March 12, 2010
March 12, 2010
March 12, 2010
Fifty years have passed since Adolf Eichmann’s arrest, but the German foreign intelligence agency, the BND, is still hoping to prevent the release of files detailing his post-war movements. A Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig is currently examining almost 4,500 pages of secret documents on Eichmann, a leading architect of Hitler’s plans to murder Europe’s Jews. The court is soon expected to rule whether the BND’s justifications for concealing the files are still applicable and in line with the country’s freedom of information laws.
The court is using closed “in camera” proceedings in which the three judges considering the case are the only people with access to the files.
“What’s especially interesting is the sheer amount of paperwork that the government is concealing,” says lawyer Remo Clinger, whose law firm Geulen & Klinger is representing German journalist Gabriele Weber in her case before the Leipzig court.
According to paperwork filed with the court, the BND maintains that secrecy is necessary because much of the information contained in the files was provided by an unnamed “foreign intelligence service.” If the information were released, the BND argues, it would deter other nations from sharing intelligence with Germany in the future. “It would adversely affect future cooperations between foreign intelligence services and German security agencies,” the agency’s lawyers argue. The fact that the files are classified has prompted considerable speculation over the origins of the intelligence. The BND has clarified that the intelligence did not come from an American source, and it is widely assumed that it came from Israel’s Mossad, whose agents captured Eichmann in Buenos Aires in 1960. He was subsequently brought to trial in Israel, where he was convicted and hanged.
Hitherto Unknown Levels of Collusion
…In his book, “The Real Odessa,” which describes how the Peron regime systematically aided Nazi war criminals, Goñi documents how Nazi war criminals lived free and easy in Buenos Aires. German Foreign Service members and Nazis visited the same establishments and drank in the same beer hall. The Nazis didn’t hide their allegiances either: “The Nazis would come in, click their heels and throw up their traditional salute,” Goñi told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Eichmann didn’t feel the need to keep a low profile in that community. The German embassy in Buenos Aires gave his wife and children passports in their own name, just as they had given infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele a passport.
Attorney Reiner Geulen thinks that the most explosive information enclosed in the files pertains to Eichmann’s flight from Germany. “He was very chatty in Jerusalem — he knew he was going to die anyway,” Geulen said. According to Geulen, Eichmann explained in great detail who helped him flee Germany and then Europe — information the Israelis were very interested in. “There is good reason to believe that he received help from German, Italian and Vatican officials,” he said.
‘The Time Has Come To Open Them Up’
One of the problems was West Germany’s well-documented reluctance to hunt Nazi war criminals. “Why do you think the Auschwitz prosecutor, and Frankfurt public prosecutor, Fritz Bauer, traveled to Israel to the tell them about Eichmann’s whereabouts instead of telling his own government?” asks Wilhelm Dietl, a former BND agent and author of a book about Eichmann’s abduction from Argentina. “He didn’t trust the Germans to want to find Eichmann…”
March 12, 2010
Sometimes they cut to the essence of the story, those tabloid headline-writers, even when they haven’t got the quotation exactly right. What the German politician being quoted in the Bild article cited above actually said was, “A bankrupt party must use everything he has to make money and serve his creditors. … Greece owns buildings, companies and several uninhabited islands, which can now be used to repay debt.”
What he meant, though, was more accurately reflected in that Bild headline: The Germans are fed up with paying Europe’s bills. They don’t want to bail out the feckless Greeks with their flagrantly inaccurate official statistics; they resent being Europe’s banker of last resort; they object to the universal demand that they plug the vast holes in the Greek budget deficit in the name of “European unity”; and for the first time in a long time they are saying it out loud. Not only are tabloids demanding the sale of the Acropolis, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany’s deeply serious paper of record, has pointed out that while the Greeks are out protesting the raising of the pension age from 61 to 63, Germany recently raised its pension age from 65 to 67: “Does that mean that the Germans should in future extend the working age from 67 to 69, so that Greeks can enjoy their retirement?’// <![CDATA[//
With an unerringly poor sense of timing, the Greeks have, in response, chosen precisely this moment to flaunt their own set of resentments. One Greek minister complained to the BBC that the Nazis “took away the Greek gold that was in the Bank of Greece, they took away the Greek money and they never gave it back.” The mayor of Athens has demanded 70 billion euros for the ruins the Nazis left behind after the war. The Greek consumer organization, not exactly thankful for the German bailout or Europe’s demands for Greek budget cuts, has called for a boycott of German products. Officially, the Germans have described these comments as “not helpful.” Unofficially, the German press is foaming at the mouth (see above), for once reflecting accurately the views of both German politicians and German voters…