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Posted Saturday, August 14, 1999

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January 1992

Eichmann in 1940Briton Claims to have found Eichmann Memoirs

Controversial historian got papers from a friend of the war criminal

LONDON (Reuters) - A controversial British historian said yesterday that he had found the memoirs of war criminal Adolf Eichmann, 50 years after Eichmann helped organize the mass slaughter of Jews in Nazi Germany.

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 was genuine.

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 fake.

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 Solution".

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 kidnaping.

"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," he said.

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 writing.square

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