“Memoirs” of Adolf Eichmann
Yahil discusses the apologetic work Ich, Adolf Eichmann: Ein historischer Zeugenbericht (Leoni am Starnberger: Druffel Verlag, 1980) by Rudolf Aschenauer, a lawyer who defended SS officers. Aschenauer argued that the Nazis did not intend to murder the Jews but to bring about their emigration, and that Eichmann failed to do so because the democratic countries refused to admit them. Himmler and Heydrich ordered the annihilation of the Jews, although Hitler was ultimately responsible for the decision; doubt is cast on the extermination of millions by gas. Aschenauer claims that his book contains memoirs written by Eichmann before his capture in 1959. In fact, these memoirs originate from Eichmann’s 1957 conversations with the Dutch Nazi journalist Willem Sassen in Argentina. The Israel police incorporated this material into the evidence they compiled for Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem. Yahil compares the texts to show that Aschenauer changed the wording of the interview transcript in order to reduce Eichmann’s responsibility.