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Eichmann’s escape helped by German intelligence and Roman Catholic Church

Saturday, April 16th 2011 - 00:41 UTC
Full article 9 comments
Adolf Eichmann was captured in Argentina in 1960 by an Israeli team Adolf Eichmann was captured in Argentina in 1960 by an Israeli team

The notorious Holocaust planner Adolf Eichmann was helped out of Germany by members of the German intelligence service and the Roman Catholic Church, according to a series of articles by Spiegel based on secret documents.

The documents show that Germany could have captured Eichmann much earlier had it wanted to, and that Germany was terrified that Eichmann’s trial might turn up information it would rather keep hidden.

Josef Urban, a member of Germany’s intelligence organization, was part of the network that helped Eichmann escape the American prisoner of war camp. Eichmann then remained in Germany for several years, before escaping to Argentina via Italy.

Eichmann himself stated that many priests helped him escape to Argentina “without asking questions”.

Historian Gerald Steinacher wrote that Argentine authorities and Catholic priests worked “hand in hand” to protect Nazis. Bishop Alois Hudal helped Eichmann get the documents he needed to escape.

Freelance journalist Gabriele Weber fought a legal battle to force the Germany intelligence service to publish some of its files. They have published files bit by bit; Weber suspects they are hiding more.

The CIA reported that Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s government was following the Eichmann trial “with growing apprehension, sometimes bordering on hysteria”. A Foreign Ministry state secretary said it was “quite possible that incriminating material against employees of the federal and state governments will come to light”.

Germany was worried about the Eichmann trial because “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,” according to Weber.

In fact, Weber said that so little remarkable information came out in Eichamnn’s trial that some suspected Germany and Israel made a “deal behind the scenes.” After initially fretting, then German Chancellor Conrad Adenauer said the Eichmann trial “was excellent.” Shortly after, his government gave 240 million marks to Israel’s military.

The case shows the high degree of cooperation between the Catholics and the Nazis, and how willing German officials were to help Nazis escape, even well after the war.

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  • xbarilox

    “Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family, and my friends. I am ready. We'll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men. I die believing in God.” Adolf Eichmann's last words.

    Just jealous Eichmann was in Argentina instead of the USA. Perón loved them too.

    Apr 16th, 2011 - 01:15 am 0
  • Tim

    1 xbarilox (#). You were quick off the mark!!!! Thanks for the links. I knew the house on Garibaldi Street, now pulled down and a two story office building is there. One of Adolph's sons - the youngest I believe (born in Argentina) - has a removal truck and offered his services to a friend of mine.

    Apr 16th, 2011 - 03:11 pm 0
  • xbarilox

    @ 2 Awesome, lucky you! I would like to meet that guy, not to talk about his father (I don't think he would like me to do that or perhaps yes) but just to see what he looks like. Does he look like her father?

    Apr 16th, 2011 - 05:51 pm 0
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