Regrets, He Had a Few
What Eichmann wished he had done differently
In honor of the anniversary of Israel’s historic trial of Adolf Eichmann (which began fifty years ago next Monday), Der Spiegel is, in the best tradition of contemporary Germany, taking a hard look at the final years of the architect of the Final Solution, including its government’s own continued complicity in his freedom (German intelligence knew he was in Argentina as early as 1952, and the CIA knew a few years later).
The series is ongoing, and much of it is a tick-tock of the years leading up to his capture, containing previously known facts that are also described in Nextbook Press’s brand-new tome by Deborah Lipstadt, The Eichmann Trial.
However, Der Spiegel, which gained access to “formerly confidential, secret and top-secret documents” in a host of archives, did break some “news” over the weekend. Specifically, Eichmann did regret one thing about his actions during the Holocaust: That he didn’t finish the job. “We didn’t do our work correctly,” he told confidantes in a recorded conversation. “There was more that could have been done.” Was he just following orders? Er, no: “I was no ordinary recipient of orders,” he told them. “If I had been one, I would have been a fool. Instead, I was part of the thought process. I was an idealist.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.