We’re covering one of the defining events of Israeli history – the Eichmann Trial. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, the infamous “Architect” of the Final Solution, was captured in a daring mission known – fittingly – as Operational Finale.
The capturing, trial, and execution of this Nazi criminal in 1962 had wide ranging ramifications. Not only did it bring the events of the Holocaust into the open in an unprecedented way, it was the also the catalyst that helped a traumatized generation of survivors in Israel begin to talk about their wartime experiences.
But not everyone agreed Eichmann should have been brought to Israel to stand trial, with some questioning the legality of Israel’s actions in smuggling Eichmann out of Argentina.
The trial also raised a number of questions about the true nature of evil (it gave rise to Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase, “the banality of evil,” and the extent to which Nazi hunters could – and should – go to bring their targets to justice.
What do you think? Can a person do evil without being evil? Does Israel have the right, even the obligation, to capture Nazi criminals and do countries have the right to trample on international law as a way of getting around thorny extradition laws?