In 1961, Israel captured one of the greatest villains of the 20th century, the architect of “The Final Solution,” Adolf Eichmann. Israeli agents, undercover in Argentina, found him there under an alias and clandestinely brought him to Israel for trial. For many, his capture sparked excitement and pride, but for some, his capture brought condemnation. The trial gave voice to Holocaust survivors and brought their experience into Israel’s national consciousness. This video discusses Israel’s initiative, process and action. It grapples with the international response and big questions: Why did the sovereign state of Israel feel compelled to try Eichmann, when he committed crimes against all Jews even before Israel’s existence? Was Israel justified in breaking international law for this purpose? Why was this trial an inflection point in how the Holocaust was discussed for Israelis and Jews across the world.
Watch this video and use these prompts to unpack this pivotal event in Israel’s history.