JERUSALEM, Feb. 28 (JTA) — Israel has decided to release the memoirs Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann wrote prior to his execution in Israel in 1962.
The decision followed consultations in the Justice Ministry on whether to make the document available for American scholar Deborah Lipstadt in the ongoing London defamation suit brought against her by Holocaust revisionist David Irving.
Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein said Monday the decision reflected Israel’s “historic sense of responsibility” to do “everything possible to fight Holocaust denial.”
Prior to Monday’s decision, the Justice Ministry had been discussing how to release the memoirs, which have been in the state archives for nearly four decades and have been viewed by only a handful of researchers.
Rubinstein said the request to use them in the Holocaust-denial suit expedited the process.
“This trial speeded up the decision to make it available,” Rubinstein said.
Along with publishing the 1,200-page memoirs, Israel will provide a copy of the manuscript for Lipstadt’s lawyer.
Irving is suing Lipstadt, a professor at Emory University in Atlanta, and her publisher, Penguin Books, charging they libeled him in Lipstadt’s 1994 book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.”
Irving, who denies that Jews were systematically exterminated at Auschwitz, is claiming that Lipstadt ruined his career by labeling him a Holocaust denier and accusing him of distorting historical data to suit his ideological predilections.
Irving has claimed that Hitler did not know until the final stages of World War II about the Nazis’ “Final Solution” to exterminate European Jewry.
During the Justice Ministry deliberations regarding the release of the memoirs, it was pointed out that Eichmann wrote several times that Hitler was aware of the plan.
While Eichmann maintains in the journal that he was only a mid-level official carrying out orders, he does not deny the Holocaust occurred.