Eichmann Executed by Israel

Published: 1961
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down Adolph Eichmann and other Nazi war criminals died September 20, 2005 in Austria at the age of 96. In this 1985 photo, Wiesenthal points to a map of concentration camps on a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. (UPI Photo/HO)

Announcer: In the summer of 1945, the Nazis had finally crumbled. The second War to End All Wars was over. But 16 years later occurred a brief moment belonging to the past and to the present; both, yet neither. Under curious circumstances, a man was flown from South America to Israel. In April, he faced an Israeli court and the world.

Unknown Speaker: "...Adolph Eichmann is accused hereby."

Unknown Speaker: "First count, nature of offense: crime against the Jewish people."

Announcer: Eichmann, a gaunt, pale, bespectacled figure, hardly looked the part. He was charged with slaughtering 6 million Jews as part of Hitler's plan. The State charged he herded these hapless human beings into crematoriums, gas chambers or to face firing squads. Eichmann's defense? He countered that he was merely a soldier following a superior's orders, as any soldier must do.

Unknown Speaker: " ...extermination of the Jews, Section 23 of the Criminal Code Ordinance 1936; particulars of offense: The accused during the period 1939 to 1945 committed injustice as a crime against humanity ... "

Announcer: The three judges retired and after deliberating for months returned with a 300-page judgment, finding Eichmann guilty on all counts and surprising no one, least of all Eichmann, who had told the Court last July that he fully expected the death penalty.