Tapes revealed by Germany’s Der Spiegel shed light on the life of a fugitive Nazi criminal in Argentina after the Second World War (1939/1945). Contrary to his claim during his trial in Israel that he was only following orders, Adolf Eichmann boasted to his friends that he was part of decision making process.
During his trial in Israel in 1961, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust insisted that he was only following orders, but documents and tapes revealed over the weekend by German magazine Der Spiegel show that Adolf Eichmann was an enthusiastic Jew-hater and held on to his anti-Semitic opinions even after World War II.
Before being arrested by the Israeli Mossad illegally operating in Argentina, Eichmann took pride in the crimes he committed and even told a journalist that his only mistake was not murdering all the Jews.
Der Spiegel describes the Nazi criminal's life in Argentina after the war, under the alias of Ricardo Clement. According to the report, he found it difficult to conceal his real identity and quickly abandoned the hiding and security measures and discussed his Nazi past with his friends.
As opposed to many of his former SS friends, Eichmann had a hard time providing for his family, the paper said, based on the Eichmann biography written by David Cesarani. He used to meet regularly with two journalists with a Nazi past and pour his heart out to them: Willem Sassen, of Dutch descent, and Eberhard Fritsch, a German-born Argentine.
Contrary to his main claim during the trial, that he was simply following orders, Eichmann boasted to his friends that he was an idealist who took part in the decision making process. The three would meet every Sunday at Sassen's home in a Buenos Aires suburb and record their conversations.
I didn't just take orders, Eichmann said. If I had been that kind of person, I would have been a fool. Instead, I was part of the thinking process, I was an idealist.
The tapes were found in the German Federal Archives in Koblenz. They include not one word of regret from the man who was one of the masterminds and executors of the Final Solution and who was condemned to death by an Israeli court for crimes against Jews and against humanity.
According to the tapes, Eichmann regretted only one thing – the mistake he made by not murdering all Jews. We didn't do our job properly, he said. We could have done more.