the most feared and hated Nazi leaders of World War II, Adolf
Eichmann was responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews.
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
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
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
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 orders."
Adolf Eichmann was executed in The Ramleh prison.