Eichmann captors hold reunion

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The Independent Online

Fifty years after the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann was brought to justice, the men who captured, investigated and prosecuted the Holocaust mastermind held a reunion yesterday in the Jerusalem hall where his trial took place.

The gathering, marking the UN's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, revisited the trial that brought to light the horrors of the Nazis' "final solution" to rid Europe of its Jews.

The 1961 trial, in which Eichmann sat inside a bulletproof glass booth and calmly listened to the testimonies of some who survived his efforts to kill them, was a watershed moment for the young state of Israel.

Until they heard testimony of Jews who survived torture and deprivation, many Israelis looked down on the survivors as weak victims, at odds with the macho image of the "new Jew" of Israel. The descriptions of the horrors they survived changed the perception for many and allowed more survivors to go public. It also opened Israeli minds to stories of underground Jewish resistance fighters and ghetto uprisings.

Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War, many of them following Eichmann's blueprint for liquidating the entire Jewish population of Europe.

The event brought together an ageing fraternity of spies, police detectives, lawyers and witnesses who all played a part in bringing Eichmann to trial.