Adolf Eichmann (AP photo)
Adolf Eichmann pleads for mercy July 7, 1961 during his trial in Jerusalem for war crimes against Jews. Photo by AP Photo
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The West German secret service knew about Adolf Eichmann's hiding place in Argentina nearly a decade before Israeli agents captured the Nazi criminal in 1960, the German daily Bild reported yesterday.

According to documents just released last week, the predecessor of today's Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, knew at least since 1952 Eichmann's fake name and the country where he was hiding. "SS Colonel Eichmann is not to be found in Egypt but is residing in Argentina under the fake name Clemens. E.'s address is known to the editor-in-chief of the German newspaper in Argentina Der Weg [The Way]," an index card from 1952 stated, according to the paper.

Eichmann, considered one of the key architects of the Final Solution, was captured by Mossad agents in 1960. A year later, he was sentenced to death and was hanged in 1962.

Hiding in Argentina, Eichmann indeed used the false name Ricardo Klement. When he sent for his wife and children to join him in South America from Austria, the West German intelligence service, then still called the Gehlen Organization, learned of Eichmann's hiding place but did nothing to attempt to capture him, according to the paper.

German historian Dr. Bettina Stangneth, who has been researching the topic for six years, said the discovery of the index card is indeed a "sensation," according to Bild. "Until now it was not known that the West German secret service knew about Eichmann's hiding place eight years before his arrest."