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Daily History

December 15, 1961 – Adolf Eichmann, ‘Chief Executioner of the Third Reich’, is sentenced to death for his war crimes


Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann was a member of the Austrian Nazi party in World War II.

After his promotion to the Gestapo’s Jewish section, he was essentially responsible for the extermination of millions of Jews during the war.

He is often referred to as the ‘Chief Executioner’ of the Third Reich.

Eichmann escaped from a prison camp after US troops captured him at the close of the war.

Wanting to avoid having to face the Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal, Eichmann fled to Argentina which was safely harbouring a number of Nazi war criminals.

After his location was tipped off to authorities, agents from Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, were deployed to Argentina, where they captured Eichmann.

Eichmann’s trial in front of an Israeli court in Jerusalem started on 11 April 1961.

He faced fifteen criminal charges, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and war crimes.

As part of Israeli criminal procedure, his trial was presided over by three judges instead of a jury, all of which were refugees from the Nazi regime in Germany.

Eichmann was protected by a bulletproof glass booth and guarded by two men whose families had not suffered directly at the hands of the Nazis.

Eichmann was convicted on all counts and sentenced to death on 15 December 1961.

He was hanged a few minutes after midnight on 1 June 1962 at Ramla prison, the only civil execution ever carried out in Israel.

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

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