Who Are Adolf Eichmann's Children?

It's easy to imagine the most vile people in the world, both living and from history, as caricatures. That is, they're thought of strictly in terms of the evil they did, and it's easy to forget that these men and women are, in some ways at least, exactly the same as regular men and women. They do the same things that people who don't commit atrocities do: they have jobs, pay rent, maintain relationships, and in many cases, have children.

Perhaps no group of people is more synonymous with evil than the Nazi regime of Germany in the first half of the 20th century. But in addition to the lengthy list of heinous acts carried out by these men, at the end of the day, they were still men, and they did the things men do, including having children. One such man was Adolf Eichmann who, according to Britannica, was largely responsible for the logistics that led to the deaths of millions of Jews and other people during the Holocaust. He also married and fathered four sons, according to War History Online, all born in South America long after World War II.

Eichmann's Third Act

Adolf Eichmann's biography can be thought of as something like a play, in that it can be divided into three acts. Act 1 was his pre-Nazi life, during which, according to Britannica, he lived a "rather ordinary" life, including some time spent working as a traveling salesman. Act 2 would be his time in the Nazi regime, and the lengthy list of atrocities he was directly responsible for, and which were done on his orders, will not be rehashed here. Act 3 would be his activities after the war.

Eichmann was captured by Allied forces but managed to escape. He then spent the next few years living here and there, under assumed names and with forged documents, before eventually making his way to Argentina. There, according to War History Online, he got a job at a factory and lived a relatively quiet life, during which he fathered four sons: Klaus, Horst, Dieter, and Ricardo. He purportedly believed that he would be safe from justice in Argentina, but in 1960, Israeli intelligence agents learned of his whereabouts and took him into custody from the streets of Buenos Aires. He was then taken back to Israel, tried, and hanged for his crimes in 1962.

One Of His Sons Indirectly Led To His Capture

According to the Daily Mail, three of Eichmann's sons –- the three oldest, Klaus, Horst, and Dieter -– bought into their father's ideology and were even loyal to him after his death (more on their activities in a moment). The youngest son, Ricardo, who was only five years old when his father was captured on the streets of Buenos Aires, rejected what his father had stood for.

Another refugee from post-World War II Germany living in Argentina was Lothar Hermann, who was half Jewish, according to The Guardian. He had a daughter, described as "beautiful," and Eichmann's son Klaus apparently took a shine to her. However, Klaus was also not afraid to make boastful anti-Semitic remarks to anyone within earshot, and on at least one occasion had dropped hints that his father had served in World War II. A few years later Mr. Hermann connected the dots and came to believe that Eichmann was living in Buenos Aires. He sent a letter to Frankfurt, setting into motion the series of events that would culminate in the hanging of Klaus' father.

Eichmann's Oldest Sons Became Hostile After Their Father Died

Adolph Eichmann was hanged in Tel-Aviv on May 31, 1962, according to Britannica. Thousands of miles away, in Argentina, the news didn't sit well with three of his four sons.

As the Daily Mail reports, Horst was an ardent Nazi supporter who flew a Nazi flag above his home and sometimes wore a Nazi armband around Buenos Aires. "When [Adolph Eichmann] was executed, Klaus and Horst became very angry and started attacking Jews," said Carmen Bretín Lindemann, who had been in a relationship with Horst. In fact, Horst and Klaus formed a terror cell that carried out attacks against synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses in the city.

Lindemann further claimed that Eichmann had convinced his sons that he and the Nazi regime were doing the right thing by exterminating the Jews, telling his sons that the Jews had planned to make Germans sterile by putting chemicals in their drinking water. "If Horst thought [his father] was guilty, his whole world would have fallen apart," said Lindemann.

What Became Of Eichmann's Sons?

In 2018, a Daily Mail reporter went to Buenos Aires to try to catch up to Eichmann's living (at the time) sons and/or people who were connected to them. Much of what the newspaper was able to glean came from Carmen Bretín Lindemann, who, as mentioned above, had been in a relationship with Horst.

Horst and Klaus' terror cell was raided by the police, and Horst spent two years in prison for possessing firearms and Nazi propaganda material. Later in his life, he and his brother, Dieter, ran an oil business. Horst died of bowel cancer in Buenos Aires in 2015, at the age of 75. Klaus died of Alzheimer's disease in Germany, also in 2015, at the age of 79. Dieter was still living in Buenos Aires as of 2018, not far from the very place where his father was taken into custody by Israeli intelligence agents, having made a living in construction and via owning rental properties; he declined to be interviewed. Ricardo, the only of Eichmann's sons to not buy into his Nazi ideology, was, as of 2018, an archeaologist living in Germany.