Claims to have found Eichmann
historian got papers from a
the war criminal
(Reuters) - A
controversial British historian said
yesterday that he had found the
of war criminal Adolf Eichmann, 50
years after Eichmann helped
organize the mass
slaughter of Jews in Nazi
David Irving, who has caused a
storm in Germany and Britain by arguing
that the Holocaust took place without
Adolf Hitler's knowledge, said he had sent
the original 1,000
page document to the German Federal
Archive in Koblenz and was confident it
It's "an extraordinary heap of
documents, beautiful material," Irving
told Sky television.
The Observer newspaper said the
authenticity of the memoirs was bound to
be questioned after the 1983 publication
in Germany and Britain of the purported
diaries of Hitler.
The Hitler diaries were quickly exposed as
Irving said he was given the papers by
a friend of the Eichmann family during a
lecture tour of Argentina.
Eichmann, who was put in charge of
organizing the Holocaust, was arrested by
allied forces after World War II but
escaped. He lived in hiding in Argentina
until his kidnaping
by Israeli agents in 1960 and subsequent
trial and execution in Israel.
Irving claimed his discovery in the
runup to the 50th anniversary of the Jan.
20, 1942 Wannsee
Conference outside Berlin which laid
the foundations for the Nazi "Final
He told Sky
the memoirs contained a direct
reference to a personal order from
Hitler to destroy the Jews. The
Observer quoted the historian as saying
he might have to revise his views about
Hitler as a result.
Irving said the Eichmann family had
given the memoirs, probably written in the
1950s, to a friend after his
"The Eichmann family was panic-stricken
that their house would be raided and these
papers that they knew that Adolf Eichmann
had been writing would incriminate them,"
Irving said Eichmann recalled in the
memoirs how he witnessed the mass shooting
of 200 Jews on the Eastern front. A mother
among them held out her baby son
and pleaded for
mercy but both were shot and Eichmann's
driver had to help him clean his
brains-spattered leather greatcoat.
"I stepped forward to rescue the child
because I have children of my own," Irving
quoted Eichmann as