These Long-Lost Adolf Eichmann Tapes Uncovered Some Disturbing Details

In 1961, Adolph Eichmann, a high-ranking Nazi who had previously been hiding in Argentina since fleeing Europe after the conclusion of the war, was put on trial in Israel. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he faced 15 counts, including crimes against humanity and membership in a hostile organization. The trial garnered international attention for a multitude of reasons. Some questioned whether Israel had any jurisdiction in bringing Eichmann to trial. It was the first trial ever captured on videotape, and the images and testimony that came out of the courtroom brought the atrocities committed by the Nazis to the forefront of people's minds around the globe,

Eichmann was found guilty and handed a death sentence, which was carried out on June 1, 1962. This conviction had come even without one of the biggest pieces of evidence against Eichmann: 70 hours' worth of interviews that Eichmann did in 1957. According to The Daily Mail, these interviews were conducted by a journalist who was a Nazi sympathizer. Some of the recordings are now being heard for the first time and revealed some startling details about one of the darkest moments in human history.

The Eichmann tapes and capture

According to History, Eichmann had been captured by United States forces after World War II, but in 1946 he escaped from the prison camp where he was being held, which meant that Eichmann was not one of the Nazis put on trial before the Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal. After his escape, Eichmann traveled to the Middle East using a false identity, and by 1950 he surfaced in Argentina, the same part of the world to which other prominent Nazis had fled.

In 1957, Eichmann sat down with Dutch Nazi journalist Willem Sassen for a series of interviews. These interviews took place in Buenos Aires. According to The Daily Mail, there were around 70 hours of interviews, but only around 15 hours still exist today, as Sassen eventually taped over the rest of the interviews. The tapes were locked away until a documentary team was given access to them. They form the basis for the Israeli documentary film "The Devil's Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes." (The trailer is on YouTube.)

The same year that Eichmann was being interviewed by Sassen, a German prosecutor secretly informed the Mossad — Israel's intelligence service — of Eichmann's whereabouts. In 1960, Mossad agents kidnapped Eichmann, knowing that the odds of Argentina agreeing to extradite him were slim. They took him back to Israel, which led to his trial and execution.

A disturbing confession

For decades it has been known that Eichmann was one of the architects of the Holocaust, and has even been credited with giving the horrific plan its ominous internal designation, the "final solution" (via The Daily Mail). However, according to The New Yorker, Eichmann denied any involvement in any part of the Holocaust, even saying that he had never killed anyone or given an order to have anyone killed, despite evidence to the contrary. He also argued that he wasn't a high-ranking official within the Nazi ranks but instead nothing more than an underling.

In the recordings from Eichmann's 1957 interviews with Sassen, he was more forward about his involvement. "If we had killed 10.3 million Jews, I would say with satisfaction, 'Good, we destroyed an enemy,”' Eichmann told Sassen. "Then we would have fulfilled our mission."

"It's a difficult thing that I am telling you and I know I will be judged for it," Eichmann said during one of the interview sessions. "But I cannot tell you otherwise. It's the truth. Why should I deny it? Nothing annoys me more than a person who later denies the things he has done."