Toronto, February 28, 2000
agrees to release Eichmann
Memoirs to be used
in libel case involving Holocaust denier
by Megan Goldin
- Israel said yesterday it
will hand over unpublished memoirs of
executed Nazi official Adolf
Eichmann for use as evidence in a
British libel suit seen by many Jews as
putting the Holocaust itself on
Controversial British historian
David Irving brought the suit
against U.S. author and professor Deborah
Lipstadt, who, in a 1995 [sic]
book, called him "a dangerous spokesman
for Holocaust denial."
Prof. Lipstadt's book is a study of
attempts to argue that the Nazi campaign
to exterminate Jews never took place.
Israel's Justice Ministry said the
defence team in the libel case had asked
for the memoirs to be released and a
decision to hand them over was taken at a
meeting yesterday between Elyakim
Rubinstein, the Israeli
attorney-general, and Israeli legal
participants agreed on the importance,
as part of Israel's historical duty, of
allowing the public to examine the
memoirs," a Justice Ministry spokesman
"They also decided unanimously that it
would be right to hand over, as soon as
possible, a copy of the manuscript to a
representative of Professor Lipstadt so
she can defend herself in a lawsuit
brought by a Holocaust denier," he
Israel has kept the memoirs under lock
and key for decades. It recently said it
favoured publishing the papers, which
Eichmann wrote by hand from a prison cell
before he was hanged in 1962, the only
execution ever held in the Jewish
The Justice Ministry spokesman said the
public would soon be able to examine the
manuscripts at the state archives.
Eichmann drew up plans that made
feasible Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution"
-- the wartime annihilation of millions of
The official said lawyers for Prof.
Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin Books,
wanted the memoir as evidence against Mr.
Irving's charges that he was slandered and
his reputation damaged by her book,
Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth
A London court has been hearing Mr.
Irving's suit against the American history
professor since January. The case is
expected to last three months.
Jewish leaders have voiced fears that a
victory for Mr. Irving -- who rejects as
vastly exaggerated the commonly accepted
figure of six million Jewish dead -- could
lend credence to neo-Nazis who contend the
Holocaust never took place.
Prof. Lipstadt's book links Mr. Irving
with the growing populaity of white
supremacists in the United States and
neo-Nazis in Europe.
author of a number of hotly debated
books on the Holocaust [sic],
said earlier this month that the Nazi
death camp at Auschwitz in southern
Poland was a type of "Disneyland,"
built by Polish Communists after the
Second World War to attract
Mr. Irving was convicted by a German
court in 1990 for telling a public meeting
in Munich that there were no gas chambers
at Auschwitz, which he described as a very
brutal slave labour camp" where about
100,000 people died.
The handful of historians who have been
allowed to study the Eichmann memoirs say
they found nothing new in the scrawled
account of his role in the annihilation of
But Roni Stauber, an Israeli
historian, who has
Irving and the phenomenon of
Holocaust denial, said that by releasing
the Eichmann memoirs, Israel would show
that the Nazi annihilation campaign
against the Jews was well documented.
"This is always the claim of the
Holocaust deniers -- that there is a
conspiracy to hide the truth," Mr. Stauber
note: On Tuesday, February 29, 2000 the
British High Court ordered Lipstadt's
defence lawyers to turn a copy of the
Eichmann Memoirs over to David Irving,
which they did at 4 p.m., only hours
after they received the document from
Israel. He is not however allowed to
use it except for the trial at this