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Intelligence agency still keeping secrets on Eichmann

The Local · 6 Apr 2011, 14:00

Published: 06 Apr 2011 14:00 GMT+02:00

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Organisers of a Berlin exhibition opening to the public Wednesday to mark the start of the trial on April 11, 1961 say Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) foreign intelligence agency refused access to the relevant files.

"We made a request to the BND around a year ago to be able to look at these files. The response was negative," said Lisa Hauff, curator at the exhibition at the Topography of Terror museum.

This is "absurd" and "outrageous," said Norbert Kampe, head of the Wannsee Conference memorial, which helped on the exhibition at the museum on the site of the Gestapo and SS's former Berlin headquarters.

Eichmann was a key organiser in the deportation and murder of millions of Jews and others during World War II. He escaped from captivity and ended up, like many other war criminals, in Argentina in 1950.

After his capture by Israeli agents, he stood trial in Jerusalem and executed in 1962.

Freelance journalist Gaby Weber last year won a legal victory forcing the BND to make available some of its files, which it is now doing, but only step by step.

According to Der Spiegel magazine, they show that the BND, or rather its forerunner Organisation Gehlen, was aware as early as 1952 that Eichmann was in Argentina - eight years before his capture.

This is not that spectacular, observers say, but the BND's reluctance to release these files, and the fact that it is still blocking access to others, has raised suspicions that it may be hiding more explosive secrets.

"I have seen some of the (released) files, and a great deal is blacked out. They are basically just trial documents with very few interesting things," Weber told Deutschlandfunk radio this week.

The suspicion is that the government of chancellor Konrad Adenauer wanted to prevent Eichmann being captured in case he revealed highly embarrassing details about the pasts of high-ranking figures in the West German elite.

Eichmann's kidnap came at a frosty time in relations with communist East Germany (GDR), which had long accused West Germany of rehabilitating old Nazis in high positions, and at a particularly tense period in the Cold War.

In 1961 the GDR erected the Berlin Wall and the CIA sponsored the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. The following year was the Cuban missile crisis.

"Bonn is on trial with Eichmann," ran the headline of GDR newspaper Neues Deutschland, reporting on what it said was "panic" in Adenauer's government.

The most prominent example was Adenauer's chief of staff, Hans Globke, who had been involved in drawing up anti-Jewish legislation under the Nazis. Der Spiegel last month quoted CIA files as saying Bonn was "on the brink of hysteria."

"Eichmann was like a walking bomb because he knew so much ... and if he had spilled the beans he would have sent quite a few people into a spin," Weber believes.

The fact that Eichmann in the event kept quiet on this aspect, and on other Nazis in Argentina, raises the suspicion that there was a "deal behind the scenes" between West Germany and Israel, Weber said.

Adding fuel to the fire are accusations that the West German embassy in Buenos Aires appeared to be well aware that Eichmann was in Argentina, despite its claims to the contrary after his capture.

Story continues below…

"Nazi diplomats got top jobs in South America (after 1945), particularly in countries run by dictators," said Kampe.

"Every Nazi criminal on the run got their identity papers issued at the embassies, from (Josef) Mengele, the concentration camp doctor, to Eichmann. It cannot possibly be that ... Bonn didn't know about it."

Eichmann's sons applied for passports at the Buenos Aires embassy in 1954, using their real surnames and even putting as their father SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer ("SS Lieutenant Colonel") Eichmann, reports said.

"There should be another ruling in the coming weeks that we hope will release most of the remaining files, if not all of them," Weber's lawyer Reiner Geulen said.

A spokesman for the BND, Dieter Arndt, declined to comment while Weber's legal action was ongoing.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:02 April 6, 2011 by whpmgr
I am not saying it was right, but how does anyone think the Germans could have formed a functional government in such a short amount of time? The fact is that almost every Judge, Lawyer, Doctor, Minister, Teacher, Professor, you name the profession, was an active Nazi. Teh Jews that made up a great deal of the other professionals in Germany were eradicated and there weren't too many non-nazis left. You could eaither get rid of 90 Plus percent of germans after the war, or accept that anyone with an education or skills, probably worked for the war machine willingly, or in few cases, just biding their time and taking the cause on so they could continue to work and not be on the political prisoner list. There is an excellent book written, Hitler's willing Executioners, it says quite a great deal of what happened with quotes form credible sources (germans themselves in letters, pictures, and stories they told).

Teh world should not be shocked. A nation does what is in its best interest, and if keeping the secrets safe work in its interest, can you blame them?

Germany is recovering quite well economically. How damaging could it be if soemone decides to stir up hatred or bad feelings towards Germany based on stuff that is so old it really isnt relative or of any importance in today's political scene. How many people are even left from those days? Fewer every day I think. Let it go. Put it in your history books so we can be aware of what happened, hwo it happened and the significance of it, but don't try to bring down the only steaming economy in Europe.
18:26 April 6, 2011 by Sastry.M
The first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr.Konrad Adenauer was an eminent lawyer and former Mayor of Cologne during Nazi rule. He kept himself away from active politics during the N.S tsunami all over Germany .Having grown up during the welfare state of German Reich, witnessed the drastic turn of events consequent to ww1 and even more horrors during and total destruction after ww2 his vast experience seasoned him into a shrewed politician and greatly helped in pulling Germany out of woods and giving direction to the victors of west in dealing with calculated soviet moves from behind the iron curtain. He was accused of retaining and employing many former Nazis in all govt.positions and even survived an attempt against his life as narrated in Wikipedia.

Both BND and CIA were instituted by the former Nazi intelligence org.. general Reinhard Gehlen. BND's inhibitions can be dug out from the book by E.H.Cookridge, Gehlen : Spy of the Century and decide for oneself about the double standard foreign policies of U.K and the U.S.A.
19:11 April 6, 2011 by whpmgr
Sastry m: You can look at wikipedia and quote them? They are hardly a hard and fast source of real research. They are more open to bending of facts than most any other source. SO I will discount most of what they say regarding Herr Adenaur, and use it only as a reference point. Double standards of the UK and CIA? HArdly once again. What is in the interest of a country must be sought if that country is meant to maintain sovereignty. I do not care on blade if what Germany does affects anyone else but Germany. They need to protect themselves, and not worry about everyone else. A good politician knows how to work the nation's best interests into a coherent foreign and internal policy that will both work and float amongst its supporters and enemies.

I do not care if Adenaur stayed away from teh politik. I care even less about anything the Soviet Union (RUSSIANS) did in those day from behind teh formiddible Iron Curton. It is not pertinent to this article. What is pertinenet is this:

Who cares how many Nazis worked in the BUndesAmt over 70 years ago. If they were in tehir 20's then, they certainly-if still alive today, are not working for the government now. THey may have State secrets in their heads, but they won't live too much longer to be of import. In the 60's an American President was assassinated-JFK. Most of the info on his death is still kept secret, so as not to reveal all of the potent people that were involved with that affair.
19:40 April 6, 2011 by Curmudgeon
Mark Rigg's book claims that there were approximately 150,000 Jews in the German armed forces during WWII.

Hennecke Kardel's book claims that the Jews in Argentina told him that Eichmann was Jewish, as were Heydrich, Frank, Rosenberg, and others.

Eichmann may have known too much, but perhaps not what we think.
17:54 April 8, 2011 by who+dares+wings
Germany needs to set down more cornerstones in the erection of a nation wide "culture of remembrance." Voters should let their representatives know they want them to cut back the spending on free nuclear submarines for Israel and redirect these taxpayer funds into building more Topography of Terror Museums throughout the country. Why? Because you can visit a terror museum, but not an atomic submarine. Those are top secret and invisible! Terror museums are also better than submarines for teaching children about good and evil. Regularly scheduled interactive exhibits about Gestapo and SS terror will leave a lasting impression on young minds especially when presented as games and cartoons. Nobody likes to be terrorized by the nazis, not even nazis!
07:04 January 24, 2012 by Dennis Bridwell
The UN should have protested the kidnapping of a Argentinian citizen by Israelis, transporting him to a country that didn't exist when his crimes were alleged to have been committed and tried also in a country that did not exist for crimes in yet another country.

Then to execute the man was a Crime Against Humanity itself. Eichmann may have been guilty but his arrest, trial and execution should have been carried out legally.
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