Sunday, 10 May 2015

11th May

Eichmann in 1942

55 years ago today, Nazi Lieutenant Colonel and one of the organisers of the holocaust, Adolf Eichmann was captured in Argentina.

Many Jews along with Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal dedicated themselves to hunting down the likes of Eichmann and other notorious Nazi absconders after the 2nd World War. Wiesenthal had learned from a letter shown to him in 1953 that Eichmann had been spotted and was living under a false identity in Buenos Aires.  

Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal
Around the same time in the Argentine capital, German half-Jew Lothar Hermann, who had moved to the South American country shortly before the war, started to become suspicious when his daughter began dating a man called Klaus Eichmann, who boasted about his father’s exploits during the war. In 1957 this information was received by the Mossad (the Israeli Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations) who undertook surveillance, but found no concrete evidence as to his identity.

Eichmann on trial 1961
In 1960 the Israeli Security Service (similar to MI5 or the FBI) sent their chief interrogator to Buenos Aires who, within 2 weeks, was able to confirm Eichmann’s identity. But with the continued Argentine reluctance to extradite War criminals, the Israeli government made the outrageous decision to capture the Nazi fugitive and take him to Israel to stand trial.

In early May 1960, an 8 man team of agents captured Eichmann close to his home in the suburb of San Fernando, 12 miles north of Buenos Aires. Held for 9 days in secret, he was sedated and smuggled out of the country.

After being put on trial, Eichmann was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. On 31st May 1962, he was executed in Ramle prison.

 Hitler's Henchmen - Adolf Eichmann

Noticeable birthdays/anniversaries for today:

Actor Doug McClure, best known for the role of Trampas in TV’s The Virginian in the late 60s and early 70s. Doug died of lung cancer in 1995, but would have been 80 today --->

English broadcaster, journalist and author Jeremy Paxman (65)

Snooker player, TV personality and commentator John Parrott (51)

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