The Eichmann trial was an historic event in the history of Israel. In May 1960 Israeli agents captured Adolf Eichmann, who had played a central role in the Nazi plan to annihilate six million European Jews, and brought him to Israel to stand trial. After Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion had announced that Eichmann had been captured, the police began his interrogation. The trial opened on April 11 1961 before a special panel of the District Court of Jerusalem. Seven months later Eichmann was convicted and on December 15 1961 the court sentenced him to death. Eichmann’s German defence counsel, Dr. Robert Servatius, appealed the sentence, but the Supreme Court judges rejected the appeal. The request for clemency presented to the president, Itzhak Ben-Tzvi, was also denied, and on the night between May 31 and June 1 1962, Adolf Eichmann was executed.
The documentation of Eichmann’s interrogation and the trial, including films of the proceedings and manuscripts written by Eichmann in jail, were deposited in the Israel State Archives. In recent months the Archives has started a special project to scan and catalogue these materials and make them searchable by key word. You can see the first results of this project on our Hebrew website.
Here we present a selection of documents focusing on aspects that are not related to the conduct of the trial itself, starting with Eichmann’s transfer to Israel and ending with reactions to the verdict. All the documents, except for one, are from the collections of the ISA . Most of them are in Hebrew and can be seen in the Hebrew version of the publication, also on our website. See below for a list in English with summaries of the contents. Links are given to documents in English and German.