Eichman's only regret: He didn't finish the job

New recordings of infamous Nazi war criminal in his most candid, intoxicated moments before his capture are discovered by 'Der Spiegel.'

April 3, 2011 12:40
1 minute read.
Adolf Eichmann.

young eichmann 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Audio tapes discovered by the German magazine Der Spiegel give a glimpse into perhaps the only regret that Adolf Eichmann expressed – that he hadn’t succeeded in murdering all of the Jews.

The recordings, made during meetings between former Nazis who had fled to Argentina following World War II, were released by Der Spiegel in a feature published Friday.

German academic reveals secret Israeli Eichmann transcripts
50 years later, new data surfaces about Eichmann trial

According to the report, among the former Nazis living in Argentina, especially those who hadn’t been directly involved in the concentration camps, there was a common belief that the tale of Jewish genocide was a product of propaganda disseminated by the Allies.

Eichmann, however, set them straight. Discussing the systematic crimes against humanity perpetrated by the regime he was an integral part of, he boasted, “I was no ordinary recipient of orders.”

He added, “If I had been one, I would have been a fool. Instead, I was part of the thought process. I was an idealist.”

Expressing his sole note of disenchantment over the Nazi extermination project, he told his fellow Nazis-in-exile, “We didn’t do our work correctly.

There was more that could have been done.”

The recordings made in 1953 reflect the openness under which the former Nazis lived in Buenos Aires . Eichmann, who was known at the time as “Clemens,” socialized with other Nazis, who were well known to the German Embassy.

Although much about Eichmann was revealed in his Jerusalem trial several years later, the newly revealed recordings of him in intoxicated and candid moments provide a view into the demented psyche of a man whose only regret was not killing more Jews.

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