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political world

Eichmann in my hands

jan peczkis|Monday, May 30, 2011

The reader gets a summary of the unfolding Holocaust, and Eichmann's central role in it. Mass ghettoization gave way to mass shootings, which in turn gave way to mass gassings. Eichmann was especially involved in the destruction of Hungary's Jews just as the Red Army was on the outskirts of Budapest. Hungarian Jew Kastner (Kasztner), who made a deal with Eichmann, is mentioned as a "notorious name in Israel." (p. 227).


For four years after the war, Eichmann remained in Germany. Then he fled to Argentina and lived as Ricardo Klement. The Allied search for Nazi war criminals effectively ended about 1947. There was no hint of Eichmann's existence for 15 years. Eichmann's invisibility was facilitated by his careful avoidance of being photographed during the entire Nazi era. When in group photographs, Eichmann would hide his face behind another person.

The rigidity of Eichmann's habits enabled his kidnapping once he had been located in Argentina. The agents said: "Un Momentato Senor" and grabbed him. They examined him, cross-matching such things as his scar, to verify his identity. They then flew him to Israel to stand trial.

The author was a member of Haganah. By the mid-1940's, it had united in effort with the Irgun and the Stern. The author took part in the capture of Eichmann, along with Uzi Gal (best known for his machine gun). The latter was also present at Eichmann's execution in 1962.
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