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Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK

World: Middle East

War criminal's memoirs to be released

Adolf Eichmann while he was in prison in Israel

The Israeli Government is to release papers written by one of the architects of the Nazi Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann.

The Israeli Justice Ministry says the memoirs, which Eichmann wrote while he was awaiting execution in 1962, would be released soon.

"The intention is to allow public scrutiny of this material as soon as possible through its publication by German researchers together with appropriate footnotes and accompanying material," said a statement.

Since his death, the Eichmann papers have been held under lock and key in the Israeli national archives.

Technician of Death

Eichmann, nicknamed the "technician of death", was regarded as the logistical mastermind of the Holocaust.

[ image: Eichmann made the death camps work]
Eichmann made the death camps work
He was entrusted by Hitler with carrying out the "Final Solution" for the extermination of the Jews.

He fled to South America when Nazi Germany surrendered in 1945.

But he was tracked down in Argentina by agents from Mossad, the Israeli secret service.

He was brought to Israel in 1960 where he was tried and convicted for war crimes.

While he was in prison waiting to be hanged, he wrote his memoirs.

He is reported to have tried to justify his role in the Holocaust.

Son claims inheritance

Israel's Attorney-General, Elyakim Rubinstein discussed the release of the papers with Holocaust experts, the head of the state archives and legal advisers from the Prime Minister's office.

The handwritten memoirs were demanded by Eichmann's son.

Dieter Eichmann told the German newspaper, Die Welt, that he had a right to the material.

"The manuscript belongs to us. It is our inheritance", he said.

The Justice Ministry gave no date for the release of the Eichmann papers, nor did it make clear to whom they would be released.

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