eichmann trial
Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann on trial in IsraelGetty

Israel is to release a letter on 27 January written by Adolf Eichmann appealing for clemency after he was sentenced to death in 1962 for his part in the Holocaust. Eichmann joined the Nazi party in 1932 and is widely considered to have been the architect of the Holocaust.

The letter is being released by Israel's President Reuven Rivlin in a ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

After the Second World War, Eichmann escaped a prisoner-of-war camp and made it to Argentina where he lived under a pseudonym. In 1960 he was captured in Buenos Aires by Mossad and brought to Israel, where he was put on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to death and hanged on 31 May 1962.

In the appeal letter to then president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Eichmann says he was "a mere instrument in the hands of the leaders" and says he does not feel guilty as he does not think he was responsible.

He wrote: "There is a need to draw a line between the leaders responsible and the people like me forced to serve as mere instruments in the hands of the leaders. I was not a responsible leader, and as such do not feel myself guilty.

"I am not able to recognise the court's ruling as just, and I ask, Your Honour Mr President, to exercise your right to grant pardons, and order that the death penalty not be carried out."

The letter is signed and dated 29 May, two days before he was hanged.

Along with Eichmann's letter, Rivlin will release letters appealing the sentence from Eichmann's wife and five brothers; along with Ben-Zvi's rejection letter to his justice minister. The ceremony will be attended by Holocaust survivors. Last week, an Israeli Holocaust survivor became the oldest man in the world.