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

May 2, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

“Un momentito, Señor.”

They were the only three words Israeli intelligence Peter Malkin knew in Spanish, but they were about to change the course of history.

Malkin uttered the words to a balding Mercedes-Benz factory worker headed home from work on May 11, 1960. And when the man reluctantly acknowledged him, Malkin sprang into action. With the help of three other secret agents, he wrestled the man to the ground and into a car. As they sped away, they tied him down and covered him with a blanket in the back seat.

Nazi official Adolf Eichmann.

This wasn’t your average abduction. The man in the back seat was one of the world’s most notorious war criminals: Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi official who helped Germany carry out the mass murder of six million Jews during World War II. For years, he had evaded the authorities and lived in relative peace in Argentina. Now, he was in the custody of the Mossad, Israel’s secret service—and his once secret crimes were about to become public knowledge.

Eichmann’s capture, interrogation and trial were part of one of history’s most ambitious secret missions. “The logistics [of the capture] were incredible,” says Guy Walters, author of Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring them to Justice. “It’s like a movie plot that occurs in real life. And it woke the world up to the Holocaust.”

But that awakening—and Eichmann’s capture—was decades in the making.

When he first joined the Austrian Nazi party in 1932, few would have predicted that Adolf Eichmann had a future as a mass murderer. But Eichmann was both a skilled bureaucrat and a committed anti-Semite. He rose swiftly through the ranks of the party, and by 1935 he was already helping the party plan its answers to the so-called “Jewish question,” Nazi terminology for a debate over how European Jews should be treated.

Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime set up networks of concentration camps before and during World War II to carry out a plan of genocide. Hitler’s “final solution” called for the eradication of Jewish people and other “undesirables,” including homosexuals, gypsies and people with disabilities. The Jewish children pictured here were held at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

View the 13 images of this gallery on the original article

Though he later claimed …read more


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