web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Fifty Years After Eichmann Execution, Israel Thrives

By:
Adolph Eichmann

Adolph Eichmann

Half a century ago in May, Israel hanged Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann for overseeing Germany’s extermination of six million European Jews, fully one-third of the world’s prewar Jewish population. The murder of the six million staggers the mind. Such a vast breadth of our people, each of them with his own individual dreams, loves and aspirations, exterminated.

The Nazi genocide was undertaken through a rail-linked infrastructure of concentration camps, ghettos and “liquidation sites” meticulously administered by SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolph Eichmann, chief of the Jewish Office of the Gestapo. At war’s end Eichmann was captured by U.S. soldiers but managed to hide his true identity and high-ranking role before escaping into the chaos of postwar Europe. He was mentioned during the 1946 Nuremburg trials but by then his trail had gone cold and the world at large seemingly forgot about him. Not, however, Israel and Holocaust survivors seeking justice.

In 1960 Mossad/Shin Bet chief Isser Harel investigated a series of tips on Eichmann’s possible whereabouts, including one from a blind man in Argentina who suspected his daughter was dating one of Eichmann’s sons unknowingly. The Mossad investigation found Eichmann was living under the name “Ricardo Klement” with his wife and four sons in Buenos Aires. Round-the-clock surveillance of the target was established and by April several agents, most of whom had lost family to the Nazis, sprang into action.

On May 11, 1960 as the man believed to be Eichmann got off a bus, the agents snatched him, forced him into a waiting car and sped off to a pre-arranged rented “safe house.” Under interrogation, he immediately admitted he was Adolph Eichmann. The agents kept him at the safe house for some nine days, chained to a bed.

The Mossad knew Argentina would never extradite Eichmann because it had received millions in Nazi bribe money and gold and was sympathetic to pro-Nazi German expatriates who had flocked there after the war. Because of this, the operation had been timed to coincide with Argentina’s 150th anniversary celebration attended by dignitaries from around the world – including an Israeli delegation who flew to South America on a chartered El Al flight. The plane provided an ideal way to smuggle Eichmann out of the country.

On the night of May 20, the empty El Al jetliner was parked on an airport tarmac when a limousine pulled up to the plane and a group in airline uniforms crowded up its steps. Eichmann, who had been sedated, was half-carried to a window seat. Soon the drugged Eichmann, watched over by his Mossad guards, was flying to a Jewish state on a Jewish airline, flown by a Jewish pilot. Quite a turn of events for the monster who during the war had worked so diligently to make the Jews into “an extinct people.”

The next day, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion tersely told the Knesset that the “Israeli secret service had located Eichmann” and he would be tried shortly. The announcement stunned the world and Jews everywhere celebrated. But many world leaders, accustomed to Jews being defenseless victims, were outraged by Israel’s bold action. Argentina immediately called for Eichmann’s return and the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned Israel.

Israel, believing only it could dispense justice to Eichmann proceeded to put him on trial and assembled the prosecution’s case. For nine months the world was riveted as 112 survivors gave heartrending testimony in a Jerusalem courtroom on the suffering that Eichmann had unleashed on the Jewish people.

Sitting behind bulletproof Plexiglas, Eichmann remained impassive throughout the trial, claiming he had no personal hatred of Jews and had “only followed orders.”

In mid-December 1961 Eichmann was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death – the first and so far only time Israel dispensed capital punishment. Five months later, on May 31, 1962, he was marched from his prison cell to a specially constructed hanging platform, where a guard pulled a lever. Eichmann’s body was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the dark waters just beyond Israel’s national boundaries.

The man who had been chosen to act as executioner, a Yemeni Jew, was interviewed many years later on Israel Radio. “It was the greatest of mitzvahs,” he declared, “wiping out Amelek.”

About the Author: Ed Lion is a former reporter for United Press International now living in the Poconos.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fifty Years After Eichmann Execution, Israel Thrives”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The United States condemned Iran for honoring Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh but is not so bothered when Abbas honors PA terrorists.
CIA, Mossad Collaborated on Killing Hezbollah No. 2 Leader in Damascus
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Ed Lion
Rose Lion

“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”

Lion-101714

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

The risks were great, but certain death awaited them if they remained. The gamble paid off, though the family was separated for the next four years of the war.

Beyond the severe discomfort there was also the danger of getting sunk by enemy submarines prowling the seas.

As his bomber lost altitude with the ground rushing up, my father remembered his last thought: “How am I going to get out of this?

Seventy-five years ago on November 10 the Nazis unleashed a wave of terror, destruction and death known as Kristallnacht upon Germany’s Jews, a fearsome presage of the Holocaust. On that day, the childhood of my then-12-year-old father, Kurt Lion, of blessed memory, was abruptly and savagely ended.

Forty years ago this week, Jews the world over watched in agony as Arab terrorists kidnapped and eventually massacred eleven Israeli Olympic athletes. The International Olympic Committee, bowing to Arab pressure, has repeatedly refused these Israelis a proper commemoration. But we as Jews ought to pay them the tribute of remembering their individual lives, deeds, and accomplishments.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/fifty-years-after-eichmann-execution-israel-thrives/2012/08/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: