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New York Times - Week in Review 03.05.00

Eichmann's House: The Bureaucracy of Murder

Last week Israel released the memoirs of Adolf Eichmann, whom it executed
for war crimes in 1962. The document, written in an Israeli jail, was kept
sealed for fear it would be used to distort the history of the Holocaust. It
was unsealed at the request of lawyers for Deborah Lipstadt, an American
professor being sued for libel by David Irving, whom she has described in a
book as "a dangerous spokesman for Holocaust denial."

Among the 1,100 handwritten pages, Eichmann, the architect of Hitler's Final
Solution, charted the Nazi hierarchy. Eichmann's Jewish Office of the
Gestapo -- B-4 -- is at the bottom, consistent with his claim to have been a
minor cog in the genocidal machine. "I was one of the many horses pulling
the wagon and couldn't escape left or right because of the will of the
driver," he wrote.

The chart is literally accurate, and deeply misleading. Aaron Breitbart, a
senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, notes that,
from 1942 on, Eichmann had formal authority for eliminating the Jews, to
which Hitler had given the highest priority, and he reported directly to the
No. 2 officer in the SS (which ran the concentration camps). "The SS had
much more political power than the Army," Breitbart said, "and Eichmann had
much more power than any general."

Eichmann even felt he could defy Heinrich Himmler, the SS leader, Breitbart
said. In 1944, with the end of the war in sight, Himmler ordered Eichmann to
stop gassing Jews. Eichmann ignored him.



Irving accused of mocking Holocaust

By Douglas Davis

LONDON (March 5) - Holocaust revisionist David Irving was accused of
"mocking the survivors and dead of the Holocaust" by "feeding and
encouraging the most cynical antisemitism" in his public speeches.

The charge was leveled by Richard Rampton, counsel for American historian
and Holocaust specialist Deborah Lipstadt, at the High Court in London late
last week.

Lipstadt, of Emory University in Atlanta, denies libeling Irving in her 1994
book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. But
Irving, who denies that Auschwitz was a death camp or that there was
systematic, mass destruction of Jews, claims his career has been wrecked by
Lipstadt's assertions that he is a Holocaust denier and that he distorts
historical data to suit his own ideological preferences.

In an acrimonious exchange during the closing cross-examination, Rampton
told Irving: "What you are doing is feeding the antisemitism in your
audience by mocking the survivors and dead of the Holocaust." Irving replied
that he was "mocking the liars" who, he said, had misrepresented their

"Oh yes, but why the applause?" asked Rampton.

"I am a good speaker," replied Irving.

Irving told the court that "there have been increasing numbers in recent
years who have capitalized on the Holocaust." "It's become an important part
of their social and religious awareness, and it is almost blasphemy to them
to tread on that holy ground," he added.

Rampton quoted from a 1991 speech in Alberta, Canada, when Irving told his
audience that he saw no reason to be "tasteful" about Auschwitz.

"It's baloney, it's a legend," he told his audience."Once we admit the fact
that it was a brutal slave-labor camp and large numbers of people did die -
as large numbers of innocent people died elsewhere in the war - why believe
the rest of the baloney?

"I say quite tastelessly, in fact, that more women died on the back seat of
Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in

"Oh, you think that's tasteless, how about this? There are so many Auschwitz
survivors going around - in fact, the number increases as the years go past,
which is biologically very odd to say the least. Because I'm going to form
an association of Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust, and Other
Liars, or the A-S-S-H-O-L-S."

Irving, who is defending himself, denied that there were "skinheads or
extremists" in the audience, which, he said, appeared to comprise"a
perfectly ordinary bunch of middle-class Canadians."

The hearing was adjourned until March 13 for closing arguments.



Sunday, March 5, 2000

Voice From a Vicious Past Eichmann manuscript could help scholar defend
against suit filed by a writer she called a Holocaust denier.

Forty years ago Israeli agents tracked Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann to
his hiding place in Argentina and abducted him to Israel, where he was tried
and convicted of crimes against the Jewish people and humanity. He was
executed in 1962, leaving behind a 1,300-page manuscript in which he sought
to minimize his role in the Holocaust while portraying himself as an
idealist who had "slid, like many others, into a situation from which there
was no exit." In fact, Eichmann had joined the Nazi Party in 1932, the year
before Adolf Hitler took power in Germany, and a few years after that he
joined the SS, which operated Hitler's concentration camps and carried out
mass killings in Eastern Europe. By 1942 Eichmann was directing deportations
of Jews to the death camps.

Israel has now made public Eichmann's self-excusing memoir. In it he
describes the Holocaust as "the most enormous crime in the history of
mankind." Yet just five years before his capture Eichmann had told a Dutch
journalist, a fascist, that he was sorry the Nazis had not been tougher
executioners. In his manuscript, as in his trial testimony, Eichmann
portrays himself as simply someone following orders and doing his duty. "I
was never an anti-Semite." And though his job required him to visit death
camps and witness executions, "My sensitive nature revolted at the sight of
corpses and blood."

Israel released the Eichmann papers at the request of an American scholar,
Deborah Lipstadt of Emory University. She and her English publisher are
facing a libel lawsuit filed in a British court by writer David Irving,
whom, on the basis of his own writings and public comments, Lipstadt has
labeled a Holocaust denier. Irving says he doesn't deny that Nazis killed
Jews. But he disputes the number of victims and the manner of their killing.
He has also offered the incredible thesis that Hitler himself knew nothing
about the Final Solution.

The Eichmann manuscript describes in meticulous detail how the deportations
of Europe's Jews were organized and how the mass killings were carried out.
Lipstadt wants to use these insider's descriptions to rebut Irving's claims.
Recently, in an interview with the Reuters news agency, Irving described the
Auschwitz concentration camp, where millions died, as a kind of "Disneyland"
constructed by Polish Communists after World War II to attract tourists.
Even an Eichmann would not have dared to posit such a fantasy.



Jenny McCartney joins spectators at the High Court for a ringside seat in 
Court 73's Holocaust case

Any hard plastic seat in Court 73, where the historian David Irving is 
seeking libel damages against claims that he is a "Holocaust denier", is a 
much sought-after spot. That is why a disconsolate group of five people are 
waiting in the corridor outside, their eyes fixed hungrily on a sign that 
reads "Court Full".

The minutes tick by. Finally, two elderly Jewish men and a woman decide to 
leave and return later. "We're giving you our place in the queue," they 
laugh. One beneficiary of this, a middle-aged man, stares unsmilingly 
ahead. Once they have left, he says: "Have you read any of David Irving's 
works? He's a champion of free speech. Somebody has to stand up to these 
people." He doesn't elaborate on who "these people" are.

Mr Irving is representing himself in the case against Deborah Lipstadt and 
Penguin books, over her 1994 book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing 
Assault on Truth and Memory. The defendants claim that Mr Irving is "a liar 
and falsifier of history" who has distorted statistics and documents for 
his own purposes. Mr Irving rejects this, and says the claims have 
generated waves of hate against him.

Richard Rampton, QC, with donnish spectacles and a drily sardonic mode of 
interrogation, is representing Penguin. Inside the courtroom, he is 
cross-examining the 62-year-old Mr Irving, a burly, gimlet-eyed man with 
iron-grey hair. There is an edgy air of suppressed tension. The judge makes 
only occasional interjections. One has the sense that they have been over 
this ground before: the case has been running since Jan 11.

Mr Rampton reads out a passage from a speech that Mr Irving gave to an 
audience at Calgary, Alberta, in 1991:

"You said, 'More people died on the back seat of Senator Kennedy's car at 
Chappaquiddick than died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz'."

"Shown to the tourists," adds Mr Irving quickly, claiming that he 
invariably added that rider: "I always say exactly the same thing." Mr 
Irving maintains that the gas chamber shown to visitors to Auschwitz was 
built by the Poles after the war as a tourist attraction.

Mr Rampton then plays the court a video recording of Mr Irving speaking at 
the meeting. In it, Mr Irving delivers the Chappaquiddick remark, ending: 
". . . in the gas chambers at Auschwitz." There is a distinct pause, 
followed by loud applause. There was no "shown to the tourists" rider on 
this occasion.

Mr Rampton quotes Mr Irving's words: "'I always say exactly the same thing':

that was a false statement, was it not?" Mr Irving looks deeply uncomfortable.

Last Tuesday the Israeli government released the memoirs of Adolf Eichmann, 
which had been hidden in Israeli state archives for 40 years, to assist the 
defendants in the Irving libel case. Eichmann -- the Nazi officer who 
carried out the attempted "liquidation" of Europe's Jews -- describes 
watching the gassing of Jews in sealed trucks during 1942, and makes 
reference to "the genocide against Jewry".

Mr Rampton asks: "I expect you've been reading the Eichmann memoirs?"

"No, not with the little time I have," replies Mr Irving, as though 
apologising to a fellow historian.

"Well if you are, look for the word gaseinlage." [sic. Actually 

"Gaseinlage?" [sic. Actually Vergasungslager].

Mr Rampton answers with brutal, precise emphasis: "Yes. Gassing camps."

He moves on to the meetings at which Mr Irving is a popular speaker. Mr 
Irving argues that when he spoke at meetings hung with the banners of the 
National Alliance -- a white supremacist group in America -- he was not 
aware of the organisation's nature. [See Day 29, page 65]

Mr Rampton points to an invitation asking Mr Irving to speak, written on 
National Alliance notepaper, and reads aloud a passage from Mr Irving's 
diary regarding a meeting in Savannah, Georgia. It says: "Turns out the 
meeting here is also organised by the National Alliance."

Mr Irving replies: "It just goes to show how bad my memory is, but I'm 
learning as I go along." Later, Mr Rampton turns to statistics cited in Mr 
Irving's book on Goebbels for Jewish involvement in crime in 1932. He 
establishes that they are, in fact, taken from [Kurt Daluege] the head of 
the German Ordnungspolizei, a man whom Mr Irving agrees became "a mass 
murderer later on" [in 1941].

"Do you think it right to take this man as your source?" asks Mr Rampton.

Mr Irving answers: "You've got to take some kind of figures from 
somewhere." There is a faint ripple in the courtroom.

As the morning session closes, the elderly Jewish spectators file out from 
the public gallery. A lank-haired woman in a paisley scarf goes out with 
them. In the corridor, she informs the queue:

"There's a lot of Freemasonry. Jewish Freemasonry!" As the remark sinks in, 
one of them says: "My God." The final speeches will be heard on March 13. 
It will, no doubt, be a packed court.



Sunday Comment: We may have won, but the war goes on Andrew Roberts, the
historian, explains why the Nazis are still in the headlines

Andrew Roberts 03/05/2000

The Sunday Telegraph (United Kingdom) Copyright (C) 2000 The Sunday Telegraph;

HERE, in brief, is the news of the past fortnight: Israel has released Adolf
Eichmann's diaries of the Holocaust, just as the concluding evidence is
being presented in the David Irving v Debora Lipstadt and Penguin Books
trial. Jorg Haider has, through gritted teeth, finally denounced Hitler as
the most evil man of the century. Claims for compensation or restitution for
art looted by the Nazis have been estimated at between pounds 800 million
and pounds 2.5 billion. Hitler's favourite film-maker, Leni Riefenstahl, is
reported to have survived a helicopter crash in the Sudan aged 97. The
handwritten notes of a speech made by Hitler to the German parliament in
1939 fetched pounds 11,000 at auction.

Meanwhile, Neville Lawrence, the father of the murdered black teenager
Stephen Lawrence, likened the experiences of young black people in Britain
today to that of Anne Frank. A man dressed as Adolf Hitler was arrested on
Thursday night trying to gatecrash Vienna's Opera Ball. The obituaries
appeared of Harold Hobday, the Dambuster who breached the Eder Dam with a
bouncing bomb. Dominic Bruce, the RAF officer who made no fewer than 17
attempted break-outs from German prisoner-of-war camps, including Colditz.
The Queen Mother's wartime correspondence about the Duke and Duchess of
Windsor was released by the Bodleian Library. SS General Walter
Schellenberg's 1940 Nazi invasion plan of Britain was published.

What's going on? Is there such a dearth of current news that the media have
to look back to make headlines? Some would say that our obsession with the
period in our nation's history reflects nothing more than crude xenophobia,
or even a grotesque, fetishistic fascination with the absolute evil which
the Nazis represented. The truth is that, even 60 years on, the Second World
War continues to exert a fierce hold on all our imaginations. This piece of
the past is very much still with us.

The story of the 1939-45 period, and especially the one year and five days
between the capitulation of France on June 17, 1940, and Hitler's invasion
of Russia on June 22, 1941, goes to the very heart of our self-perception as
a nation. It is much less to do with anti-German feeling than a perpetual
reaffirmation of nationhood. The story has aspects that appeal to both Right
and Left. For the Right, those 371 days when we "stood alone", albeit with
great support and assistance from the Empire and Commonwealth, represents
the ultimate expression of sovereignty, proving the inestimable benefits of
national independence.

For the Left, it was the time when fascism as a concept, rather than merely
Germany and Italy, was faced down by the forces of democracy as represented
by the "grand coalition", which included Clement Attlee's Labour Party.
Michael Foot once said that 1940 was too powerful a symbol to be confiscated
by the Right, and it is partly because both ends of the political spectrum
take ideological succour from the events of that year that the annus
mirabilis has survived as such a potent totem.

Likewise, each side in the European debate draws great inspiration from
Hitler's war. Michael Heseltine likes to cite Churchill as supporting the
concept of European unity, although he always fails to add that the war
leader did not wish Britain to be an actual member of it.

Edward Heath also enjoys reflecting that it is to prevent future wars of the
sort in which he fought so gallantly that the continent needs to become a
federalist superstate. Similarly, Eurosceptics such as Bill Cash and Norman
Stone - whose fathers died in the war - remember the disastrous results of
trying to force Britain into a federal Europe without its full-hearted consent.

It seems that it is to 1940-41 that we return when we seek reasons for why
we are proud to be British. There are plenty of things that Britain does
very well indeed, but equally there always seem to be other countries that
do the same things better. It is hard to conceive being proud of Britain
because of our leadership in motor-racing, the pop music industry and the
invention of the National Health service. There has to be something more,
and it is what Britain did 60 years ago this summer. The British Empire
fought the war from the start - except for two days from the German invasion
of Poland - to the finish of the Japanese surrender, unlike any other power,
and it is a cause for huge justifiable pride.

Such was the sense of catharsis generated by the war years that anything
that took place afterwards was bound to be perceived as smaller, safer, more
mundane, less magnificent. The post-war period in Britain has inevitably
been a post-Heroic age. The Britain of Wilson, Heath and Thorpe in the
Seventies simply could not compare with that of Churchill, Attlee and
Montgomery of the early Forties. Yet through all the various humiliations
that were heaped on postwar Britain - the withdrawal from Europe, periodic
devaluations of sterling, mass New Commonwealth immigration, Suez, begging
from the International Monetary Fund, British Leyland's labour troubles -
the memory of 1940-1941 helped to see her through.

Many another nation has had its golden age, its moment in history's
limelight. Our particular tragedy is that it should have been so recent,
within the lifetime of many. It is almost a recipe for nihilism, knowing
that nothing can recapture that gloriously heroic period. Just as Greeks are
still rightly proud of the achievement of 5th century Athens, Frenchman feel
exalted when they contemplate the Arc de Triomphe (despite its presenting as
victories battles that Napoleon actually lost), American revere 1776 and
Mongolians still venerate Ghenghis Khan, so we cannot wholly put behind
themselves the year in which, as T. S. Eliot wrote in his 1941 poem Little
Gidding, "History is now and England".

There is little indication that interest in the war is lessening simply
because its participants are leaving the stage, any more than interest in
the Parthenon in Greece, Napoleon in France or the Constitution in America
has waned with the death of their protagonists. The first three decades of
the 21st century will see the last of the veterans go, but fascination with
and admiration for their achievement will not die with them. Long after all
the personal connections have been severed, the characters, events and
lessons of what happened between 1939 and 1945 will fascinate future
generations. When I lecture on the war in schools I am constantly told by
teachers that it is by far the favourite historical period of their pupils.

There is a further reason for the emphasis we place on this period.
Britain's longer lasting triumph was that of her Empire and the
Commonwealth. But few dare boast of that in these politicallly correct
times. It is safer to glory in the last war than in the accumulation and
governance of our colonies.

Some people believe that Britain's obsession with the war is infantile, and
even detrimental to our maturation as a normal European nation. They believe
that the scars have largely healed, and are only being picked open when
football crowds raise their arms to simulate aircraft wings while they sing
racist lyrics to the tune of The Dambusters' March. Yet the headlines of the
past fortnight ought to persuade them otherwise. As Eliot also put it in
1941: "We are born with the dead, see, they return and bring us with them."

The echoes of Hitler's war will keep reverberating on and on. For us, the
war is far from over.

Andrew Roberts is the author of Eminent Churchillians

DAILY MAIL 03.04.00

Daily Mail Associated Newspapers Ltd.

DIARIES by Tom Bower

NIGHT had fallen and the seven men were becoming nervous. Two buses from
Buenos Aires had stopped at the suburban kiosk, but their quarry still
hadn't stepped off on to the dusty road.

Ten thousand miles from Tel Aviv, on May 11, 1960, the handpicked Israeli
Mossad secret service officers were on the trail of a 54- year-old known
locally as 'Ricardo Klement'.

They were waiting for him to return home from his job as a welder at the
Mercedes Benz factory, as he did every night with clockwork regularity on
the No 203 bus.

It had been a decade since Klement had clandestinely arrived in Argentina
from Europe with the help of the Roman Catholic Church, and at last he felt

But in the darkness, a light flashed from a bridge - a signal from the
lookout car. 'It's him,' whispered agent Zvi Aharoni excitedly.

The inconspicuous and shabbily dressed Klement was oblivious to his fate as
he turned into Garibaldi Street. He blithely approached a large car just 30
yards from the small, isolated bungalow he had built with his sons.

In a mad scramble, four men pounced and grappled their prey into the back of
the car.

'Do not move and no one will hurt you,' ordered Aharoni, in fluent German,
as the car sped away. 'If you resist, you will be shot.' Their victim, his
hands already bound, mouth gagged, his eyes blinded by goggles, and squashed
on the car floor covered by a blanket, was silent.

'Klement' was, in reality, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi responsible for what he
admitted was 'the greatest crime in history' - the deportation of Jews to
death camps.

This week, a chilling insight into his mind was revealed when 670
hand-written pages of his secret memoirs were released by the Israelis for
use as evidence in the London High Court case in which historian David
Irving is suing Deborah Lipstadt , an American writer, for alleged defamation.

Few names in the list of those responsible for the Holocaust was more
notorious than SS Obersturmbahnfuhrer Adolf Eichmann.

The director of Department IV B4 at the headquarters of the Reich's Central
Security office in Berlin had been a passionate anti- Semite in the Twenties
and went out of his This week, secret diaries were read to a court as
evidence against a British historian who disputes that the Holocaust
happened. They provide a chilling insight into the mind of the man who had a
key role in the murder of six million Jews This week, secret diaries were
read to a court as evidence against a British historian who disputes that
the Holocaust happened. They provide a chilling insight into the mind of the
man who had a key role in the murder of six million Jews way to organise
their mass murder.

Lipstadt had described Irving as a 'dangerous spokesman in the service of
Holocaust deniers'.

So, to undermine Irving's case, the Israeli government released Eichmann's
diary, which he started four months after his kidnap and which acknowledges
his complicity in genocide.

ON JANUARY 20, 1942, the melancholy former clerk had attended a top-secret
meeting at Wannsee, a lakeside villa in Berlin, which launched 'the final
solution of the Jewish question'.

The 15 senior Nazi government officials present agreed that every Jew in
German-occupied Europe would be transported as forced labour to Eastern Europe.

In the euphemisms used to maintain the necessary secrecy, it was agreed
that, with Hitler's approval, the majority of Jews would 'fall through
natural diminution', while the remainder would be 'treated accordingly'.

Eichmann knew that 'treated accordingly' meant the construction of gas
chambers for the production line murder of Jews.

His task, which he accepted with relish, was to supervise the capture and
efficient transport of Jews to the death camps. Like a tally clerk, Eichmann
later recounted to his superiors, Hein-rich Himmler and Ernst Kaltenbrunner,
the SS and Gestapo chiefs, the statistics proving his success.

Four million Jews, he boasted towards the end of the war, had been gassed,
and two million had been shot or killed by mobile execution squads. Eichmann
was an eyewitness of the consequences of his activities.

Two entries in his diaries confirm his participation in evil.

Just before the Wannsee Conference, Eichmann had travelled to Kulm in what
is now Poland.

In his diary he records how he watched 'naked Jews and Jewesses climbing
into a lorry without windows; the doors were locked and the motor was
started'. The exhaust fumes were funnelled into the lorry.

Eichmann refused to watch through a peephole as the occupants were slowly
and painfully poisoned. 'I don't have the words to express my reaction to
these things,' he wrote in his prison cell 19 years later.

'It was all too unreal. I was taken to a kind of clearing in the forest and,
as I was arriving, the bus drove up to a pit in the ground. The doors were
opened and corpses tumbled out into the pit. It was a super-inferno.

Then I saw that some were still alive.' Eichmann watched them die and saw a
civilian jump into the pit to yank out any gold teeth from the corpses. 'I
had to pinch the back of my hand to check I was awake.' Later, Eichmann
travelled to Auschwitz, where the camp commandant showed his visitor how he
used carbon monoxide to kill Jews in sealed rooms.

WEEKS later, Eichmann became aware that the SS, to speed the murder process,
was dispatching the gas Zyklon B to Auschwitz.

The war over, Eichmann was interned in 1945 in an American PoW camp.

Meanwhile, witnesses were mentioning Eichmann's name as a key architect of
the Final Solution, and prosecutors had found the first of thousands of
surviving telexes, messages and orders addressed to him in Berlin, reporting
the arrest and transport of Jews from Paris, Amsterdam, Rome and Salonika to
Auschwitz and other camps.

The paper trail also recorded his cold refusals to release named Jews, and
his curt instruction for the hasty transportation of more individuals to the
gas chambers before a further request was received.

The American army, however, had accepted Eichmann's identity as 'Otto
Eckmann', a lieutenant in an SS cavalry division. The German's fellow
officers knew the truth and had agreed to his escape before his ruse was

Eichmann, with the help of other SS fugitives, spent the next four years
working in central Germany as a lumberjack. His wife and children remained
in Bavaria, occasionally visited by agents sent by Simon Wiesenthal, the
famed Nazi hunter.

But his wife Vera and their family were too canny ever to reveal his
existence. By 1950, Odessa, the SS organisation, had established a
successful escape route for its hunted comrades. With their help, Eichmann
travelled to Genoa in Italy, where Catholic priests provided a false Red
Cross passport in the name of Ricardo Klement, with a visa for Argentina.

In July 1950, Eichmann arrived in South America to start a new life and was
joined two years later by his family. Indeed, it was their reaction to his
subsequent disappearance in May 1960 at the hands of Mossad agents that was
the Israeli team's principal concern.

Rightly, they calculated that his wife would not dare approach the police
and reveal her husband's true identity. Instead, her sons, with help of
Rightwing Argentine sympathisers, scoured the capital's hospitals and
mortuaries before concluding that their father was the victim of an Israeli

As word spread, other prominent Nazi fugitives fled for safety across the
border. Meanwhile, Eichmann was carefully guarded in a safe house, an
anonymous villa.

Extricating Eichmann from Buenos Aires had been meticulously planned.

Since there were no direct flights to Israel, the kidnap had been timed to
coincide with the 150th anniversary celebrations of Argentina's independence.

TO THE Argentines' surprise, Israel had agreed to send a special delegation
arriving on a British-built Bristol Britannia El Al plane, due to arrive
nine days after the kidnap.

Waiting for the aircraft was more emotional for the Israelis than the former
Nazi. Several of those Mossad officers in the safe house were haunted by the
Nazis' brutal murder of their parents, brothers and sisters.

The searing images of the Holocaust - the roundups, arbitrary shootings,
public hangings, the mass executions and years of surviving the manhunt for
consignment to the gas chambers - were indelible memories.

None of those Israelis could have imagined the architect of their misery
would be helplessly eating omelettes and boiled chicken just yards from
their vengeful hands.

Ironically, now they not only fed and bathed Eichmann, they also even
watched him in the lavatory to prevent a suicide attempt. Shorn of his black
uniform and leather boots, his arrogant swagger was replaced by despairing

'Who's going to look after my wife and children?' he asked secret agent
Aharoni. 'I didn't leave them any money.' Aharoni replied: 'You worry so
much about your wife and children, but how could you and your associates
murder children in the tens and hundreds of thousands?' The German's reply
is chilling: 'Today, I can't understand how we could have done such things,'
he explained. 'I did what everyone else was doing. I was conscripted, like
everyone else.' Further argument was pointless.

In the event, Aharoni persuaded Eichmann to sign a statement volunteering to
travel to Israel and stand trial.

On May 20, 1960, a small convoy of El Al crewmen was waved through the
airport security gates after driving along a carefully researched route. One
uniformed member of the crew appeared ill and needed assistance to mount the
steps into the aircraft.

Drugged, Eichmann had been sandwiched between burly Mossad agents and was
deposited in the first-class compartment.

Within seconds of slumping into the chair, the aircraft's four turboprop
engines began to roar. At five minutes after midnight, the plane sped down
the runway. After refuelling in Dakar, West Africa, it headed for Israel.

During that 25-hour flight, Isser Harel, the director of Mossad who had
personally supervised the hunt for Eichmann, could reflect on his good fortune.

ALTHOUGH he would claim much of the credit, his capture was also due to the
perseverance of Fritz Bauer, an energetic German prosecutor in Frankfurt.

Ignoring the animosity of his countrymen, Bauer had dedicated himself to
prosecuting Nazi war criminals. Most had eluded capture for the simple and
painful reason that every European government had, since 1946, turned a
blind eye to murder.

Even Israel was uninterested, preoccupied with fighting Arab enemies, not
pursuing Nazis. Eichmann, thought the prosecutor, was an exception - an
invaluable prize.

There had been many tips and alleged sightings of Eichmann, but none was
reliable. The breakthrough in late 1957 came from Lothar Hermann, a blind,
part-Jewish German living in poverty in Argentina.

His daughter had met a young German whose name was Nicholas Eichmann, and
the blind man was convinced that the strange, anti- Semitic boy was the son
of the murderer. (Adolf Eichmann's fatal mistake had been his failure to
obtain new papers to rename his family Klement.) Hermann sent Eichmann's
address to Bauer. Not trusting the German authorities to bring Eichmann to
justice, Bauer, through an intermediary, contacted Mossad boss Harel.

Harel decided that a blind informant was unreliable. 'A second- rate
policeman could have established who lived in that house,' Bauer later raged
at Harel during a special visit to Tel Aviv.

Bauer wouldn't give up. In 1959, he told Harel that Eichmann was using the
name Ricardo Klement.

Zvi Aharoni, a former field security officer in the British Army and a
senior officer in Mossad, was dispatched to Argentina. For weeks, the
Israeli trawled though the archives and kept surveillance on the isolated
house, secretly photographing its occupants.

The first sighting of a middle-aged man taking washing off a line in the
yard was confirmed after 'Klement' returned early to his house on Eichmann's
wedding anniversary and the Israeli agents moved into action.

For eight months before his trial, Eichmann was regularly interrogated by a
German-born Israeli police captain, Avner Less. The 3,564 pages of
transcripts of his questioning were filled with Eich- mann's excuses of
himself as 'a minor recipient of orders' who showed no remorse.

'I was but a faithful, orderly and diligent member of the SS and the
[Gestapo], filled with idealistic feelings towards my fatherland, to which I
had the honour to belong. I never was a mental swine or a traitor.' He
continued: 'Despite conscientious self-examination, I must conclude that I
was neither a murderer nor a mass-murderer.' His only guilt was to have
'aided and abetted killing I did my duty as ordered with a clear conscience
and a believing heart.' The four- month trial in Jerusalem started on April
11, 1961. Dressed in a cheap dark suit, he answered each of the 15 charges
of genocide from within his glass cage: 'Not guilty as charged.' Although
the verdict was inevitable, the trial was not just an issue of one man's
culpability but about the condition of Western civilisation, its laws,
morals and future.

How had Europe's richest nation perpetrated such horrors? How had an
ordinary, uneducated family man, dedicated to his children, become a monster
organising the murder of millions?

'In my hope for justice,' Eichmann recorded, 'I see myself disappointed.

I cannot accept the verdict of guilty I had the bad luck to have become
involved in these acts of horror. But these crimes did not occur of my

It was not my will to kill people.

The mass murder is solely the fault of the political leaders.' In the most
memorable description of Eichmann's defence of obedience, Hannah Arendt, a
German-born historian, described the trial as 'a report on the banality of

EICHMANN was sentenced to death by hanging on December 16. The decision was
unprecedented; there was no death penalty in Israel.

On June 1, 1962, a few minutes before midnight, Eichmann was taken from his
cell. 'A glass of wine,' he requested. Calmly, dressed in brown clothes, he
walked to the gallows. He refused the black mask. Standing on the trap door,
he said: 'Long live Germany,' and bade farewell to his family and friends.

'I am ready,' he said finally. Effortlessly, the noose was put around his
neck. The condemned man's last sight was a vacant stare into the abyss.
There was a click. The trap was sprung. In a flash, the mass-murderer fell
through a hole.

The witnesses saw a motionless corpse hanging from a swaying rope. After the
cremation, his ashes were scattered on the Mediterranean, beyond Israel's

Twenty-eight years later, in the High Court in London, a British historian
is disputing the validity of Adolf Eichmann's confession.



Irving accused of mocking survivors as London Holocaust suit nears end

By Douglas Davis

LONDON, March 5 (JTA) =97Holocaust revisionist David Irving mocked victims of
the Holocaust by "feeding and encouraging the most cynical anti-Semitism" in
his speeches, it was alleged last week at a trial for a defamation suit that
Irving has filed against a U.S. scholar.

The charge was leveled by the lawyer for Jewish historian Deborah Lipstadt.

Irving, who denies that Auschwitz was a death camp or that there was
systematic, mass destruction of Jews, claims that Lipstadt libeled him in
her 1994 book, "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and
Memory," when she called him a Holocaust denier who manipulates facts to
suit his ideological bias.

In an acrimonious exchange during the closing cross-examination Lipstadt's
lawyer, Richard Rampton, told Irving that he "is feeding the anti- Semitism
in your audience by mocking the survivors and dead of the Holocaust."

Irving replied that he was "mocking the liars" who, he said, had
misrepresented their experiences.

Irving told the court that "there have been increasing numbers in recent
years who have capitalized on the Holocaust."

"It's become an important part of their social and religious awareness, and
it is almost blasphemy to them to tread on that holy ground."

Rampton quoted from a 1991 speech in Canada in which Irving told his
audience that he saw no reason to be "tasteful" about Auschwitz.

"It's baloney, it's a legend," he told his audience. "Once we admit the fact
that it was a brutal slave labor camp and large numbers of people did die 
- as large numbers of innocent people died elsewhere in the war -
why believe the rest of the baloney?

"I say quite tastelessly, in fact, that more women died on the back seat of
Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in

"Oh, you think that's tasteless," he continued. "How about this? There are
so many Auschwitz survivors going around - in fact, the number increases as
the years go past, which is biologically very odd to say the least. Because
I'm going to form an association of Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the
Holocaust and Other Liars, or the A-S-S-H-O-L-S."

Irving, who is defending himself, denied that there were "skinheads or
extremists" in the audience, which, he said, appeared to comprise "a
perfectly ordinary bunch of middle-class Canadians."

At an earlier hearing, Hajo Funke, a professor at the Free University of
Berlin, told the court he considered that Irving, 62, had "committed himself
wholeheartedly" to neo-Nazism.

He said Irving had used Germany as a "playground" for his right-wing
extremism until he was expelled in 1993.

Irving's expulsion, he continued, indicated the unwillingness of the
authorities to "further tolerate his use of Germany as a `playground' for
his right-wing extremism."

Funke, who had prepared a 137-page report on Irving's alleged links to
extremists, said Irving had "committed himself wholeheartedly to the cause
of revisionism, and thus to neo-Nazism, in Germany."

"By denying the Holocaust," said Funke, "he willfully and persistently
violated the criminal law in Germany."

The German expert said that for several years, Irving was one of the "main
speakers and agitators" for the German People's Union, which was extremist,
anti-Semitic and "propagated racial hatred."

The court was also shown video footage of a meeting in Germany in the early
1990s, at which Irving was a speaker, with skinheads chanting "Sieg heil."

In response, Irving said he accepted invitations from "whichever body
invites me," as long as his schedule allowed it.

The hearing was adjourned until March 13 for closing arguments.

Sunday Times (London)

March 5, 2000, Sunday

Burden of the past

BY Silvia Rogers

THE HOLOCAUST AND COLLECTIVE MEMORY. by Peter Novick. Bloomsbury Pounds
18.99 pp373

I found myself both arguing and agreeing with this compelling book until its
very last line. Peter Novick, professor of history at the University of
Chicago, sets out to analyse the idea of the Holocaust as a collective
memory for American Jews during the 20th century, a collective memory that
marks identity and justifies the ethos of the community. He discusses how
the Holocaust became such a strong bond and speculates whether it should now
be put to rest as an all-subsuming identity.

Immediately after the second world war, Jews, like other ethnic groups in
America, strove to be Americans first, and enjoyed being part of the most
powerful nation in the world. The Holocaust was the last thing on which they
wanted to dwell; its overriding image of victimhood was one that had
burdened Jews since they wept in Babylon.

Later, when ethnic groups began to assert their differences, American Jews
adopted the Holocaust as central to their identity. Fragmented by degrees of
religious observance, Zionism and their geographical origins, they had,
writes Novick, only one thing uniting them: if their forebears had not
emigrated, they themselves would have perished like the European Jews.

Novick suggests that this identity became acceptable because a new climate
of sympathy towards victims and losers had eroded the ideal of the strong
and silent hero. But I am far more convinced by his claim that the Holocaust
can only be considered in relation to the state of Israel. Clearly, anyone
affiliated to this macho state no longer qualifies solely as victim. Its
citizens, many straight out of the Holocaust, bore arms even as they made
the desert bloom.

Novick vividly relates the vicissitudes of Jewish identity during the cold
war. During McCarthy's witch-hunts, it became an embarrassment to be a Jew,
and the stereotype of the communist Jew was confirmed when supporters sang
the Song of the Warsaw Ghetto at the funeral of the Rosenbergs, executed for
nuclear espionage. In the 1960s, however, the Holocaust identity received
strong boosts from Israel. In 1961, when the Nazi Adolf Eichmann was
abducted by Israeli agents from Argentina and was tried, convicted and
executed in Israel, the victim defeated the perpetrator. Israel's 1967
triumph in the Six Day war seemed, as Novick says, "miraculous". Jews
everywhere were immensely proud. Novick quotes Rabbi Irving Greenberg, one
of the promoters of the idea of the Holocaust as important to
Jewish-American consciousness, saying that it "had given God a second
chance". To some believers, God, who had hidden his face during the
Holocaust, "was now back on the job".

In spite of that, admiration for Israel (and for Israel, read Jews) did not
last. The Arabs flourished on oil and the UN was dominated by Third World
countries who saw Israel as a European colonial power. The 1973 Yom Kippur
war, when Israel needed help from America and no longer seemed invincible,
further eroded the popularity of Israel. American Jews feared a rise in
anti-semitism, even another Holocaust. This was groundless. But they kept
the Holocaust in the limelight to persuade the Jewish community from
shrinking (it is wise to stick together) and for what Novick calls "moral
capital" to buy support for Israel. He could have called it "moral blackmail".

In American society, rhetoric, films, Holocaust museums and academic studies
keep the Holocaust alive, whether as a Jewish memory or as moral awareness.
And now in London, coinciding with the British publication of Novick's book,
the David Irving libel trial has brought the Holocaust to the forefront of
the public's mind.

Novick describes how the memory itself has been transfigured. Accusations of
passivity are balanced by accounts of Jewish heroism, especially in the
Warsaw ghetto uprising. Hannah Arendt's evidence that some Jews collaborated
is bitterly rejected, but Novick also objects to claims of sanctity and
uniqueness: they trivialise every other atrocity, from slavery to Pol Pot's

As a European Jew, I dislike any victim identity and have never been sure
about the uniqueness of the Holocaust or its use as a moral benchmark.
Novick's exposition of this highly sensitive conundrum is courageous,
powerful, undogmatic, and I am persuaded that the Holocaust is neither
unique, nor a moral benchmark. He has also made me think twice about the
proposed Holocaust day in this country.



Collection of projects focused on the Holocaust and its denial


The Holocaust by Martin Gilbert (HarperCollins Pounds 16.99)

The definitive work

Chicago Tribune

March 5, 2000 Sunday


By Ron Grossman, Tribune staff writer.

In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, recently convicted of being chief operating officer
of the Holocaust, received a letter from a Lutheran minister, Paul
Achenbach. In the spirit of one German appealing to another, he urged
Eichmann to publicly repent. It was generally expected that an Israeli court
shortly would sentence the former SS officer to be the first person put to
death by the Jewish state. But Achenbach argued that a contrite petitioner
always has a chance of one last hearing by God and humanity.

"Be subject to the mercy of the earthly judges," he implored, "just like
that of the heavenly one."

By return mail and in scathing terms, Eichmann told Achenbach to keep his
advice to himself.

"I didn't know that I had asked you to trouble yourself with me," Eichmann
wrote from a prison cell where he had been held since being captured by the
Israelis in 1960, 15 years after World War II. "I reject as arrogant duress
your attempted pressure on me to admit guilt on my part . . . where none

Eichmann spent the remaining eight months of his life writing a book. He
left notes for some future editor that his correspondence with Achenbach
should be printed as an appendix.

After he was hanged, Israeli authorities kept his manuscript under lock and
key until releasing it last week for use in a British court case pitting a
Holocaust historian against a Holocaust denier.

Scholars thought Eichmann wrote in the hope that Israel's Supreme Court
might read his book and spare his life, assuming it a thinly disguised plea
for mercy. Yet had those justices laid eyes on Eichmann's manuscript, they
might well have ordered the knot tied ever so much tighter.

The book turns out to be an elaboration of his exchange with Achenbach--a
1,300-page explanation of why he felt no guilt. Part memoir, part
philosophy, it's maddening to read, precisely because it doesn't read like
the words of a mad man.

Instead, with his reasoned arguments, a monster responsible for the deaths
of millions, has left us--quite unintentionally--an invaluable lesson about
the power and the limitations of the human mind.

We like to think of reason as the faculty that separates us from lower
beings and brings us closer to the divine. But Eichmann's book should be
read as a cautionary tale of how, by sealing off the moral sense, nimble
reason can beg questions of good and evil that ought to have simple,
straightforward answers.

When at his trial he was asked how he pleaded to the charges against him,
Eichmann responded, "Not guilty in the sense of the indictment."

He was taking a middle position between extremes staked out by other former

Before Rudolf Hoess was hanged in 1947, the former commandant of Auschwitz
calculated that more than a million Jews had been gassed there. In
retrospect, Hoess judged the Holocaust a mistake because it brought Jews
sympathy, furthering the quest for world domination that Hoess, still a
faithful Nazi, believed Jews were after.

"I also see now that the extermination of the Jews was fundamentally wrong,"
Hoess wrote in his autobiography. "It in no way served the cause of
anti-Semitism, but on the contrary it brought the Jews far closer to their
ultimate objective."

Albert Speer, on the other hand, had no doubts of his guilt as he sat in a
courtroom in Nuremberg, Germany, while he and other top Nazis were tried for
war crimes in 1946.

"A man could not be one of the leaders of a powerful historical entity and
then slide out of it with cheap excuses," Speer, who headed munitions
production, wrote in his prison diary. "We had gambled, all of us, and lost."

Like Hoess, Eichmann belatedly concluded that the attempt to destroy
European Jewry was an error. But unlike Speer, he firmly declined to take
personal responsibility for his part in the Final Solution.

In his book, Eichmann recalled how, as a young man, he bought into Hitler's
analysis of Germany's problems. Defeated in World War I and forced to pay
heavy reparations, Germany experienced wild swings of the economy that
ruined much of the middle class, including Eichmann's family.

For that tragedy, Hitler had a simple answer. Germany's misfortunes were the
result of the Jews' machinations. There was an international conspiracy of
Jewish financiers to enrich themselves at the Germans' expense. The
solution, then, was obvious: Get rid of the Jews. Responding to that idea,
Eichmann joined the Nazi Party and the elite SS in 1932.

Three decades later, Eichmann easily could spot the flaw in that logic: Not
all bankers are Jewish. Not all Jews are bankers.

"International high finance was and is one of the greatest of all evils," he
wrote, sitting in an Israeli prison cell. "But to put the emphasis here on
the Jew is to misjudge the situation. And Hitler misjudged the situation."

Eichmann could even belatedly lament the millions of human tragedies that
were the consequence of the Nazis' false logic.

"I regret and condemn," Eichmann wrote in 1961, "the activities of
destruction against the Jews ordered by the then German leadership."

Yet nowhere in his lengthy, handwritten manuscript, did Eichmann put the
possessive pronoun "my" in front of those "activities of destruction." To
avoid that part of speech that would imply accepting personal
responsibility, he filled page after page with philosophical discourse.

He doesn't shy away from detailing his own activities before and during
World War II. One of his first assignments was to encourage Jewish
emigration from Germany while extorting fees and confiscating property of
Jews desperate to escape. When that policy was supplanted in 1942 by the
decision to annihilate the Jewish people, Eichmann became chief
troubleshooter for the Final Solution. He described how he roamed
Nazi-occupied Europe, straightening out glitches in a system routing Jews to
the gas chambers.

At his trial, Eichmann styled himself not an ideologue, but a minor
bureaucratic cog in the Nazi hierarchy. While testifying, he apologized for
not speaking a more literary German.

Hannah Arendt, a brilliant philosopher who covered the trial for The New
Yorker magazine, accepted the image Eichmann offered his judges. She wrote
that she doubted he would ever read a book until being assigned by Nazi
superiors to monitor Jewish publications.

Eichmann's manuscript, however, reveals him to be a voracious reader and
amateur philosopher. He tucked a paperback copy of Kant into his army
jacket. He knew not only Plato's doctrines, but of his failed attempt to go
from philosopher to politician. He was reading thinkers then just coming to

"I can not share Sartre's point of view," Eichmann wrote, "that life, like
death, is meaningless."

The final third of his book traces Eichmann's intellectual odyssey. Raised
in the Lutheran church, he abandoned his faith when he joined the SS. But
although Hitler wanted his followers to have no other gods but him, Eichmann
insists he didn't abandon religion for political considerations.

"An angry and vengeful God had become unimaginable to me," Eichmann wrote.
"That seemed all too human to me."

Upon Germany's defeat in 1945, Eichmann was captured by the Americans but
escaped and made his way to Argentina. In the decade before Israeli agents
caught up with him, he put the finishing touches on his personal philosophy.
 From 19th Century German philosophers of the Romantic School, he took the
idea that the world is an ever-evolving organism. Every last bit of matter,
humans included, is linked in that organic whole, its destiny already
determined when the universe was born.

"So I had to wait 5 billion years," Eichmann wrote, "until the all powerful
order commanded me to take the human form of existence for a short time."

Having reached that perspective, it was not without reason that Eichmann
rejected Achenbach's urging to repent. No wonder his strange plea at his
trial: "Not guilty in the sense of the indictment." From his standpoint, it
should have read: "Were you the involuntary agent of an impersonal force
when you signed orders sending millions to their deaths?"

Free will, the prerequisite of human responsibility, had no place in
Eichmann's mental universe.

"I myself was unable to jump over my own shadow," he wrote. "I was only a
tool in the hands of stronger powers."

It is tempting to ridicule the figure of Eichmann jumping through
metaphysical hoops to avoid confronting the magnitude of his misdeeds. But
he held no patent on the temptation to do so.

Consider the case of Arendt, who covered Eichmann's trial. As a Jewish
refugee from Hitler's Germany, she knew the evil of Nazism. Before the war,
she had been a student and lover of the distinguished philosopher Martin
Heidegger. He stayed and became a Nazi for the most crass of reasons: To
achieve his ambition of heading a university. For that bauble he put on a
Nazi uniform and gave propaganda lectures to the students.

Many of Heidegger's friends rejected him, yet Arendt spent years trying to
restore his reputation, as if the brilliance of his ideas could wipe away
the stain of his deeds.

She was a philosopher: What about those of us who don't have her wisdom?
It's all too easy to rationalize our failings, because their scale isn't
cosmic like Eichmann's.

So we might well turn the memoirs of this consummately evil monster, one of
history's most heinous murderers, into a valuable lesson.

For 1,300 pages, Eichmann carries on a supposedly rational discourse with
himself and whoever else might read his manuscript. In the end, what his
prodigious efforts tell us is how easy it is to use the intellectual gift to
bury the moral sense.

Eichmann couldn't have possibly known how on target he was when picked a
title for his book. In a note to a future editor, he suggested his book be
named, according to the motto of the ancient Greek philosophers: "Know

It was a goal he so clearly demonstrates he could never reach. But we ought
to redouble our own efforts to do so. The evil he worked should be a
constant reminder of how dangerous it can be to substitute mere
philosophizing for honest soul-searching.

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