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Eichmann to Plead ‘not Guilty’ at His Trial in Israel, Lawyer Announces

December 22, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Adolf Eichmann, who directed the extermination of 6,000,000 Jews, will plead “not guilty” to the charges of being responsible for the mass-murder of European Jewry which will be brought against him at his trial here, which is scheduled to open March 6, it was stated here by his defense lawyer, Dr. Robert Servatius, of Cologne.

Speaking to journalists last night, the lawyer said that Eichmann intends “to admit the fact” but will not admit responsibility for the mass annihilation of Jews. His argument will be that he acted under orders, the lawyer told the correspondents. Dr. Servatius held his press conference after a long meeting which he had with Eichmann, in the latter’s prison, yesterday.

Dr. Servatius said that, unlike other Nazis, Eichmann is not trying to hide the fact that he was one, Eichmann is “convinced,” the lawyer stated, that he executed orders handed down by his Nazi superiors, and that “he did what he ought to have done.”

Asked whether Eichmann shows any regret for his mass murder activities. Dr. Servatius replied: “He considers the word ‘regret’ as childish regarding what he has done. You cannot do such things and merely say ‘I’m sorry.'” Dr. Servatius expects to see the prisoner again before returning to Germany. According to the attorney, Eichmann has spent his time writing and reading his memoirs. So far, Eichmann has written 4,000 pages of his life story, signing each page, Dr. Servatius said.


According to the attorney, Eichmann denies that the number of Jews killed in the Nazi extermination program reached the figure of 6,000,000. “The number is much smaller,” Eichmann was reported by the attorney to have insisted, and he said documents will prove the real number.

Dr. Servatius said that Eichmann saw a summary of the articles recently printed by Life Magazine, which were written by one Willem Sassen, a friend of Eichmann’s in Argentina. (The Jewish Telegraphic Agency disclosed recently that Sassen is not German but Dutch, was tried in absentia for his war crimes in both Holland and Belgium, and was sentenced to death by a Belgian military court.)

Eichmann told Servatius he had told his story to Sassen in Buenos Aires in 1955 “while we were drinking wine,” but had not signed the final pages of the manuscript which was to have become a book of his memoirs. The Nazi admitted, the attorney said, that he was present when a Jewish child was murdered by the Nazis and when Jews were taken to the gas chambers. But he insists that some of the opinions in the memoirs are Sassen’s, and not his.

Eichmann denies, Dr. Servatius said, that, as quoted by Sassen, he had said he would jump into his grave happily “knowing six million Jews had preceded me.” Eichmann explains he said when Germany lost the war be felt that at least six million of Germany’s enemies had been killed too.

Dr. Servatius said he plans to put on the stand only one witness–Eichmann himself. The defendant will testify under oath, the attorney stated. He added that the only means of defense open to him is the introduction of documents which he will enter into evidence.

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