This is an interesting story on the response of Shraga Elam, an Israeli historian now living in Switzerland, to an article in the New York Times by Sam Roberts on how the US recruited ex-Nazis after the war.
Roberts makes much in his article about the role of the British appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj al Amin Husseini, a minor war criminal. For example although Muslims were indeed recruited to their own SS Divisions, they were not involved in the deportation or rounding of Jews. In fact, as Gilbert Achcar notes in his recent book on Arabs and the Holocaust, which I have reviewed recently, these SS Divisions had to be sent to France for ‘retraining’ where they promptly defected trying to join the French Resistance. The only known example of a revolt by SS Divisions!
But there have been repeated reports of Israeli use of ex-Nazis. Not merely Hans Globke, whose main role in the Interior Ministry concerned the question of Jewish names (all Jews had to have the names Israel or Sarah added to their identity cards). Rauff was a far more serious war criminal and Raul Hilberg in his The Destruction of European Jews details his command of a unit of the Einsatzkommando in Tunisia in 1943 where he tried to begin the round up of the Jews and the construction of an extermination camp. However the German army was none to keen on extending the final solution to North Africa, not least because of the attitude of the Arab population.
One of Rauff’s ideas, borrowed from the activities of the activities of Einsatzgruppen A (killing squads) in the Baltic Republics which energetically sought to stimulate pogroms against the Jews in order to justify their murderous activities. Other war criminals that Israel had a relationship with include Otto Skorzeny, an SS officer who masterminded and personally commanded the rescue of Mussolini from captivity in 1943.
Rauff originally headed the Technical Department of the SS in which capacity he developed the mobile gas vans which first saw service as part of the 'Euthenasia Programme' known as T4. His department developed them as an alternative to the mass shootings in Russia and the Ukraine which were found to cause psychological problems to the murderers. These vans were used to carry out the first murders in the death camps of Belzec and Chelmno prior to the installation of permanent fixtures and the use of Zyklon B in Birkenau.
I am however sceptical of the idea that the capture of Eichmann resulted from a rebellion by Isar Harel against Ben Gurion. Lenni Brenner's suggestion that the Eichmann trial was a direct result of the Kasztner trial, which had split Israel over the role of the Zionist movement during the war, seems more credible. There may be a number of reasons for the files on Eichmann remaining under lock and key, not least his relationship to Kastner and the activities of the Jewish Agency in Hungary. Tom Segev in The Seventh Million is also of the same opinion.
Re: Declassified Papers Show U.S. Recruited Ex-Nazis
Dear Sam Roberts,
With a lot of interest I read your article “Declassified Papers Show U.S. Recruited Ex-Nazis".
As an Israeli investigative journalist who is acquainted with some of the issues mentioned in the new report, I’d like to add few comments:
When will Israel establish a similar commission to clarify how many and to what extent Nazi criminals were recruited and protected by the Israeli government?
See e.g. the cases of Walter Rauff , Hans Globke Kurt Becher and Jaac van Harten.
The authors of the new report , although they mentioned Walter Rauff, don’t refer to the clear proofs, also in the CIA files, that Rauff worked for the Israeli secret services; i.e. he was on the payroll of the Israeli government and protected by its agents.
Moreover they make positive references to a dubious study by two German historians, who allegedly found the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews in Palestine. In all the documents these two mentioned in their German publications, there is no single proof for their claim but just speculations. One document referred to by them as the alleged “smoking gun” (but not quoted) says even clearly that the German army opposed having a SS unit under Rauff in its Africa Corps and this was before the defeat at El Alamein. The German army asked explicitly that Rauff’s unit, whatever its job was, should be send back to Berlin from Athen, where they waited for deployment in Egypt (again no mention of Palestine).
But even if this two German historians are right, why Goda and Breitman do not even mention that the same major Nazi criminal, Walter Rauff, who allegedly was to murder all the Jews in Palestine during WWII, was employed and protected by the leaders of the same Jewish community after the war?
In the service of the Jewish state
By Shraga Elam, Dennis Whitehead
In the late 1940s, Walther (Walter) Rauff, an SS officer who was responsible for the murder of at least 100,000 people and was wanted by the Allies as a war criminal, was employed by the Israeli secret service. Instead of bringing him to justice it paid him for his services and helped him escape to South America. Documents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that have been released over the past several years show that the Americans were aware that Rauff's case was not exceptional. A CIA memorandum dated March 24, 1950 describes the relations between the Israel agent Edmond (Ted) Cross, whose name is deleted on this document, and a Nazi named Janos Walberg: "Subject's engagement be [sic] the Israeli Intelligence Service would fit into the picture as revealed by talks with X with [Edmond (Ted) Cross a.k.a. Magen or Crowder] consisting in the utilization of former Nazi elements for observation and penetration in the Arab countries. The attempt to send the well-known former SS Colonel Walter Rauff to Egypt having failed, the Israeli Service with all probability (however this has not yet been confirmed) had engaged Subject [Walberg], whose sentiments and past would arouse no suspicions in Egypt that he is a Jewish agent."
An earlier document, from February 1950, states that Cross helped Rauff obtain the necessary papers for immigration to South America, even though the attempt to send him to Egypt had failed. Why, though, did Israel help Rauff? This document provides a hint: "It is not improbable that Subject's presence in Syria was in connection with a mission for the Israel[i] service." Rauff was indeed in Syria, serving as military adviser to President Hosni Zaim, who sought a peace agreement with Israel. Rauff was forced to leave after Zaim was deposed in a military coup.
The mission Rauff was to have carried out in Egypt is not known, but his connection with Cross may supply more than a hint. According to research by Ruth Kimche, a former Mossad employee, Cross was sent in July 1948, as the War of Independence raged, to assassinate several key figures in Egypt with the help of a group of Jews. At the last minute the mission was called off. Cross returned to Egypt in September, but again the plan was not executed, probably because he became entangled in a love affair with the Egyptian Princess Amina Nur a-Din and had to leave the country. According to Kimche, "The whole story is very reminiscent of the Lavon Affair of the 1950s, except that fortunately for them the 1948 plan was not implemented, apparently thanks to the Egyptian princess."
But the plan was not jettisoned, either. In 1949, as the U.S. documents show, Cross wanted to sent Rauff to Egypt. According to another document in Rauff's CIA file, Rauff did not reach Egypt, but a 1953 memorandum quotes the U.S. ambassador to Egypt as saying that a man named Rauff was in the country. True, the memorandum describes this Rauff as a Pole, but it also notes that he organized the extermination of Jews in Poland, making it very likely that the reference is to the famous Nazi officer.
Rauff was born in 1906. He served in the German Navy from the age of 18. In 1937 he was dismissed for conduct unbecoming an officer due to adultery. A close friend and fellow former naval officer, Reinhard Heydrich, who was then deputy commander of the SS under Heinrich Himmler, helped get him into the Nazi organization. Initially Rauff served in SS headquarters in Berlin. After the conquest of Norway in 1940 he headed the security police there for three months. That year he was reinstated in the Navy, at his request, and commanded a fleet of minesweepers, but in 1941 Heydrich summoned him back to SS headquarters.
When Heydrich was appointed governor of occupied Czechoslovakia, Rauff accompanied him to Prague as his technical assistant. He returned to Berlin in June 1942, after Heydrich's assassination by the Czech resistance. Rauff was appointed head of the SS Technical Department and was responsible for the project of extermination using gas vans. After Jews and others were herded into the back of a gas van, the vehicle was sealed and the exhaust pipe introduced into the back. When the engine was turned on the fumes killed everyone in the back of the vehicle. Between 97,000 and 200,000 people, most of them Jews, were murdered in this way. This method of mass murder was too slow and cumbersome for the Nazis, however, who went on to develop the gas chambers using Zyklon B as the killing agent.
From July 1942 until May 1943, Rauff also commanded the Einsatzkommando (a unit of the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing squads that were in charge of annihilating Jews) in North Africa and was responsible for concentrating the Jews in Tunisia. In July 1943, after a brief stay in Berlin, he was made commander of the Einsatzkommando in Corsica, and from September 1943 until the end of the war was the SS Kommandant in Milan. As such, he took part in the secret negotiations that led to the surrender of the Nazis in northern Italy.
Rauff, unlike other Nazis who participated in the talks, was arrested by the Allies on April 30, 1945. In 1947 he escaped and was recruited for Syrian intelligence by Captain Akram Tabara, who gave his name as Dr. John Homsi.
Rauff advised President Hosni Zaim in Syria and was arrested on the day of the coup against him. Rauff managed to convince his captors that he was only an adviser and had no command powers; he was released but ordered to leave the country.
According to one of the versions in the CIA files, Rauff was suspected of ties to "subversive Communist activity," as the agent of a German named Von Lipkau. After Rauff's expulsion from Syria, he was supposed to accompany Lipkau to India to disseminate Communist propaganda. According to one CIA report, the mission was aborted because Lipkau remained in Tel Aviv due to other commitments.
From Damascus Rauff went to Beirut, and from there to Italy. With the assistance of Israeli, and apparently also British intelligence, he sailed for South America in December 1949. He settled in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. A 1953 report put him in Buenos Aires, where he probably headed an anti-Communist group. In 1958 Rauff moved to Chile, obtaining permanent residency status there a year later. He became a cattle and fish merchant and was described as a rancher and an industrialist. His son, also named Walter, was accepted to the Chilean naval academy and was the protege of Chief of Staff General Carlos Prats, a supporter of the socialist President Salvador Allende. The son denies that his father ever worked for Israel.
On December 19, 1962, Rauff was arrested in Chile after West Germany requested his extradition. Chile's Supreme Court refused the request and released Rauff. Allende's election as president did not change the situation: in a friendly letter to Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal Allende wrote that he could not reverse the court's 1962 decision.
In September 1973, Allende was killed in a military coup against his democratically elected government. A few months later, the French paper Le Monde reported that Rauff was appointed head of Chile's intelligence service; the report was denied by the Chilean government. Ten years later, in January 1984, Chile turned down an extradition request for Rauff from Israel's Justice Ministry. A month later, West Germany repeated its extradition request. Chile said the case would be reopened only if it were presented with evidence of new crimes. Extraditing Rauff would not serve any public interest in Chile, the court said, since he had lived in the country for many years and his behavior was always beyond reproach.
The U.S. government got into the act, emphasizing to Chile its conviction that Nazi criminals must face trial. The Santiago government came under heavy international pressure to extradite Rauff. Both President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addressed the issue in 1984, but their comments did not impress Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld traveled to Chile to organize protests over the issue and was arrested twice for disturbing the peace.
Then director general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, David Kimche, visited Santiago in 1984. The press reported that he urged his hosts to deport Rauff, whom he described as one of the major war criminals living in a Western country. His wife, Ruth Kimche, said on behalf of her husband that he does not recall this; they were in Chile on a private visit, she says. The sincerity of the Israeli efforts toward Rauff's capture can be gauged from the fact that already in 1979 Israel sold patrol boats to Chile and then overhauled Chilean war planes, and in 1984 was still assisting with their maintenance.
Rauff died of lung cancer in May 1984. The statement issued by the Israeli embassy sounded like a sigh of relief: "The problem with Mr. Rauff is now solved. God has tried him."
The fact that Rauff supplied intelligence to Israel has been published before, but for some reason the reports did not generate a public debate over the moral implications of Israel's providing protection to a major Nazi criminal, who was the subject of an international campaign by Nazi hunters Simon Wiesenthal and Beate Klarsfeld to bring him to trial. Similarly, the renowned U.S. Holocaust researcher Richard Breitman, who as director of historical research for the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group reviewed Rauff's CIA file, chose to ignore information indicating that Israeli intelligence systematically employed Nazis in Arab countries.
According to CIA records Rauff's handler was Ted Cross, whose Hebrew name was David Magen. Cross was recruited in 1948 for clandestine activity by Asher Ben-Natan, director of operations in the Foreign Ministry's Political Department, which served as the precursor to the Mossad. Cross was fluent in several languages and had served in British intelligence in World War II.
According to an article by Gil Meltzer in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth from a year ago, Cross - who was from a wealthy Jewish Budapest family named Gross - was an international adventurer, a hedonist and a womanizer. To pay for his flashy lifestyle, he dealt in drugs. When Israel discovered that he had also sold his services as an agent to Egypt - for the very handsome sum of $20,000 - he was arrested and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. After his release he went into the restaurant business and, among other things, helped found the Wimpy's hamburger chain.
Can the Israeli government be blamed for the ties between Cross and Rauff, or was this a private initiative by the double agent? The CIA, it turns out, did not know some important details about Rauff's connections with Israeli intelligence.
In Passover of 1993, Shlomo Nakdimon published an interview with Shalhevet Freier in Yedioth Ahronoth. In the late 1940s Freier was a branch director in the Foreign Ministry's Political Department, and in the 1970s he chaired the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. He has since died. In the interview he related how he had recruited Rauff in Italy, after friends in the Italian Foreign Ministry tipped him off about the new arrival. Rauff was using an alias at the time. According to Freier, then, it was the Political Department that employed Rauff; there is no mention of Cross in his interview.
Freier told Nakdimon that Ben-Natan and the director of the Political Department, came to Italy especially "in order to watch the adviser to the president of Syria enter the house of their man in Rome." Freier introduced himself to Rauff as a representative of Israeli intelligence. For an entire month the Nazi criminal sat and wrote a report on Syria's military deployment.
"When he didn't know the answer to a question, Rauff called friends in Syria for additional information," Freier said. The Israeli government not only paid Rauff, but also arranged for a legitimate Italian visa. Rauff, his wife and their children sailed from Genoa to South America. He handed Freier the last part of the report in the port.
The CIA received information that Rauff had acted on behalf of British intelligence in Syria and gave his handlers a copy of the Syrian intelligence service and political police reorganization plan. He seems to have been the servant of several masters at once. According to the CIA documents, in November 1949 Rauff arrived in Rome from Beirut and stayed at the Pensione Telentino under the name of Walter Ralf. Sources at the hotel said that he had little money and lived frugally. He had no visitors and received only a few telephone calls. A Catholic priest known for his Nazi leanings gave Rauff 40,000 lire. On December 17, 1949, Rauff set sail for Ecuador. Both the ticket and his passport were supplied by either Israeli or British intelligence.
In January 1950, Cross told CIA agents that Rauff had left Italy and had severed his ties with Israeli intelligence, but had left behind many interesting documents. Cross promised to bring them to the next meeting, but the agents did not really believe him.
Freier said in the interview that Rauff continued to write to him. He told Nakdimon that he maintained contact with the Nazi "because I thought that one day I might need him. The Arabs trusted him."
Ben-Natan, who later served as director general of the Defense Ministry and ambassador to France and to Germany, now confirms that Freier employed Rauff but says he received a report from him to this effect only post factum. In retrospect, Ben-Natan today believes it was a mistake to forge ties with the Nazi criminal, but emphasizes that he provided very important material.
In the memoirs he published five years ago, Ben-Natan has a different account. He writes that Freier "succeeded in sending to Syria a former Nazi officer, who upon his return brought information about the deployment of the Syrian army." Ben-Natan confirms that the officer was Rauff, but is not absolutely certain which version is correct. In writing the book, he says, he relied solely on his memory.
What did the Israelis who hired Rauff know about his past? Were they aware of the gravity of his crimes? Asked by Nakdimon whether he knew at the time that Rauff was responsible for the gas-vans and the death of up to 200,000 people, Freier said he was not: "I asked him about his past, and he claimed that he had been the Gestapo official in charge of forging British pounds in order to subvert the British economy. Only years later did I hear on the radio that the Americans, after decoding files of senior Nazis, stated that Rauff had been in charge of all the engineering activity of the Gestapo."
It is difficult to believe that Freier did not know who he was recruiting. On May 2, 1945, many newspapers reported that "the infamous Colonel Rauff, the long-sought head of the SS in Milan, was captured." On October 19, 1945, Rauff, in American captivity, signed a sworn declaration admitting his involvement in killing Jews in the gas-vans. This document was submitted at the Nuremberg trials, together with a letter from his subordinate, Dr. August Becker, which contained a report about technical problems in the mass murder of the Jews. Apart from this, Rauff's name appears 31 times in the transcripts of the Nuremberg trials. This information was readily available: all one had to do was contact Dr. Robert Kempner, an American Jew who was the deputy chief prosecutor at Nuremberg, or the Jewish observers who followed the trials. Ben-Natan, who collected material about Nazi war criminals during this period in Europe, confirms that this information was available.
Rauff's mention in connection with the SS project to forge British banknotes calls into question another operation in which Freier was involved. At the end of the war, a Jew named Jacques Van Harten, one of the central agents of the forgery project, contacted Jewish soldiers from Palestine in northern Italy and offered them large quantities of forged banknotes in return for protection. (An article about this episode appeared in this magazine in 2000.)
In addition to large sums of money, Van Harten was also in possession of a large quantity of jewelry. Shmuel Ossia, an associate of Freier, testified that Freier interrogated Van Harten at length about his past. Ossia remembers seeing the frightened Van Harten in the corridor during the interrogation, which went on for a few days. Van Harten undoubtedly related how he had helped Himmler's special envoy, Kurt Becher, who was in charge of plundering the property of Hungarian Jewry, and revealed what he knew about the source of the forged British money, which later, thanks to Van Harten, would become a crucial source of funding for the illegal immigration and arms purchasing operations of the Haganah, the forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces.
The extent of Freier's awareness of Van Harten's deeds is shown not only by the commanders of the illegal immigration project (Aliyah Bet), but also by the fact that in an interview to the historian Nana Sagi in 1966, he said with feigned innocence that he did not understand how no reference was made to Van Harten in the Kastner and Eichmann trials. Sagi did not ask Freier why he did not use his extensive connections to address the issue.
The Americans arrested Van Harten in Italy, on suspicion of abetting the escape of Nazi war criminals. The Mossad l'Aliya Bet - the clandestine organization of the Jewish community in pre-1948 Palestine, which was in charge of the illegal immigration of Jews to the country - tried to obtain Van Harten's release. Yitzhak Tamari, a soldier in the Haganah who knew why Van Harten had been arrested, protested to the commander of the Haganah unit in Italy, Eliahu Ben Hur (Cohen). Ben Hur, who later became a major general in the IDF, told Tamari that Van Harten had been promised protection and a gentleman always keeps his word.
Following Van Harten's release, in 1946, Ben Hur instructed his father, Abba Cohen, Tel Aviv's fire chief, to help Van Harten acclimatize. Van Harten opened a jewelry store on Nahalat Binyamin Street, near the Carmel produce market. Abba Cohen later got a job in one of Van Harten's businesses. Van Harten died in 1973, a respected businessman and a resident of the upscale community of Savyon who during the war had used his money and connections to save Jews and smuggle out valuables for them, particularly jewelry. His family stuck to this account even after the publication of the article in 2000. The jewelry store, by the way, closed down soon after the article appeared.
Freier also helped Van Harten in 1947, when the British wanted to deport him. He put him in touch with the Jerusalem lawyer Mordechai Eliash and was probably also responsible for a letter sent to the British by Golda Meyerson (Meir), as the acting foreign minister of the Jewish Agency, stating that Van Harten was under the protection of the pre-State Jewish community, the Yishuv, because he had ostensibly helped save Jews.
But Van Harten was small fry compared to Rauff, who was a criminal on the same scale as Eichmann. It is thus not surprising that Klarsfeld, who invested considerable efforts to bring Rauff to trial, almost slammed down the telephone receiver when she heard that he had been employed by Israeli intelligence and had received its assistance in escaping to Europe. "In 1984, when I campaigned in Chile for Rauff's extradition, I had no knowledge of so-called 'contacts' between him and the Mossad," Klarsfeld wrote in an e-mail. "I doubt that it could have been possible, because Rauff was well-known in the Jewish world for his role in the gassing program by trucks and also because he persecuted the Jews of Tunisia when he was head of the Nazi police in Tunisia, and he persecuted the Jews in Italy when he was head of the Nazi police in Milano." Similarly, the director of the Israeli office of the California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Ephraim Zuroff, finds it improbable that Freier did not know about Rauff's crimes. W
Saturday, August 14, 2010
See also Mossad and MI6 hired Nazi Walter Rauff and The Bush Connection
Did Ben Gurion sell his soul to Satan?
Original Hebrew from 5 August 2010 :
What else is there to hide about the kidnapping of Eichmann? Isser Harel's revolt against the nuclear "Old Man"
According to Tom Segev (Haaretz 28 Jul. 2010), one of the subjects for which the classified status of the relevant documents has been extended to seventy years is the kidnapping of Eichmann. This appears strange on the face of it, for what secrets could still remain about an event that took place half a century ago and which has been the subject of an ocean of books, articles, films and so much more?
But if we take into account the fact that the German intelligence agency BND is also struggling with clenched teeth to conserve the classified status of over 3,500 Eichmann documents, then Segev's claim takes on an additional dimension and it is reasonable to assume that the issues are related. According to the BND the aforementioned documents, which are in its possession and not in the Federal Archives, will be declassified in 2017 at the earliest, or 2025 at the latest. A ruling by the German Federal Administrative Court (the full decision in German) stated that some of the classified documents contain the secrets of "a foreign public authority," most likely Israeli, but apparently not received from it officially. At least some of the documents are supposed to be disclosed at the end of August by order of the court, but we can already draw some conclusions about the nature of the secrets. The German journalist Gaby Weber, who submitted the appeal for the declassification of the documents, believes that there was nuclear cooperation between West Germany, Israel and Argentina in the 1960s, and allegedly because Adolf Eichmann was hampering the German project in Argentina, he was handed over to Israel by the Germans and not in fact kidnapped by an Israeli secret service as the official Israeli story would have it.
While Weber's theory about the kidnapping seems completely fantastical, illogical and lacking serious grounding in facts, she has nevertheless succeeded in raising a very interesting matter: the fact that there are indeed in the public domain German and Argentine documents that indicate the existence of such a German-Israeli-Argentinian nuclear triangle. Uranium was sent to Israel from Argentina and from Germany Israel apparently received important technology, and especially financing for the Israeli project in the amount of at least 500 million deutschemarks.
And whereas much of the history of the Israeli nuclear project is indeed known, the question of the financing of such an expensive undertaking has not been solved and to all intents and purposes has not been investigated.
There is a link between Germany's support for the project and the kidnapping of Eichmann, but it appears to be completely different from what Weber fantasizes.
On 14 March 1960 West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion met in New York. German documents show that at that meeting Adenauer promised to pay Israel the sum of 200 million deutschemarks a year over 10 years, including at least 500 million for the nuclear project.
Two months later, on 11 May 1960, Eichmann was kidnapped in Argentina and on 23 May Ben Gurion announced that the Nazi criminal was already in Israel.
Is it possible that the two incidents were linked? There is no doubt that the kidnapping of Eichmann put a strain on the agreement between Adenauer and Ben Gurion: the German Chancellor was furious and suspended the first payment until the end of Eichmann's trial. He also sent a representative to Israel who received a personal promise from Ben Gurion that there would be no "campaign of incitement" against West Germany, and an Israeli representative in Germany further promised the chancellor that Israel would not pursue the 2,000 criminals who were mentioned in the Ludwigsburg Archives.
And indeed Ben Gurion is known to have intervened in at least two matters under deliberation in court. In the words of the historian Prof. Yechiam Weitz:
"On two occasions Ben Gurion intervened in trials relating to the same subject: our relations with West Germany. The first time he requested that the prosecution not raise in court the matter of Hans Globke, a close advisor to Chancellor Adenauer who had been involved in the passing of the 'Nuremberg Laws' during the Nazi period. The second time it was at the initiative of Hausner. In a measure that was characterized as 'an irregular procedure' he sent him the draft of the opening speech and Ben Gurion raised a single point: the question of Germany. He requested that the word 'Nazi' be added after the word 'Germany' [in Hebrew the adjective follows the substantive it modifies – trans.] in order to distinguish between Nazi Germany and the new Germany, which in his eyes was 'different.' " (Haaretz, 23 Jan. 2009)
Ben Gurion knew very well that Globke was a Nazi criminal who obviously was connected to Eichmann and also that the German establishment at that time was swarming with Nazi criminals like him. In other words, at that time it was certainly too early to speak of a "different" Germany. In her book on the Eichmann trial, Prof. Hanna Yablonka entitles the chapter that deals with the then prime minister "Ben Gurion, an enigma." The historian points to some of Ben Gurion's contradictory behaviour but she does not resolve the contradiction.
The most logical explanation, which is supported by additional facts, is that the kidnapping of Eichmann should be seen as a mutiny by the head of the intelligence services, Isser Harel, against Ben Gurion. That is, the "head" attempted to sabotage Israel's rapprochement with West Germany. According to this analysis the kidnapping of Eichmann was a maneuver against Ben Gurion, who was then forced to walk between raindrops in order to control the damage that had been done to his policy towards Germany.
Without going into all the facts that support this theory, we would do well to point out that not only is it clear that there was no formal discussion within the government to authorize the kidnapping and even Ben Gurion looked surprised. Indeed in 1966 Uri Paz, a journalist who was close to Isser Harel, published a fascinating novel that constitutes an indictment of Ben Gurion for his relations with Germany. "Demoncracy – the rule of Satan" is the title of the novel (The "demon" can be read in Hebrew also as Dimona, the place in the Negev desert where the nuclear reactor was built), which combines fiction with provable facts. "Satan" is Ben Gurion, who was willing to decree Nazi vermin to be whitewashed and to permit Germany to develop a nuclear bomb program of its own in return for aid in the amount of 500 million deutschemarks and German technicians for Dimona.
My findings so far in the German archives do indeed corroborate the claims about financial assistance, and an interview with a German nuclear scientist who was sent to Israel during the 1960s strengthens the suspicion that the Israel availed itself of the expertise of German physicists who had worked on the Nazi nuclear project.
Even if there if only a part of the theory that has been proposed here is true, not only does that put the Eichmann trial in a different light, but it could also explain why both Israel and Germany are keeping documents on the kidnapping of Eichmann secret.
Below is a link to a conversation I had on the subject on Moshe Timor's program "Shishi Ishi" [personal Friday – trans.] on Israeli state radio's Station 2 on 7 August 2010: (in Hebrew)
Translated from Hebrew by George Malent
tal said... I have assumed, since reading Lenni Brenner, that Eichmann was kidnapped & tried to silence him on the subject of Nazi-Zionist collaboration. The Holocaust Industry was unrolled shortly after Eichmann's show-trial and has been unremitting ever since. As the former Nazi liaison to the Zionist regime, Eichmann would always be a potential danger to the emerging zionist propaganda machine and had to be silenced.
Shraga Elam said...
Lenni Brenner’s claim isn’t supported by any proof and is illogical. If Eichmann was to be silenced he would not be put to trial, where he could say something incriminating in the hope to save himself. It would be much easier to liquidate him. Fact is that Isser Harel responsible for the Israeli secret services was since 1957 not interested in getting Eichmann and all of a sudden, in the beginning of 1960, shortly after Ben Gurion met Adenauer, Harel launched the operation to kidnap Eichmann. Is it a coincidence? Fact is that hijacking Eichmann created a crisis between Adenauer and Israel. This is no speculation. This can be proven. But Eichmann is actually not the main issue, but the German financing of the Israeli nuclear project and also of the war of 1967. Without the German support Israel would not have launched the attack and would have looked for a political solution for the crisis.