German court blocks release of secret Eichmann files

Classified documents reportedly reveal West Germany intelligence knew Eichmann was in Argentina as early as 1952.

June 28, 2013 19:54
1 minute read.
Adolf Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem

Adolf Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem 521. (photo credit: JOHN MILLI / GPO)


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The German Federal Administrative Court vetoed a bid to release classified foreign intelligence documents that would reveal Western spies knew where Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann escaped to after World War II, British media reported on Friday.

The documents are also thought to contain details about Eichmann’s kidnapping in Argentina by Mossad agents in 1960, as well as about possible collaboration between Israel and West Germany in the operation.

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Eichmann coordinated the deportation of Jews from across Europe to the Nazi extermination camps.

After he was brought to Israel, he was put on trial and found guilty of war crimes. He was sentenced to death and hanged in 1962 – the sole execution in the State of Israel’s history.

The German court determined the foreign intelligence agency was within its rights to black out passages from the documents, that were requested by German daily Bild. The ruling followed a decision last year in which the court ordered the Federal Intelligence Service to release classified documents.

Bild reported that West German intelligence knew Eichmann was in Argentina as early as 1952.

The CIA wrote to its West German counterpart in 1958 that it had information that Eichmann had lived in Argentina under the alias “Clemens” since 1952, documents released in 2006 revealed. Eichmann’s actual alias was Ricardo Klement.

The German intelligence service said in response to the request to release the documents that most of the files on Eichmann were already public and only a small portion was blacked out due to laws on “protecting state security interests.”

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