‘I don’t feel guilty': Nazi Holocaust mastermind Eichmann's last clemency letter released
Nazi Holocaust organizer Adolf Eichmann who was executed by Israel back in 1962 for numerous war crimes, considered himself “a mere instrument in the hands of the [Nazi] leaders,” a letter to the then-president asking for clemency reveals.
The information was released on Wednesday by the office of Israel's President Reuven Rivlin. The documents will be officially made public at a ceremony at Rivlin's official Jerusalem residence at International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The request of one of the masterminds of the ‘Final Solution’, a German plan for the extermination of the Jews during World War II, was made to then president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.
"There is a need to draw a line between the leaders responsible and the people like me forced to serve as mere instruments in the hands of the leaders," Eichmann’s letter says, as cited by Times of Israel.
Eichmann, one of the most powerful men in the Third Reich, wrote that he "was not a responsible leader, and as such do not feel myself guilty."
Eichmann wrote that the Israeli court had overestimated his role in masterminding the ‘Final Solution’, which killed 6 million Jews with the goal of eradicating them altogether.
"I am not able to recognize the court's ruling as just, and I ask, Your Honor Mr. President, to exercise your right to grant pardons, and order that the death penalty not be carried out."
According to the Holocaust organizer, it is also incorrect that he “was influenced by human emotions.”
He claimed that “under the impression of the unspeakable horrors” which he saw, he “immediately requested a transfer to a different post.”
“Similarly, I revealed of my own will during the police investigation, horrors which had been till then unknown in order to help establish the undisputable truth.”
The letter was signed: “Adolf Eichmann Jerusalem, May 29, 1962.”
Following the surrender of Nazi Germany in May 1945, Eichmann who had ordered Jews into ghettos and labor camps – was arrested and confined to an American internment camp, but managed to escape.
He fled to Austria and then to Argentina, where he lived under the assumed name of Ricardo Klement for nearly a decade. In May 1960, Israeli Mossad agents located him in Buenos Aires and smuggled him to Israel.
Eichmann went on trial for crimes against humanity, as well as against the Jewish people. More than 100 witnesses testified against him. Found guilty on all counts, the man who personally oversaw the extermination of Jews in Auschwitz was sentenced to death and hanged at Ramleh Prison May 31, 1962.