Did Adolf Eichmann, the man who is considered the architect of the "final solution", order to protect the lives of some 800 Jews during World War II in Berlin? According to an unverified report in the British Sunday Times, the notorious Nazi leader had kept hundreds of Jews in a hospital in the German capital, where they had remained unharmed until the liberation of Germany by the red Army.
The report in the Times depicts how Soviet soldiers found the Jewish survivors at the hospital building in the neighborhood of Wedding during a house-to-house search in the area. "Who are you?" one of the commanders asked the survivors. When they replied that they were Jews, he exclaimed, "You are Jews? But why aren't you dead yet?
According to the Times, some of the survivors were collaborators, spies, or the spouses of influential Germans. Most of them, the report states, enjoyed the protection of high-ranking Nazi officials.
Jewish shop in Berlin after Kristallnacht, November 1938 (Photo: AP)
Others were workers at the hospital, which was originally founded to serve Jews, and which Eichmann insisted continue to serve in this capacity throughout the war.
The Nazis allowed the hospital, which was opened in 1914, to continue operating under the management of a Jewish doctor named Walter Lustig and under the supervision of a Gestapo officer who reported directly to Eichmann.
According to the Times, one of Eichmann's objectives in keeping the hospital open was to deceive Berliners about the fate that awaited Jews.
"With a Jewish hospital still functioning, and Jewish doctors and nurses still caring for the sick, it was possible to spread the lie that Hitler could not possibly intend to exterminate the German Jews," the report explained.
However, as the Nazis' plans for the Jews became clearer and deportations to concentration camps had begun, some of the city's Jews approached the hospital seeking refuge.
Those who eventually survived there, the Times writes, were mostly Jews that had intermarried, and many children, often orphans, whose "Jewishness" could not be properly established for lack of documentation.
Any other records that existed in the place had been destroyed by the Gestapo several days before the Soviet liberation.