Adolph Eichmann was sentenced to death on December 15, 1961

On December 15th, 1961, the mastermind of the industrial killing of European Jewry, Adolf Eichmann, was sentenced to death by hanging by a special Israeli court. After the war, Eichmann created a new fake identity of an ordinary low-ranking soldier and used it to result in his being sentenced to deportation, rather than being hung.

While living in South America, Eichmann adopted the name Ricardo Klement aligned with the identity of an average German immigrant in Argentina. Being such a crucial element in the murdering of millions of Jews, Romani, Slavs, and others, Eichmann was considered the goldmine for many Nazi hunters in South America throughout the 50s.

The Mossad, aided by Nazi Hunters like Simon Wiesenthal, spent years mapping out Adolf’s whereabouts. Since the Argentinian authorities were rather in favor of German immigrants, the Mossad had to be sure the man they have labeled Adolf Eichmann, was indeed the notorious Nazi killer to prevent a large diplomatic crisis. The Mossad also knew that the Argentinian government would take months if at all, to permit the transfer of Eichmann to Israel for trial.

With all things considered, a team of Mossad operatives captured Eichmann on May 11, 1960, near his home on Garibaldi Street in San Fernando, Buenos Aires. The plan for Eichmann’s capture was almost abandoned on the appointed day when Eichmann was not on the bus he usually took home, but he eventually got off another one shortly later. Mossad agent Peter Malkin approached him, asking him in Spanish if he had a moment. Eichmann panicked and tried to rush home, but two other Mossad agents came to Malkin's aid. The three wrestled Eichmann to the ground and after a short struggle, transferred him to a car, in which they hid him under a blanket. 

Eichmann’s trial began shortly after his arrival in Israel. Along with hundreds of written testimonies from Jews, Romani, and other Holocaust survivors, were a number of in-court, deeply elaborated, testimonies from victims directly impacted by Eichmann’s Nazi ideology. 

Eichmann’s death sentence was announced in mid-December of that same year. Despite his personal written appeal to Israeli President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, along with some Israeli resistance to his hanging in the name of forgiveness, Adolf was hung inside the Ramla prison on June 1, 1962. His trial in Israel acted as an awakening of Holocaust education in Israel, after a period of avoiding conversation on its disastrous results.


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