The Sunday Post (Newcastle)
The trial that revealed to the world the true horror of Holocaust
one of the first trials widely televised, and brought Nazi atrocities to a worldwide audience.
Prosecutor Gideon Hausner later said that available archival documents “would have sufficed to get Eichmann sentenced 10 times over”. Nevertheless, he summoned more than 100 witnesses to put survivors’ stories at the centre of the prosecution case. In his opening statement, Hausner told the court: “When I stand before you here, Judges of Israel, to lead the prosecution of Adolf Eichmann, I am not standing alone. With me are six million accusers. But they can not rise to their feet and point an accusing finger towards him who sits in the dock and cry: ‘I accuse.’
“For their ashes are piled up on the hills of Auschwitz and the fields of Treblinka, and are strewn in the forests of Poland.
“Their graves are scattered throughout the length and breadth of Europe. Their blood cries out, but their voice is not heard. Therefore I will be their spokesman and in their name I will unfold the terrible indictment.”
Eichmann, 56, testifying from behind a glass booth in order to protect him from possible assassination, asserted that he had not dictated policy, but only carried it out, that he was “merely a little cog in the machinery”. He admitted that while he was guilty of arranging the transport of millions of Jews to their deaths, he did not feel guilty of the consequences.
Eichmann followed the common Nazi plea that he was only following the orders of others, but his judges concluded that he had been a key perpetrator in the genocide of European Jewry. In December 1961, he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
On June 1, 1962, Eichmann was executed by hanging. His execution remains the only time that Israel has enacted a death sentence.