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High-ranking Nazi official Adolf Eichmann captured

High-ranking Nazi official Adolf Eichmann captured



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On May 23, 1960, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announces to the world that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured and will stand trial in Israel. Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” was seized by Israeli agents in Argentina on May 11 and smuggled to Israel nine days later.

Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany, in 1906. In November 1932, he joined the Nazi’s elite SS (Schutzstaffel) organization, whose members came to have broad responsibilities in Nazi Germany, including policing, intelligence, and the enforcement of Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies. Eichmann steadily rose in the SS hierarchy, and with the German annexation of Austria in 1938, he was sent to Vienna with the mission of ridding the city of Jews. He set up an efficient Jewish deportment center and in 1939 was sent to Prague on a similar mission. That year, Eichmann was appointed to the Jewish section of the SS central security office in Berlin.

In January 1942, Eichmann met with top Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference near Berlin for the purpose of planning a “final solution of the Jewish question,” as Nazi leader Hermann Goring put it. The Nazis decided to exterminate Europe’s Jewish population. Eichmann was appointed to coordinate the identification, assembly, and transportation of millions of Jews from occupied Europe to the Nazi death camps, where Jews were gassed or worked to death. He carried this duty out with horrifying efficiency, and between three to four million Jews perished in the extermination camps before the end of World War II. Close to 2 million were executed elsewhere.

Following the war, Eichmann was captured by U.S. troops, but he escaped the prison camp in 1946 before having to face the Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal. Eichmann traveled under an assumed identity between Europe and the Middle East and in 1950 arrived in Argentina, which maintained lax immigration policies and was a safe haven for many Nazi war criminals. In 1957, a German prosecutor secretly informed Israel that Eichmann was living in Argentina. Agents from Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, were deployed to Argentina, and in early 1960 they finally located Eichmann. He was living in the San Fernando section of Buenos Aires, under the name Ricardo Klement.

READ MORE: The 7 Most Notorious Nazis Who Escaped to South America

In May 1960, Argentina was celebrating the 150th anniversary of its revolution against Spain, and many tourists were traveling to Argentina from abroad to attend the festivities. The Mossad used the opportunity to smuggle more agents into the country. Israel, knowing that Argentina might never extradite Eichmann for trial, had decided to abduct him and take him to Israel illegally. On May 11, Mossad operatives descended on Garibaldi Street in San Fernando and snatched Eichmann away as he was walking from the bus to his home. His family called local hospitals but not the police, and Argentina knew nothing of the operation. On May 20, a drugged Eichmann was flown out of Argentina disguised as an Israeli airline worker who had suffered head trauma in an accident. Three days later, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion announced that Eichmann was in Israeli custody.

Argentina demanded Eichmann’s return, but Israel argued that his status as an international war criminal gave it the right to proceed with a trial. On April 11, 1961, Eichmann’s trial began in Jerusalem. It was the first trial to be televised in history. Eichmann faced 15 charges, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and war crimes. He claimed he was just following orders, but the judges disagreed, finding him guilty on all counts on December 15 and sentencing him to die. On May 31, 1962, he was hanged near Tel Aviv. His body was subsequently cremated and his ashes thrown into the sea.

READ MORE: The Daring Israeli Spy Operation to Capture Nazi Mass Murderer Adolf Eichmann


Adolf Eichmann

Otto Adolf Eichmann [a] ( / ˈ aɪ x m ə n / EYEKH -mən, [1] German: [ˈɔtoː ˈʔaːdɔlf ˈʔaɪçman] 19 March 1906 – 1 June 1962) was a German-Austrian [2] SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organisers of the Holocaust—the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" in Nazi terminology. He was tasked by SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich with facilitating and managing the logistics involved in the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe during World War II. Eichmann was captured by the Mossad in Argentina on 11 May 1960 and subsequently found guilty of war crimes in a widely publicised trial in Jerusalem, where he was executed by hanging in 1962.

After doing poorly in school, Eichmann briefly worked for his father's mining company in Austria, where the family had moved in 1914. He worked as a travelling oil salesman beginning in 1927, and joined both the Nazi Party and the SS in 1932. He returned to Germany in 1933, where he joined the Sicherheitsdienst (SD, "Security Service") there he was appointed head of the department responsible for Jewish affairs—especially emigration, which the Nazis encouraged through violence and economic pressure. After the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, Eichmann and his staff arranged for Jews to be concentrated in ghettos in major cities with the expectation that they would be transported either farther east or overseas. He also drew up plans for a Jewish reservation, first at Nisko in southeast Poland and later in Madagascar, but neither of these plans were ever carried out.

The Nazis began the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, and their Jewish policy changed from emigration to extermination. To co-ordinate planning for the genocide, Heydrich, who was Eichmann's superior, hosted the regime's administrative leaders at the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942. Eichmann collected information for him, attended the conference, and prepared the minutes. Eichmann and his staff became responsible for Jewish deportations to extermination camps, where the victims were gassed. Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, and Eichmann oversaw the deportation of much of the Jewish population. Most of the victims were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, where about 75 per cent were murdered upon arrival. By the time the transports were stopped in July 1944, 437,000 of Hungary's 725,000 Jews had been killed. Dieter Wisliceny testified at Nuremberg that Eichmann told him he would "leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people [b] on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction." [4]

After Germany's defeat in 1945, Eichmann was captured by US forces, but escaped from a detention camp and moved around Germany to avoid re-capture. He ended up in a small village in Lower Saxony, where he lived until 1950, when he moved to Argentina using false papers he obtained with help from an organisation directed by Catholic bishop Alois Hudal. Information collected by the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, confirmed his location in 1960. A team of Mossad and Shin Bet agents captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial on 15 criminal charges, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people. During the trial, he did not deny the Holocaust or his role in organising it, but claimed that he was simply following orders in a totalitarian Führerprinzip system. He was found guilty on all of the charges, and was executed by hanging on 1 June 1962. [c] The trial was widely followed in the media and was later the subject of several books, including Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, in which Arendt coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann. [6]


High-ranking Nazi official Adolf Eichmann captured

Lt Col Charlie Brown

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/eichmann-captured?cmpid=email-hist-tdih-2021-0 [login to see] 1&om_rid=
On May 23, 1960, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announces to the world that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured and will stand trial in Israel. Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” was seized by Israeli agents in Argentina on May 11 and smuggled to Israel nine days later.

Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany, in 1906. In November 1932, he joined the Nazi’s elite SS (Schutzstaffel) organization, whose members came to have broad responsibilities in Nazi Germany, including policing, intelligence, and the enforcement of Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies. Eichmann steadily rose in the SS hierarchy, and with the German annexation of Austria in 1938, he was sent to Vienna with the mission of ridding the city of Jews. He set up an efficient Jewish deportment center and in 1939 was sent to Prague on a similar mission. That year, Eichmann was appointed to the Jewish section of the SS central security office in Berlin.

In January 1942, Eichmann met with top Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference near Berlin for the purpose of planning a “final solution of the Jewish question,” as Nazi leader Hermann Goring put it. The Nazis decided to exterminate Europe’s Jewish population. Eichmann was appointed to coordinate the identification, assembly, and transportation of millions of Jews from occupied Europe to the Nazi death camps, where Jews were gassed or worked to death. He carried this duty out with horrifying efficiency, and between three to four million Jews perished in the extermination camps before the end of World War II. Close to 2 million were executed elsewhere.


Eichmann Classroom Activities – WWII, the Holocaust, and Eichmann

WORLD WAR II BEGAN IN SEPTEMBER OF 1939, WHEN GERMANY LAUNCHED ITS ATTACK ON POLAND, HOME TO EUROPE’S LARGEST JEWISH POPULATION. EICHMANN’S OFFICE GAVE GERMAN TROOPS ORDERS TO KILL JEWS THEY CONSIDERED SECURITY THREATS.

EXPULSION AND MURDER WERE INADEQUATE TO DEAL WITH THE 3 MILLION POLISH JEWS. FROM BERLIN, EICHMANN ROUNDED UP AND FORCED THEM INTO GHETTOS AND LABOR CAMPS.

Although he denied it at his trial, official documents indicated that Eichmann himself suggested ghettoization as an interim method to kill large numbers of Jews. The ghetto was to be Step One in the “Final Solution,” which culminated insurvivors being sent to death camps.

In October 1939, Eichmann was put in charge of a newly created office that had asits purpose the deportation of Jews from occupied Poland so that ethnic Germans from other countries could return to “Greater Germany.” The objective of the office was to deport 190,000 Jews, Poles, and Gypsies. Those who survived the deportations ended up in ghettos. Thousands who ended up in these ghettos died of starvation and disease. And those who survived the horrible conditions of the ghettos were deported to labor camps, concentration camps, or death camps. Few survived to tell of their experiences.

Although the Nazis were successful in isolating Jews socially and economically,their actual physical isolation did not begin until December 1939. Jews had known the ghetto since the Middle Ages, although Jews were then permitted toleave the ghetto during the day and participate in the business of the general community. The purpose of the Nazi ghetto, however, was to confine the entire Jewish population, turning entire neighborhoods into a prison unlike the ghettos of centuries past.

Eichmann hoped that the abominable conditions in the ghettos would deplete the Jewish population quickly and naturally through starvation, disease, and cold. The ghetto served as a holding area for eventual transportation to the deathcamps for the hardy ones who survived brutal conditions.

There was no medicine permitted in the ghettos. The food ration allowed to inhabitants was a quarter of that available to the Germans, barely enough to permit survival. The water supply was often contaminated. Epidemics of tuberculosis, typhoid, and lice were common.

IN 1940, HENRYK ROSS, A PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER BEFORE THE WAR, WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND SHIPPED TO THE JEWISH GHETTO IN THE TOWN OF LODZ. HE SECRETLY PHOTOGRAPHED THE BRUTAL CONDITIONS THERE.

WITH PHOTOS TAKEN BY ROSS AND OTHERS, PROSECUTORS PAINTED A PICTURE OF GHETTO LIFE, INCLUDING THE ONE IN LODZ, WHERE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THOUSAND PEOPLE WE REPACKED INTO AN AREA SMALLER THAN THREE SQUARE MILES. WHEN EICHMANN FORCED ANOTHER TWENTY-THOUSAND INTO LODZ, THE DISTRICT COMMISSIONER NAIVELY COMPLAINED THAT EICHMANN MUST HAVE HAD INACCURATE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CAPACITY OF THE GHETTO. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND JEWS IN THE LODZ GHETTO DIED OFS TARVATION. THE JEWS WHO WERE NOT FORCED INTO GHETTOS WERE CONDEMNED TO POLAND’S 300 LABOR CAMPS.

Einsatzgruppen

IN JUNE OF 1941, GERMANY INVADED THE SOVIET UNION. SPECIAL GERMAN UNITS CALLED EINSATZGRUPPEN FOLLOWED IMMEDIATELY BEHIND THE ADVANCING TROOPS. UNDER ORDERS FROM EICHMANN, THESE UNITS HUNTED DOWN THE JEWS AND KILLED THEM.

Eichmann was the supervisor of the these units. THE MAIN AND PRINCIPLE OBJECTIVE OF THE EINSATZGRUPPEN WAS TO KILL JEWS AND ROB THEM OF THEIR PROPERTY. An estimated 1.4 million Jews were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen. All reports about their activities went to Eichmann.

Records of the Gestapo were destroyed after the collapse of Germany. However,one order which survived and was used as evidence at the trial was from Eichmann to several Gestapo officers to deport 50,000 Jews.

A SPECIAL TRIAL OF EINSATZGRUPPEN OFFICERS HAD BEEN CONVENED AFTER THE WAR AND AN AMERICAN JUDGE, MICHAEL MUSMANNO, HAD PRESIDED OVER IT. HE WAS CONSIDERED AN EXPERT ON THESE SPECIAL UNITS AND HAUSNER CALLED HIM AS A WITNESS TO TIE THEM TO EICHMANN.

The gas chambers

The Eizengruppen’s methods of mass murder were considered inefficient, and it was Eichmann’s duty to develop and implement methods to hasten the annihilation ofthe Jews under Nazi occupation.

The use of gas to kill the mentally insane had been employed in Germany as earlyas 1939. At an October 1941 meeting where Eichmann was present, a decision wa smade to use poison gas to kill Jews. Auschwitz, a camp in Poland, was chosen to test this new method, and it was Eichmann who met with the Auschwitz commandant,Rudoph Hoess, to accomplish this. By the end of 1941, zyclon B gas, which hadfirst been tested on Russian prisoners of war, was found to be a faster methodthat carbon monoxide poisoning (using the exhaust gas from diesel engines).

Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution

THE EINSATZGRUPPEN KILLED NEARLY A MILLION JEWS IN JUST SIX MONTHS. BUT NAZI LEADERS WORRIED THAT CARRYING OUT SO MANY CLOSE UP COLD-BLOODED MURDERS WOULD BETOO MUCH OF A STRAIN ON THEIR TROOPS. EICHMANN BEGAN TO FEEL THE NEED FOR WHATHE CALLED A “MORE ELEGANT SOLUTION,” AND IN A SUBURB OF BERLIN CALLED WANNSEE, HEHELPED ORGANIZE A MEETING OF THE NAZI BRASS TO FIND IT. THE NOTORIOUS WANNSEE CONFERENCE LASTED ONLY AN HOUR AND A HALF, BUT IT PUT INTO MOTION THE PROGRAM FOR THE SYSTEMATIC EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWS AT THE DEATH CAMPS.

AT THE WANNSEE CONFERENCE, EICHMANN PRESENTED ESTIMATES OF THE NUMBERS OF JEWS THAT WOULD BE DEPORTED FROM EACH COUNTRY AND GASSED IN THE CAMPS.

Fifteen high-ranking Nazi officials were in attendance, including Heydrich, for whom Eichmann prepared the conference’s opening speech. At this meeting, the Third Reich adopted a plan to deport Jews to death camps, in what became known asthe “Final Solution.” Most of the debate centered not on the morality of this,but rather what proportion of Jewish blood would merit this “special treatment” and the methods used to effect genocide. Heydrich made it clear that all organizational and logistical requirements would be the responsibility of Adolf Eichmann.

Throughout most of the war, Eichmann was the top official of a bureaucracy designed to deport, concentrate, and murder millions of Jews. He would travel from occupied country to occupied country and assist in making the arrangementsfor the Jews to be slaughtered.

According to Eichmann, it was he who coined the term “Final Solution” to mean the annihilation of the Jewish people. In 1941, Hitler ordered that all Jews in the Reich be killed. A written order to that effect was found to be sent from Gestapo Chief Hermann Goerring to Heydrich. Eichmann, as the Nazi war machine’sJewish expert, was the central instrument in the German War bureaucracy to seethat this order was fulfilled. At his trial in Nuremberg, Goerring denied thatthe words in the directive meant that the Jews were to be killed. In his Sasseninterviews, Eichmann took the credit for drafting Goerring’s directive. It is generally believed that the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust was six million. Five million others also perished as a result of Nazi atrocities.

The end of the war

The Third Reich’s initial military victories were overtaken by stunning defeats.BY THE FALL OF 1944, HEAVY ALLIED BOMBING HAD TAKEN A TOLL ON THE EUROPEAN RAILROAD SYSTEM, WHICH WAS NEEDED FOR BOTH THE WAR EFFORT AND THE DEPORTATION OFJEWS. THE GERMANS WERE ALSO SUFFERING LOSSES ON THE EASTERN FRONT. HOPING TO INGRATIATE HIMSELF WITH THE RUSSIANS, WHO WERE FAST APPROACHING BUDAPEST, HIMMLER TRIED TO HALT THE FINAL SOLUTION. HE ORDERED EICHMANN TO STOP ALL DEPORTATIONS FROM HUNGARY. EICHMANN IGNORED HIMMLER’S ORDERS, AND ROUNDED UP ANOTHER 50,000JEWS. UNABLE TO DEPORT THEM BY TRAINS, HE DECIDED TO MARCH THEM TO THEIR DEATH CAMPS IN POLAND.

With the war seemingly lost, Eichmann set to work with two goals in mind:destroying all documents he could find which implicated him in the most heinous mass murder in human history, and murdering as many Jews as could be accomplished before the cover of war was lifted.

According to one account, he knew that he would be high on the list of war criminals who would be dealt with following the inevitable Allied victory.

by Gary Grobman
copyright © 1997 Gary M. Grobman

Note: Material in all capital letters is copyrighted by other individuals/organizations.


Capturing the Architect of the Holocaust

In the final days of World War II, as the Red Army advanced on Berlin and the Third Reich teetered on the edge of total military collapse, Adolf Hitler famously shot himself in his bunker. A wave of suicides would follow—high-ranking Nazi officials such as Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Philipp Bouhler, and Martin Bormann killed themselves before being captured by Allied forces. Many war criminals, however, managed to escape. As many as 9,000 Nazi officers and collaborators found refuge in South America the majority fled to Argentina, which had maintained a close relationship with Nazi Germany.

Among those who evaded capture was Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS lieutenant colonel who masterminded the identification, assembly, and transportation of European Jews to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. After the fall of the Third Reich, Eichmann, who had come to be known as the architect of the Nazi genocide, was apprehended, but escaped from a detention camp and went into hiding in Austria. An Austrian-born bishop, Alois Hudal, helped Eichmann obtain falsified identity documents issued by the Vatican, enabling him to get an Argentine visa and an International Red Cross passport. (Hudal eventually admitted to abetting Nazi war criminals.) In the years following the war, Argentine President Juan Perón, a longtime admirer of Hitler’s and other fascist regimes, had established a network of so-called ratlines—escape routes—through ports in Spain and Italy to smuggle thousands of former SS officers and Nazi Party members out of Europe.

As the Nuremberg Trials brought Nazi war criminals to justice in 1945 and 1946, Eichmann lay in wait. In 1950, a fugitive who had assumed the alias of Richard Klement boarded a steamship to Buenos Aires. He would establish a middle-class lifestyle in the suburbs of the city with his wife and children, working at a Mercedes-Benz factory.

The thrilling story of how it all came crashing down is told in Randall Christopher’s new animated documentary, The Driver Is Red. A Holocaust survivor who was living in Buenos Aires became suspicious about his daughter’s new boyfriend and his family. Armed with surreptitious photographs of Klement, the father alerted Israeli intelligence, and Eichmann’s identity was confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Mossad Special Agent Zvi Aharoni was sent to Buenos Aires to orchestrate an illegal surveillance and abduction scheme, Operation Finale. Eichmann was apprehended in 1960 and smuggled to Israel, where he would finally face justice. He was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was executed in Jerusalem in 1962.

Christopher’s film noir–inspired animation depicts the dramatic story of Eichmann’s capture. The actor Mark Pinter, reading from Aharoni’s book about the historic Nazi manhunt, lends the late Aharoni’s voice. “The first words Adolf Eichmann uttered to me were, ‘I have already resigned myself to my fate,’” wrote Aharoni, a German-born Jew who escaped with his mother and brother on one of the last trains out of Germany before World War II.

Christopher told me he made the film because he grew up largely ignorant of the Holocaust. This is an alarming trend. A recent survey found that 22 percent of Millennials admitted to not having heard of the Holocaust, while 41 percent of Americans and 66 percent of Millennials said they don't know about Auschwitz.

“In my opinion, we simply must make a deliberate, dedicated effort to know the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust—the most catastrophic event in human history,” Christopher said. The filmmaker believes it is especially important to study Weimar Germany, because “these events sprang from a democratic society with values and culture not much different from what we have today in the West.”

“People simply didn’t recognize that certain decisions and policies—though maybe not so terrible in themselves—open the door for more dangerous scenarios,” Christopher continued. “Nobody was voting for World War II when they voted for Hitler. But in voting for Hitler to do things like get rid of the communists and to bypass a dysfunctional Parliament, they also voted in favor of a situation where World War II and the Holocaust would be a possibility.”

Christopher believes that if the U.S. Congress “remains dysfunctional and unable to work together,” this might pave the way for a similar autocratic leader—something once considered “unthinkable in America.”

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to [email protected]


FBI: Hitler Didn’t Die, Fled To Argentina – Stunning Admission

The FBI.gov website reveals that the U.S. government knew Hitler was alive and well – living in the Andes Mountains in Argentina long after World War II had ended.

The world has been repeatedly told for the last 70 years that on April 30 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker. His body was allegedly discovered and identified by the Soviets before being taken back to Russia.

Is it possible that the Soviets lied all this time, and that the history you have been taught at school is a complete fabrication?

With the release of these official FBI documents it is now confirmed that the world’s most notorious leader actually escaped Germany and lived a peaceful life in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in South America.

And as if that news wasn’t bizarre enough, a photo has emerged recently which purports to show an elderly 95-year-old Hitler posing with his girlfriend in Brazil in 1984.

The above FBI documents show that not only was Hitler and Eva Braun’s suicide faked, the infamous pair might have had help from the director of the OSS himself, Allen Dulles.

In one FBI document from Los Angles, it is revealed that the agency was well aware of a mysterious submarine making its way up the Argentinian coast dropping off high level Nazi officials. What is even more astonishing is the fact that the FBI knew he was in fact living in the foothills of the Andes.

Who is the Mysterious Informant?

In a Los Angeles letter to the Bureau in August of 1945, an unidentified informant agreed to exchange information for political asylum. What he told agents was stunning.

The informant not only knew Hitler was in Argentina, he was one of the confirmed four men who had met the German submarine. Apparently, two submarines had landed on the Argentinian coast, and Hitler with Eva Braun was on board the second.

The Argentinian government not only welcomed the former German dictator, but also aided in his hiding. The informant went on to not only give detailed directions to the villages that Hitler and his party had passed through, but also credible physical details concerning Hitler.

While for obvious reasons the informant is never named in the FBI papers, he was credible enough to be believed by some agents.

The FBI Tried to Hide Hitler’s Whereabouts.

Even with a detailed physical description and directions the FBI still did not follow up on these new leads. Even with evidence placing the German sub U-530 on the Argentinian coast shortly before finally surrounding, and plenty of eye witness accounts of German official being dropped off, no one investigated.

Even More Evidence is Found:

Along with the FBI documents detailing an eye witness account of Hitler’s whereabouts in Argentina, more evidence is coming to light to help prove that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun did not die in that bunker.

In 1945, the Naval Attaché in Buenos Aires informed Washington there was a high probability that Hitler and Eva Braun had just arrived in Argentina. This coincides with the sightings of the submarine U-530. Added proof comes in the form of newspaper articles detailing the construction of a Bavarian styled mansion in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Further proof comes in the form of architect Alejandro Bustillo who wrote about his design and construction of Hitler’s new home which was financed by earlier wealthy German immigrants.

Irrefutable Evidence that Hitler Escaped:

Perhaps the most damming evidence that Hitler did survive the fall of Germany lies in Russia. With the Soviet occupation of Germany, Hitler’s supposed remains were quickly hidden and sent off to Russia, never to be seen again. That is until 2009, when an archeologist from Connecticut State, Nicholas Bellatoni was allowed to perform DNA testing on one of the skull fragments recovered.

What he discovered set off a reaction through the intelligence and scholarly communities. Not only did the DNA not match any recorded samples thought to be Hitler’s, they did not match Eva Braun’s familiar DNA either. So the question is, what did the Soviets discover in the bunker, and where is Hitler?

Even former general and President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to Washington.

It was not only General Eisenhower who was concerned over Hitler’s compete disappearance, Stalin also expressed his concerns. In 1945, the Stars and Stripes newspaper quoted then General Eisenhower as believing that the real possibility existed of Hitler living safely and comfortably in Argentina.

Is it Possible?

With all of the new found evidence coming to light, it is possible and even likely that not only did Hitler escape from Germany he had the help of the international intelligence community. Released FBI documents prove that they were not only aware of Hitler’s presence in Argentina they were also helping to cover it up.

It would not be the first time the OSS helped a high ranking Nazi official to escape punishment and capture. Look at the story of Adolf Eichmann who was located in Argentina in the 1960’s.

Did Hitler escape to Argentina? The answer is yes.

This article was originally published in 2015 and is frequently updated


Contents

After World War II ends, Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) disappears other Nazi leaders commit suicide and none face trial for their crimes. Years later, Mossad agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) mistakenly kills the wrong person while hunting a Nazi war criminal in Austria, damaging his reputation.

In Buenos Aires, Sylvia Hermann (Haley Lu Richardson) unknowingly begins courting the son of Adolf Eichmann, Klaus (Joe Alwyn). At dinner with her German-Jewish father, Lothar (Peter Strauss), Klaus openly speaks negatively about Jews in Germany and claims his father died in the war. Lothar grows suspicious and passes his name along to Mossad in Tel Aviv. Field agent Zvi Aharoni (Michael Aronov) is dispatched in Buenos Aires to begin reconnaissance, presumably being offered the job over Peter.

Klaus takes Sylvia to a meeting, which turns out to be a Nazi revival led by Carlos Fuldner, which Eichmann also attends. Realizing what the meeting is, Sylvia abruptly leaves, ending her relationship with Klaus.

Now working in coordination with Mossad, Sylvia meets the Eichmann family at their home under the guise of reconciling with Klaus. An argument between her and Klaus causes Adolf (living under the name Ricardo Clement and claiming to be Klaus's uncle) to intervene Klaus accidentally refers to him as his father and Eichmann is subsequently photographed. Eichmann notices the operative taking his photo and sketches him.

The Mossad team uses the evidence from the meeting to confirm Adolf's identity and plan his capture - they intend to disguise themselves as an air crew and fly him out while sedated. Peter and his ex-girlfriend Hanna, a doctor, are brought on to the team with her role to keep Eichmann sedated during their travels. While his family and friends try to discern if his disappearance is due to someone discovering his true identity, Eichmann admits who he really is to his captors. Meanwhile, the agents learn their return flight has been delayed by ten days. Furthermore, they are informed the airline will not agree to transport Eichmann unless he signs an affidavit stating he will willfully go to Israel he refuses to sign because he does not believe he will get a fair trial. The team's interrogator is not able to get through to Eichmann, but Peter eventually does by sharing his personal story of the loss of his sister and her three young children to the Holocaust and listening to Eichmann's story about being ignorant of the actual killing of the Jews, his job being focused exclusively on logistics.

During the plane's delay and while they await Eichmann's capitulation, Klaus and the police increasingly investigate Eichmann's disappearance, distributing the sketch of the operative to the public. As the Mossad team prepare to leave, Eichmann drops his polite facade and tells Peter a horrific story of watching 5,000 Jews murdered in a pit, cruelly wondering aloud if one of them (a woman who had begged Eichmann to save her infant) was Peter's sister.

After using US dollars instead of pesos, one of the Mossad agents is captured and tortured until she reveals the location of the safehouse. With the Nazis and police bearing down on them, the rest of the team is forced to drastically alter their escape plan, resulting in two operatives having to be left behind. The police also confiscate the plane's landing permits, grounding it. Peter hand-delivers a copy of the permit to air traffic control and, seeing the police closing in, orders the plane to take off without him.

Later, all the operatives reunite at Eichmann's trial. Text indicates the outcome of his trial and Peter's life.

    as Peter Malkin as Adolf Eichmann as Isser Harel as Dr. Hanna Elian, (based on Yonah Elian) as Rafi Eitan as Klaus Eichmann as Sylvia Hermann as Zvi Aharoni as Lothar Hermann as Ephraim Ilani
  • Greg Hill as Moshe Tabor as Yaakov Gat
  • Michael Benjamin Hernandez as Dani Sharlon as Vera Eichmann as Gideon Hausner as Annie Werner as Carlos Füldner as David Ben-Gurion

On November 16, 2015, it was announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had bought an untitled spec script from Matthew Orton, about the team who found and captured Adolf Eichmann. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones co-produced the film through his production company Automatik. [4] On February 24, 2016, Chris Weitz was reported as being in talks to direct the film. [5]

A deal was struck in March 2017 that saw Oscar Isaac co-produce and star in the film, taking on the role of Peter Malkin. Chris Weitz was set as director. [6] In June, Ben Kingsley was cast as Adolf Eichmann. [7] In August, Lior Raz joined the production, [8] and in September, Mélanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, Joe Alwyn, Michael Aronov, and Haley Lu Richardson were cast, with filming to begin in Argentina on October 1. [9] [10] [11] [12] The cast was rounded out on October 12, and filming was underway in Argentina. [13] Peter Strauss also joined the cast, on November 30. [14] [15]

A clip from the 1959 Douglas Sirk film Imitation of Life featuring actress Susan Kohner is featured near the beginning of this film. Kohner is the mother of this film’s director Chris Weitz. [16]

Operation Finale was originally scheduled to be released on September 14, 2018. However, in July 2018, the film was moved up to August 29, 2018, in the U.S., due to high test screening scores, and to avoid the crowded September field. [17] The film was released outside of the United States on October 3, 2018, by Netflix and later added to Netflix US in February 2021. [18]

The film was released on Blu-ray and Digital HD on December 4, 2018 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. [19]

Box office Edit

In the United States, Operation Finale was projected to gross $8–10 million from 1,810 theaters during its four-day Labor Day opening weekend. [1] The film made $1 million on its first day and $725,891 on its second. It went on to gross $6 million over Friday to Sunday, for a four-day weekend total of $7.8 million, and a six-day total of $9.5 million, finishing fifth at the box office. [20] In its second weekend, the film dropped 50% to $3 million, finishing eighth. [21]

Critical response Edit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 60% based on 123 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Operation Finale is well-intentioned, well-acted, and overall entertaining, even if the depth and complexity of the real-life events depicted can get a little lost in their dramatization." [22] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [23] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 86% positive score and a 65% "definite recommend". [20]

In his review for The Hollywood Reporter, John DeFore called the film "a lively historical thriller" and wrote, "Though not likely to enter the pantheon as either a true-life caper (Argo ' s people-smuggling was more exciting Munich ' s tale of vengeance more affecting) or as a showcase for face-the-past mind games, the drama benefits from a strong cast and can easily replace 1996's The Man Who Captured Eichmann as the go-to dramatization of this episode." [24]

The New York Times ' A. O. Scott gave the film a positive review, "It’s a story very worth telling, told pretty well, with self-evident virtues and obvious limitations. Viewers who see it out of a sense of duty will find some pleasure in the bargain. Call it the banality of good." [15]


Contents

The origins of the first ratlines are connected to various developments in Vatican–Argentine relations before and during World War II. [5] As early as 1942, Monsignor Luigi Maglione contacted Ambassador Llobet, inquiring as to the "willingness of the government of the Argentine Republic to apply its immigration law generously, in order to encourage at the opportune moment European Catholic immigrants to seek the necessary land and capital in our country". [6] Afterwards, a German priest, Anton Weber, the head of the Rome-based Society of Saint Raphael, traveled to Portugal, continuing to Argentina, to lay the groundwork for future Catholic immigration this was to be a route which fascist exiles would exploit. According to historian Michael Phayer, "this was the innocent origin of what would become the Vatican ratline". [6]

Spain, not Rome, was the "first center of ratline activity that facilitated the escape of Nazi fascists," although the exodus itself was planned within the Vatican. [7] Among the primary organizers were Charles Lescat, a French member of Action Française – an organization suppressed by Pope Pius XI and rehabilitated by Pope Pius XII – and Pierre Daye, a Belgian with contacts in the Spanish government. [8] Lescat and Daye were the first to flee Europe with the help of Argentine cardinal Antonio Caggiano. [8]

By 1946, there were hundreds of war criminals in Spain, and thousands of former Nazis and fascists. [9] According to then–United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, Vatican cooperation in turning over these "asylum-seekers" was "negligible". [9] Phayer claims that Pius XII "preferred to see fascist war criminals on board ships sailing to the New World rather than seeing them rotting in POW camps in zonal Germany". [10] Unlike the Vatican emigration operation in Italy that centered on Vatican City, the ratlines of Spain, although "fostered by the Vatican," were relatively independent of the hierarchy of the Vatican Emigration Bureau. [11]

Early efforts: Bishop Hudal Edit

Austrian Catholic bishop Alois Hudal, a Nazi sympathiser, was rector of the Pontificio Istituto Teutonico Santa Maria dell'Anima in Rome, a seminary for Austrian and German priests, and "Spiritual Director of the German People resident in Italy". [4] After the end of the war in Italy, Hudal became active in ministering to German-speaking prisoners of war and internees then held in camps throughout Italy. In December 1944, the Vatican Secretariat of State received permission to appoint a representative to "visit the German-speaking civil internees in Italy", a job assigned to Hudal. [ citation needed ]

Hudal used this position to aid the escape of wanted Nazi war criminals, including Franz Stangl, commanding officer of Treblinka Gustav Wagner, commanding officer of Sobibor Alois Brunner, responsible for the Drancy internment camp near Paris and in charge of deportations in Slovakia to German concentration camps Erich Priebke, who was responsible for the Ardeatine Massacre and Adolf Eichmann—a fact about which he was later unashamedly open. [12] [13] Some of these wanted men were being held in internment camps: generally without identity papers, they would be enrolled in camp registers under false names. Other Nazis hid in Italy and sought Hudal out as his role in assisting escapes became known on the Nazi grapevine. [14]

In his memoirs, Hudal said of his actions, "I thank God that He [allowed me] to visit and comfort many victims in their prisons and concentration camps and to help them escape with false identity papers." [15] He explained that in his eyes:

The Allies' War against Germany was not a crusade, but the rivalry of economic complexes for whose victory they had been fighting. This so-called business . used catchwords like democracy, race, religious liberty and Christianity as a bait for the masses. All these experiences were the reason why I felt duty bound after 1945 to devote my whole charitable work mainly to former National Socialists and Fascists, especially to so-called 'war criminals'.

According to Mark Aarons and John Loftus in their book Unholy Trinity, Hudal was the first Catholic priest to dedicate himself to establishing escape routes. [16] Aarons and Loftus claim that Hudal provided the objects of his charity with money to help them escape and, more importantly, provided them with false papers, including identity documents issued by the Vatican Refugee Organisation (Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza). These Vatican papers were not full passports and thus were not enough to gain passage overseas. They were, rather, the first stop in a paper trail—they could be used to obtain a displaced person passport from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which in turn could be used to apply for visas. In theory, the ICRC would perform background checks on passport applicants, but in practice the word of a priest or particularly a bishop would be good enough. According to statements collected by Austrian writer Gitta Sereny from a senior official of the Rome branch of the ICRC, [17] Hudal could also use his position as a bishop to request papers from the ICRC "made out according to his specifications". Sereny's sources also revealed an active illicit trade in stolen and forged ICRC papers in Rome at the time. [ citation needed ]

According to declassified U.S. intelligence reports, Hudal was not the only priest helping Nazi escapees at this time. In the "La Vista Report" declassified in 1984, Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) operative Vincent La Vista told how he had easily arranged for two bogus Hungarian refugees to get false ICRC documents with the help of a letter from a Father Joseph Gallov. Gallov, who ran a Vatican-sponsored charity for Hungarian refugees, asked no questions and wrote a letter to his "personal contact in the International Red Cross, who then issued the passports". [18]

San Girolamo ratline Edit

According to Aarons and Loftus, Hudal's private operation was small scale compared to what came later. The major Roman ratline was operated by a small, but influential network of Croatian priests, members of the Franciscan order, led by Father Krunoslav Draganović, who organized a highly sophisticated chain with headquarters at the San Girolamo degli Illirici Seminary College in Rome, but with links from Austria to the final embarcation point at the port of Genoa. The ratline initially focused on aiding members of the Croatian Ustaše including its leader (or Poglavnik), Ante Pavelić. [19]

Priests active in the chain included: Fr. Vilim Cecelja, former Deputy Military Vicar to the Ustaše, based in Austria where many Ustashe and Nazi refugees remained in hiding Fr. Dragutin Kamber, based at San Girolamo Fr. Dominik Mandić, an official Vatican representative at San Girolamo and also "General Economist" or treasurer of the Franciscan order - who used this position to put the Franciscan press at the ratline's disposal and Monsignor Karlo Petranović, based in Genoa. Vilim would make contact with those hiding in Austria and help them across the border to Italy Kamber, Mandić and Draganović would find them lodgings, often in the monastery itself, while they arranged documentation finally Draganović would phone Petranović in Genoa with the number of required berths on ships leaving for South America (see below).

The operation of the Draganović ratline was an open secret among the intelligence and diplomatic communities in Rome. As early as August 1945, Allied commanders in Rome were asking questions about the use of San Girolamo as a "haven" for Ustaše. [20]

A year later, a US State Department report of 12 July 1946 lists nine war criminals, including Albanians and Montenegrins as well as Croats, plus others "not actually sheltered in the COLLEGIUM ILLIRICUM [i.e., San Girolamo degli Illirici] but who otherwise enjoy Church support and protection." [21] The British envoy to the Holy See, Sir D'Arcy Osborne, asked Domenico Tardini, a high-ranking Vatican official, for permission that would have allowed British military police to raid ex-territorial Vatican Institutions in Rome. Tardini declined and denied the church was sheltering war criminals. [ citation needed ]

In February 1947, CIC Special Agent Robert Clayton Mudd reported ten members of Pavelić's Ustaša cabinet living either in San Girolamo or in the Vatican itself. Mudd had infiltrated an agent into the monastery and confirmed that it was "honeycombed with cells of Ustashe operatives" guarded by "armed youths". Mudd reported:

It was further established that these Croats travel back and forth from the Vatican several times a week in a car with a chauffeur whose license plate bears the two initials CD, "Corpo Diplomatico". It issues forth from the Vatican and discharges its passengers inside the Monastery of San Geronimo. Subject to diplomatic immunity it is impossible to stop the car and discover who are its passengers. [22]

Mudd's conclusion was the following:

DRAGANOVIC's sponsorship of these Croat Ustashes definitely links him up with the plan of the Vatican to shield these ex-Ustasha nationalists until such time as they are able to procure for them the proper documents to enable them to go to South America. The Vatican, undoubtedly banking on the strong anti-Communist feelings of these men, is endeavoring to infiltrate them into South America in any way possible to counteract the spread of Red doctrine. It has been reliably reported, for example that Dr. VRANCIC has already gone to South America and that Ante PAVELIC and General KREN are scheduled for an early departure to South America through Spain. All these operations are said to have been negotiated by DRAGANOVIC because of his influence in the Vatican.

The existence of Draganović's ratline has been supported by a highly respected historian of Vatican diplomacy, Fr. Robert Graham: "I've no doubt that Draganović was extremely active in syphoning off his Croatian Ustashe friends." Graham claimed that Draganović, in running his 'ratline,' was not acting on behalf of the Vatican: "Just because he's a priest doesn't mean he represents the Vatican. It was his own operation." [23] At the same time, there were four occasions in which the Vatican did intervene on behalf of interned Ustasha prisoners. The Secretariat of State asked the UK and US governments to release Croatian POWs from British internment camps in Italy. [ citation needed ]

U.S. intelligence involvement Edit

If at first U.S. intelligence officers had been mere observers of the Draganović ratline, this changed in the summer of 1947. A now declassified U.S. Army intelligence report from 1950 sets out in detail the history of the people-smuggling operation in the three years to follow. [3]

According to the report, from this point on U.S. forces themselves had begun to use Draganović's established network to evacuate its own "visitors". As the report put it, these were "visitors who had been in the custody of the 430th CIC and completely processed in accordance with current directives and requirements, and whose continued residence in Austria constituted a security threat as well as a source of possible embarrassment to the Commanding General of USFA, since the Soviet Command had become aware that their presence in U.S. Zone of Austria and in some instances had requested the return of these persons to Soviet custody". [3]

These were suspected war criminals from areas occupied by the Red Army which the U.S. was obliged to hand over for trial to the Soviets. The U.S. reputedly was reluctant to do so, partly due to a belief that fair trials could hardly be expected in the USSR (see Operation Keelhaul), and at the same time, their desire to make use of Nazi scientists and other resources. [ citation needed ]

The deal with Draganović involved getting the visitors to Rome: "Dragonovich [sic] handled all phases of the operation after the defectees arrived in Rome, such as the procurement of IRO Italian and South American documents, visas, stamps, arrangements for disposition, land or sea, and notification of resettlement committees in foreign lands". [3]

United States intelligence used these methods in order to get important Nazi scientists and military strategists, to the extent they had not already been claimed by the Soviet Union, to their own centres of military science in the US. Many Nazi scientists were employed by the U.S., retrieved in Operation Paperclip. [ citation needed ]

Argentine connection Edit

In Nuremberg at that time something was taking place that I personally considered a disgrace and an unfortunate lesson for the future of humanity. I became certain that the Argentine people also considered the Nuremberg process a disgrace, unworthy of the victors, who behaved as if they hadn't been victorious. Now we realize that they [the Allies] deserved to lose the war.
—Argentine president Juan Perón on the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals [24]

The final period of German immigration to Argentina occurred between 1946 and 1950 when President Juan Perón ordered the creation of a ratline for prominent Nazis, collaborators and other fascists from Europe. During this period, Argentine diplomats and intelligence officers, on Perón's instructions, vigorously encouraged these groups to make their home in Argentina.

In his 2002 book, The Real Odessa, [24] Argentine researcher Uki Goñi used new access to the country's archives to show that Argentine diplomats and intelligence officers had, on Perón's instructions, vigorously encouraged Nazi and fascist war criminals to make their home in Argentina. According to Goñi, the Argentines not only collaborated with Draganović's ratline, they set up further ratlines of their own running through Scandinavia, Switzerland and Belgium.

According to Goñi, Argentina's first move into Nazi smuggling was in January 1946, when Argentine bishop Antonio Caggiano, leader of the Argentine chapter of Catholic Action flew with another bishop, Agustín Barrére, to Rome where Caggiano was due to be anointed Cardinal. In Rome the Argentine bishops met with French Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, where they passed on a message (recorded in Argentina's diplomatic archives) that "the Government of the Argentine Republic was willing to receive French persons, whose political attitude during the recent war would expose them, should they return to France, to harsh measures and private revenge". [ citation needed ]

Over the spring of 1946, a number of French war criminals, fascists and Vichy officials made it from Italy to Argentina in the same way: they were issued passports by the Rome ICRC office these were then stamped with Argentine tourist visas (the need for health certificates and return tickets was waived on Caggiano's recommendation). The first documented case of a French war criminal arriving in Buenos Aires was Émile Dewoitine, who was later sentenced in absentia to 20 years hard labour. He sailed first class on the same ship back with Cardinal Caggiano. [25]

Shortly after this Argentinian Nazi smuggling became institutionalised, according to Goñi, when Perón's new government of February 1946 appointed anthropologist Santiago Peralta as Immigration Commissioner and former Ribbentrop agent Ludwig Freude as his intelligence chief. Goñi argues that these two then set up a "rescue team" of secret service agents and immigration "advisors", many of whom were themselves European war-criminals, with Argentine citizenship and employment. [26]

In 2014, over 700 FBI documents were declassified revealing that the US government had undertaken an investigation in the late 1940s and 1950s as to the reports of the possible escape of Adolf Hitler from Germany. Some leads purported that he had not committed suicide in Berlin but had fled Germany in 1945, and eventually arrived in Argentina via Spain. [27] [28] Within the pages of these documents are statements, naming people and places involved in Hitler's alleged journey from Germany to South America including mention of the ratlines that were already in existence. [29] Additional CIA documents contain reported sightings and a photograph of a man alleged to be Hitler in 1954. [30] The claim related to the photograph made by a self-proclaimed former German SS trooper named Phillip Citroen that Hitler was still alive, and that he "left Colombia for Argentina around January 1955." The CIA report states that neither the contact who reported his conversations with Citroen, nor the CIA station was "in a position to give an intelligent evaluation of the information". [30] The station chief's superiors told him that "enormous efforts could be expended on this matter with remote possibilities of establishing anything concrete", and the investigation was dropped. [31]

From 1944, there existed a network of extreme right-wing Finns and Nazis in Finland, founded by Sturmbannführer (Major) Alarich Bross. The original plan was for the network to engage in an armed struggle against the expected Soviet occupation. When that did not materialize, the most significant form of action the organisation undertook was to smuggle out those who wanted to leave the country to Germany and Sweden for various reasons. For this purpose, a safehouse network was built in Finland and the cover company "Great fishing cooperative" was established. In Finland, safehouse routes were provided by a 50-70-man maritime transport organization. In Sweden, the target was the small town of Härnösand in western Norland. From Finland, the ships were driven to secret loading bays around the city, where the men of the organization were ready. Some of the smuggled men were delivered to Sweden from the north over the Tornio river. Access to Europe was opened through the Swedish safehouse network. [32]

Through the safehouse routes, the resistance movement transported Finnish nazis and fascists, officers and intelligence personnel, Estonian and East Karelian refugees and German citizens out of the country. Hundreds of people were assisted in Sweden, including more than a hundred German prisoners of war who had fled the Finns. Transport to Germany took place after the September 1944 break in German submarines, smuggling hundreds of people. At the same time Organisation ODESSA brought refugees from Germany to the Finnish coast, sometimes in several submarines at the same time. [33] They were transported along the safe house route to Sweden and further from there. [32]

The existence of Italian and Argentine ratlines has only been confirmed relatively recently [ when? ] , mainly due to research in newly declassified archives. Until the work of Aarons and Loftus, and of Uki Goñi (2002), a common view was that ex-Nazis themselves, organised in secret networks, ran the escape routes alone. The most famous such network is ODESSA (Organisation of former SS members), founded in 1946 according to Simon Wiesenthal, which included SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny and Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks and, in Argentina, Rodolfo Freude. Alois Brunner, former commandant of Drancy internment camp near Paris, escaped to Rome, then Syria, by ODESSA. Brunner was thought to be the highest-ranking Nazi war criminal still alive as of 2007. [ citation needed ]

Persons claiming to represent ODESSA claimed responsibility for the unsuccessful July 9, 1979, car bombing in France aimed at Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld. [ citation needed ] According to Paul Manning, "eventually, over 10,000 former German military made it to South America along escape routes ODESSA and Deutsche Hilfsverein. " [34]

Simon Wiesenthal, who advised Frederick Forsyth on the early 1970s novel/film script The Odessa File which brought the name to public attention, also names other Nazi escape organisations such as Spinne ("Spider") and Sechsgestirn ("Constellation of Six"). Wiesenthal describes these immediately after the war as Nazi cells based in areas of Austria where many Nazis had retreated and gone to ground. Wiesenthal claimed that the ODESSA network shepherded escapees to the Catholic ratlines in Rome (although he mentions only Hudal, not Draganović) or through a second route through France and into Francoist Spain. [35] [36]

ODESSA was supported by the Gehlen Organization, which employed many former Nazi party members, and was headed by Reinhard Gehlen, a former German Army intelligence officer employed post-war by the CIA. The Gehlen Organization became the nucleus of the BND German intelligence agency, directed by Reinhard Gehlen from its 1956 creation until 1968. [ citation needed ]


Adolf Eichmann’s Holocaust Guilt Proved During 1960s Trial

Adolf Eichmann was one of the high-ranking Nazi party’s officials. He survived the war and fled to South America where he evaded capture until the 1960s. When he was caught by Israeli intelligence services he was taken back to Israel to stand trial for war crimes. Eichmann was found guilty for his role in the Holocaust and in 1962 was sentenced to death by hanging.

Ever since World War Two ended the world has been ceaselessly interested in the Nazis, the war, Hitler, and the Holocaust. Now a new book by German philosopher Bettina Stangneth tells the story of Adolf Eichmann once the war ended, and how he remained hidden from intelligence services for 15 years. Bettina lives in Hamburg where she researched and wrote her new book called Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer.

As soon as the war ended, Eichmann changed his name and fled to the far north of Germany. Then after a few years, he made the move to South America, where he settled in Argentina and was helped by the Red Cross.

According to Bettina, he was well-versed with immigration policies and how to escape capture, since he had been in charge of deporting the Jewish population during the war. When Eichmann realized the Nazis were going to lose the war, he immediately set about preparing fake documentation to prepare for his escape.

Sadly, before the war ended Eichmann persecuted more Jews than ever. Bettina portrays him as a normal, average man who did not think about what he was doing when he sent thousands of Jews to be murdered.

During the years that Eichmann had evaded capture, he had time to consider his actions and plan what he might argue or say during a trial. When the time came, Eichmann positioned himself as a bureaucrat caught up in the Nazi hysteria and maintained that he was simply following orders when it came to the mass execution of Jews.

The trial provided much evidence against Eichmann, but he refused to be condemned as a guilty man. The prosecution provided eye-witnesses, documentation, reports, and testimonies that proved Eichmann was as guilty as any leading Nazi official.

Eichmann even spoke about how he had created the name of the plan to kill the Jewish population, ‘The Final Solution’. Eichmann was proved to be proud of what he had done in the years after the war, he boasted and sought acknowledgement for his actions. However, when it came to his trial, he denied any wrongdoing.


Legacies of the Trial

The Eichmann Trial aroused international interest in the events of the Holocaust. The proceedings were one of the first trials widely televised, and brought Nazi atrocities to a worldwide audience. Many historians date the Eichmann Trial as the time in which the term “Holocaust” and its events became firmly embedded in public consciousness.

Unlike the International Military Tribunal Trial at Nuremberg and the subsequent Nuremberg proceedings, which relied extensively on written documents, the Eichmann Trial put survivors at center stage. Testimonies of Holocaust survivors, especially those of ghetto fighters such as Zivia Lubetkin, generated interest in Jewish resistance. The trial prompted a new openness in Israel many Holocaust survivors who had heretofore remained silent about their experiences felt able to share their experiences as the country confronted this traumatic chapter in the lives of many of its citizens.


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