|“||I must say that I regret nothing.||„|
|~ Eichmann while awaiting his trial in Israel, quoted in LIFE magazine, December 1960.|
Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany to a businessman. At the suggestion of Ernst Kaltenbrunner, he joined the Austrian branch of the NSDAP. Throughout his career, he became one of the top Nazis in the SS Organization. 1942, Reinhard Heydrich made Eichmann attend the Wannsee Conference. This got him the right to send Jews to German concentration camps. Eichmann was responsible for planning and overseeing the mass deportations and exterminations of the Holocaust, which earned him the nickname, "the architect of the Holocaust."
After World War II, Eichmann was taken into U.S. Custody. but escaped from a detention camp and moved around Germany to avoid re-capture. He ended up in a small village in Lower Saxony, where he lived until 1950, when he moved to Argentina using false papers. Information collected by the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, confirmed his location in 1960.
A team of Mossad agents captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial on 15 criminal charges, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people. During the trial, he did not deny the Holocaust or his role in organizing it, but claimed that he was simply following orders in a totalitarian Führerprinzip system.
Before his execution, he rejected a last meal and instead had a bottle of dry red Israeli wine, of which he drank about half. He refused to wear a hood during his execution. He was executed by hanging before midnight on May 31st, 1962. Right up until his execution, Eichmann showed no remorse for his involvement in the Holocaust, and his last words included one final praise to Adolf Hitler.
His body was later cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea beyond the territorial waters of Israel by an Israeli Navy patrol boat.