On This Day — Adolf Eichmann Sentenced to Death by Hanging (December 15 1961)

“I will leap into my grave laughing because the feeling that I have five million human beings on my conscience is for me a source of extraordinary satisfaction.”

SS officer Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann in his cell in Galami Prison in Israel as he awaits his trial.

On December 15 1961, Adolf Eichmann — one of the primary organizers of the Holocaust — was sentenced to death. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Tasked by Reinhard Heydrich with managing the logistics of the Final Solution, Eichmann was a participant in the infamous Wannsee Conference where the decision exterminate the Jews was made. Eichmann and his staff were responsible for organizing the deportations to death camps.

After Germany’s defeat Eichmann fled to Argentina. One of the most wanted Nazis, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad located him in 1960.

On May 11 1960, after extensive surveillance, a team of Mossad agents launched a successful and audacious operation to abduct him and fly him to Israel to stand trial.

During his trial, reporter Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe Eichmann, who appeared stiff and lackluster in comparison to the enormity of his crimes.

The hanging, scheduled for midnight at the end of 31 May, was slightly delayed and thus took place a few minutes past 12:00 a.m. on June 1st 1962.

Within hours Eichmann’s body had been cremated, and his ashes scattered in the Mediterranean Sea, outside Israeli territorial waters, by an Israeli Navy patrol boat.

The capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann

“Operation Finale” is a travelling exhibition that tells the story of the pursuit of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who made his way to Argentina after World War II.

At his trial, Eichmann insisted that he was “just following orders” when he arranged for millions of European Jews to be transported to death camps.

Jim Axelrod examines the actual glass booth that Eichmann sat in during his trial in Israel, and spoke with former Mossad agent Avner Abraham, who curated the exhibit, now at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.


Adolf Eichmann — Wikipedia


On This Day — Adolf Eichmann Sentenced to Death by Hanging (December 15 1961)

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