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Associated Press

August 12, 1999

Eichmann Papers Found in Germany

Associated Press Writer

Berlin (AP) -- Adolf Eichmann's apparent first attempt at a prison memoir has been found in files brought to Germany decades ago after the Nazi war criminal's trial in Israel, a German Nazi hunter said today.

Prosecutor Willi Dressen, who heads the agency coordinating efforts to track down Nazi crimes, came across the 127 handwritten pages two days ago after a German newspaper asked him whether his agency had a copy of the 1,300-page memoir Eichmann wrote while in an Israeli prison.

"We don't have that, but I found something else," he said in a telephone interview. The pages titled "My Memoirs" were located in prosecution files brought to Germany after the Holocaust mastermind's 1962 execution. "Apparently they fell into oblivion," Dressen said. The subject of Eichmann's memoirs came under public scrutiny Tuesday when Israel announced plans to release the 1,300-page version for publication by German scholars.

The manuscript has been locked in Israel's national archives for decades. Israel decided to get it published after one of Eichmann's son's, Dieter, claimed the manuscript as family property. Dressen said that in the 127 pages in Ludwigsburg, where his agency is based, Eichmann uses bombastic language and tries to justify Nazi crimes.

"I think it would be very interesting for psychologists," Dressen said. "But there are no new facts that will require us to rewrite history." Dressen said all of his agency's Eichmann files are open for historical research, but not to the general public. He said his agency has no plans to publish the 127-page manuscript.

The pages Dressen found apparently were written earlier than the version stored in Israel. Notations on the pages say they were handed over to Israeli police on June 16, 1960. That was a month after Israel's then-prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, announced Eichmann was in Israel.

Eichmann escaped to South America after World War II, but was kidnapped in Argentina in 1960 by Israeli agents. At his 1961-62 trial, he maintained that he was a midlevel official who was only carrying out Adolf Hitler's orders. That view is repeated in the longer memoir, according to two Israeli historians who are among a handful of people to have read it.square

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