Court rules that Eichmann files must stay secret

By Toby Axelrod, July 2, 2013
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Adolf Eichmann on trial

Adolf Eichmann on trial

A German Federal Administrative Court has rejected a journalist's application to see uncensored files relating to the post-war whereabouts of Adolf Eichmann, a chief organizer of the Nazi genocide against the Jews.

The Bild Zeitung newspaper may decide to appeal against the decision to Germany's Supreme Court.

At issue were files that might have shed light on how much the German government knew where Eichmann was well before his capture by Israeli agents in 1960. The Administrative Court turned down the request, based on a finding by a special committee in 2012 that determined some of the files should remain classified.

Bild applied in 2011 to see the files after reporters viewed censored documents in several years ago suggesting that the German Information Agency knew as early as 1952 that Eichmann was hiding in Argentina under a false name. The revelations raised questions about why the German government would have withheld this information from those seeking the Nazi war criminal.

The documents, with some blacked-out text, reportedly revealed that the government knew that the editor of a German newspaper in Argentina knew Eichmann's whereabouts. But it was not until 1958 that the German Secret Service shared this information with the CIA. After learning that the secret service had destroyed thousands of microfilmed pages on Eichmann, the Bild reporter sued for the right to see all that remained.

After a trial in Israel, Eichmann was executed in 1962.

Last updated: 10:13am, July 2 2013