Eichmann (1906-1962), Adolf

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Eichmann (1906-1962), Adolf
Member of the Austrian Nazi party in 1932, he immigrated to Bavaria in July 1933. In September
1934, he joined the SD (security police). In 1935, he took the lead of the Office for Jewish Affairs in
Berlin. In September 1937, Eichmann flew to Palestine with Hagen in order to negotiate the Jewish
emigration. Shortly after he came back, he took over the Jewish Affairs in Vienna (department IV of
the security police). Within 18 months, he became expert in Jewish forced emigration. The year 1938
was crucial for Eichmann: the strong Jewish emigration started then and grew rapidly because of the
Anschluss (annexation of Austria). In 1939, Eichmann replaced Müller as Head of the Office of Jewish
Affairs (IVB4) in Berlin. On July 26, 1939, he opened an office in Prague. In December 1939, he
became responsible of the Office for Jewish Emigration to the East. On February 13, 1940, he
organized a forced emigration of the Stettin Jews, of which 230 were killed during the operation. In
1941, Eichmann recommended to use Zyklon B in Auschwitz. At this time, the extermination of Jews
had not yet started. On September 13, 1941, Eichmann contacted Rademacher (Foreign Affairs) to
discuss the fate of about 8,000 Jews from Serbia. As Eichmann was unable to find a solution
regarding their destination, he chose to let them shoot all. On October 10, 1941, Eichmann and
[Himmler->313] met to discuss about the Final Solution. After the Wannsee Conference (January 20,
1942) – Eichmann consigned all that had been said – He coordinated the Final Solution with the help
of his assistants: Alois Brunner, Theodor Dannecker, Rolf Günther and Dieter Wisliceny. On July 10,
1942, Eichmann answered Dannecker who asked him what to do with the 4,000 children of the
Drancy camp that they should all be deported as soon as the railway convoys would be organized.
On August 1, 1942, he ordered to all SD representatives in Brussels (Belgium) to deport all stateless
Jews. Even when Himmler ordered to cease gassing at the end of the war, Eichmann felt strong
because he was supported by Kaltenbrunner. He played a central role in the deportation of the
Hungarian Jews. After the war, he fled to Argentina but the Israeli secret services spotted him and
Eichmann was captured and brought to Jerusalem to be judged. The trial had a big impact
throughout the world. Hannah Arendt followed all the sessions and wrote a book on Eichmann’s
process in which he appears as a typical “office criminal”. The trial allowed many Holocaust survivors
and witnesses to tell what they had experienced. The charges were composed of 15 different crimes
to be prosecuted. One of them was crime against the Jewish people (which was not mentioned
during the Nuremberg Trial in 1946) and crime against humanity. Eichmann was hanged on June 1,
ARENDTt, H., 1963, Eichmann à Jérusalem. : Gallimard.
JOFFROY, P., KÖNIGSEDER K. (ed.), 1971, Eichmann par Eichmann, : Grasset.
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