Newly-released official documents on Monday shed light on a secret visit to Israel by the wife of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann a month before his execution in 1962.
Details of Vera Eichmann’s visit to Ramle prison near Tel Aviv were revealed by Israel’s state archives which published a visitor’s log showing she went to see her husband on April 30, 1962, spending 90 minutes with him inside the jail.
The visit took place as Eichmann was awaiting the outcome of his appeal to the Supreme Court for clemency, which was ultimately rejected on May 29.
“Vera Eichmann’s visit to Israel was a closely-guarded secret and until now, there has been no documentation indicating whether she actually did visit Adolf Eichmann,” said a statement by the state archives.
“But now, we have located for the first time a prison visitor’s log in which it was recorded that Eichmann’s wife came to visit her husband on 30 April, 1962 and she stayed with him for an hour and a half.”
The wife’s request was discussed by the cabinet on March 18, with prime minister David Ben Gurion saying he thought it would be difficult for Israel to face the international criticism if it refused, according to the archive’s official blog.
He insisted it be done quickly and in secret, and if possible, within 24 hours.
Details from the visitors’ log showed Vera Eichmann entered the visiting room at 12:20am where she spoke to her husband for nearly 90 minutes before leaving at 1:43am.
She was accompanied by two prison officers and another official.
One of the principle architects of the Holocaust, Eichmann was responsible for organising the logistics of Hitler’s “Final Solution” which involved the extermination of six million Jews.
He escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp after World War II and fled to Argentina in 1950, where he lived under a pseudonym until he was snatched by Mossad agents in Buenos Aires in May 1960.
He went on trial in Israel in April 1961, was sentenced to death eight months later and hanged on May 31, 1962.