of the most feared and hated Nazi leaders of World War II,
Adolf Eichmann was responsible for the deaths of millions
He was born in Solingen on 19 March 1906. Later the family
moved to Linz, Austria, where Adolf Eichmann spent his
youth. A member of the Austrian Nazi party, he quickly
rose through the ranks. 1938 he headed the Austrian office
for Jewish emigration where he brought together all the
bureaucratic agencies needed for Jewish expulsion.
In December 1939 Eichmann was transferred to Amt IV
dealing with Jewish affairs and evacuation, and for the
next six years Eichmann's office was the headquarter for
the implementation of the Final Solution - his assignment
was to murder all the Jews in Europe.
Eichmann oversaw the deportation to the concentration
camps and his efficient organization rounded up and
transported millions to their deaths at infamous camps
such as Auschwitz, Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec.
But only in Budapest after March 1944 did the
desk-murderer Adolf Eichmann become a public personality,
working in the open and playing a leading role in the
massacre of Hungarian Jewry.
In August 1944 this Master of Death could report to Himmler
that approximately four million Jews had died in the death
camps and that another two million had been killed by
mobile extermination units.
After the war, Eichmann escaped capture and the stage was
set for one of the greatest manhunts in history. But
Eichmann lived in Germany for five years before moving to
Argentina where he would live under an alias for another
ten years. Israeli agents finally captured him in 1960 in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he was brought to Israel.
May 23, 1960, the Prime Minister Ben Gurion announced to a
startled Knesset that Adolf Eichmann was in Israeli hands and was to be put on trial for his
life. He described Eichmann as "one of the greatest
of the Nazi war criminals".
Eichmann was tried for crimes against humanity. In his
jailhouse writings, he tried to put distance between
himself and the Nazi genocide, claiming he was just a
bureaucrat. His only defense was that he was "on the
lowest rung," that his "position was too
insignificant," and he declared repeatedly, "I
had to obey." He showed no reaction to the horrors
that were described in court.
December 2, 1961, Eichmann was sentenced to death for
crimes against the Jewish people and crimes against
humanity. On May 31, 1962, the State of Israel carried out
the only death sentence in its history on the man whose
only defense was, "I was just following
Adolf Eichmann was executed in The Ramleh prison.
[ Home ] [ Heinrich Himmler ] [ Reinhard Heydrich ] [ Adolf Eichmann ] [ Ernst Kaltenbrunner ] [ Rudolf Hoess ] [ Josef Mengele ] [ Alois Brunner ] [ Klaus Barbie ] [ Graphic Photos ] [ Books ]