Eichmann. Profession: former SS Obersturmbannfuehrer (lieutenant colonel)," Eichmann wrote in the 1956 open letter.

Eichmann, who went on trial 50 years ago in Israel this week after being kidnapped by Mossad agents in Buenos Aires before being hanged in 1962, told Adenauer he was ready to tell everything.

"I don't know how much more time fate will give me to live. But what I do know is that someone has to tell future generations about what happened ... I steered and directed large parts of that system," he wrote.

The letter is one of a number of previously undiscovered documents cited by German historian and philosopher Bettina Stangneth in her new book, "Eichmann vor Jerusalem" (Eichmann Before Jerusalem).

It was unearthed in the German state archives by historian Fabien Theofilakis for an exhibition on Eichmann currently on at the Shoah Memorial in Paris that Stangneth advised on, she told AFP.

"The fact that Eichmann introduces himself shows that he was very serious," she said. "It fits with what I know from other sources that he always said he wanted to return to Germany, alone, to give himself up and go on trial.

"He wanted to tell his own story and he expected to get away with a jail sentence and then to get a pension," she said.

"Most importantly though it was so that he could get his name back -- his famous name that was so important to him. Although he was safe (in Argentina), he was suffering because where he was no one knew who he was any more."

Eichmann was one of the key organisers of the Holocaust, responsible for organising the deportation of Jews from all over Europe to the death camps.

He escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp after World War II and made it to Argentina in 1950, where he lived under the pseudonym Ricardo Klement and was later joined by his family.

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Koldo posted:

    on 14th April 2011, 07:38:21 - Reply

    The fate of Adolf Eichmann reached truly monumental and sensational proportions with his so-called capture in Argentina by Israeli agents on May 12, 1960. The Israeli authorities decided to hold the world in suspense for an entire year before placing the former German official before a court under conditions in which any reference to a fair trial would be merely ludicrous.
    In spite of all the international commotion and the vast barrage of irresponsible print which has flooded the world on Eichmann since May, 1960, there is not the slightest substantial evidence that Eichmann ever deliberately ordered even one Jew gassed in a German concentration camp, to say nothing of having ordered and supervised the extermination of six million Jews. This would be true even though he gave testimony at his trial that he bad been responsible for the extermination of more than six million or wrote a book of alleged "true confessions" giving the same or a larger figure. Any such account by Eichmann would be (1) proof of the extent and effect of the torture and brainwashing to which he had been subjected by his Jewish captors; (2) the result of his decision, since he knew he would be executed in any event, to provide a sensational yarn of his elimination of Jews whom he disliked, even if he had not actually wished to destroy them, thus caressing his ego; or (3) a product of the fact that his experience bad actually rendered him mentally unbalanced. Perhaps all three explanations would be intermingled and blended. The essence of the matter is that, if all the important evidence indicates that there was no systematic and extensive extermination of Jews by Germany during the war, then no boast of such massive achievements in extermination can be accepted as having any factual validity. They would belong in the realm of morbid fantasy rather than sober factual reality.