Adolf Eichmann was the operational manager of the genocide that dispatched six million European Jews to the gas chambers. Escaping US custody in 1946, he hid in various locations in Germany before absconding in 1950 via a 'ratline' escape route to Argentina, where he lived, undisturbed, for the next decade. On 11 May 1960 he was captured in an operation of breathtaking skill and daring by a team of Mossad agents in a Buenos Aires suburb. Smuggled out of Argentina to Israel, Eichmann was indicted there on charges of crimes against humanity, and hanged on 1 June 1962.
Part history, part detective story, part international thriller, Hunting Eichmann brings the story of the fifteen-year search for Eichmann more thrillingly, more accurately, more completely to life than ever before. Superbly researched and relentlessly paced, Hunting Eichmann brings us closer to understanding the architect of the Holocaust than ever before - a man whose terrifying ordinariness came to embody the 'banality of evil.'
After WWII, notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann lived comfortably in Buenos Aires under an alias. Nazi hunters like Simon Wiesenthal sought Eichmann fruitlessly until 1956, when Eichmann's son bragged about his father's war exploits to his girlfriend's father, a half-Jew who had been blinded by the Gestapo and who alerted a Jewish attorney general of Hesse in Germany known for his prosecution of Nazis. Bascomb (The Perfect Mile) details Eichmann's wartime atrocities and postwar escapes, and how, in 1960, the Israelis decided to have secret service operatives (one of whom, Isser Harel, recounted these events in 1975's The House on Garibaldi Street) mostly Holocaust survivors secretly kidnap Eichmann and fly him to Israel on El Al, disguised as an airline employee. Tried in Israel in 1961, Eichmann was executed in 1962. These were early days for Israel's now-legendary intelligence agencies, Mossad and Shin Bet, and it's fascinating how they accomplished their goal without the technical and monetary support that's now standard. Although Bascomb's prose is awkward, his work is well researched, including interviews with former Israeli operatives and El Al staff who participated in the capture, as well as Argentine fascists. This is a gripping read. Illus.