Though the Adenauer government knew that Eichmann was hiding in Argentina, the West German government did not notify the Israeli government.
Hamburg historian Dr. Bettina Stangneth discovered the previous unpublished Eichmann letter to Adenauer in a German archive. She published her findings in a new book on Eichmann to be released next Monday. Other material obtained and published by Bild earlier this year showed that West Germany knew Eichmann’s whereabouts as early as 1952.
In the letter, written while he worked as rabbit farmer in the Argentine village of Joaquín Gorina, Eichmann wrote,
The word “complex” in his letter was Eichmann’s euphemism for the annihilation of 6 million Jews, the extermination of Roma and Sinti, developmentally disabled persons, political prisoners and gays.
Declassified intelligence reports in Germany and the United States showed that Adenauer and the West German government feared that if Eichmann returned to Germany, he would jeopardize the status of many ex-Nazis who were working in all walks of life in German society and the government.
While Adenauer was not a member of the Nazi party, he recruited top-level Nazis to work in his West German administration. According to critics, Adenauer used anti- Semitic language in post-War Germany to describe Jews and justify his country’s payments of compensation to Holocaust survivors as well as gain an entry card back into Western democratic civilization.
The Bild newspaper quoted Dr. Tobias Herrmann, the director of the Federal Archives in Ludwigsburg, saying
The leniency and indifference toward Nazi war criminals during the post-War period in Germany helped to explain Eichmann’s belief, expressed in the letter, that he would not serve a long prison sentence in the Federal Republic.