: Hunting eichmann: how a band of survivors and a young spy agency chased down the world's most notori (9780547248028) : Neal Bascomb : Books
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Hunting Eichmann: How A Band Of Survivors And A Young Spy Agency Chased Down The World's Most Notori

by Neal Bascomb
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Mariner Books
  • Publishing date: 20/04/2010
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780547248028
  • ISBN: 0547248024


Product Description
The first complete narrative of the pursuit and capture of Adolf Eichmann, based on groundbreaking new information and interviews and featuring rare, never-published Mossad surveillance photographs. When the Allies stormed Berlin in the last days of the Third Reich, the operational manager of the mass murder of Europe's Jews shed his SS uniform and vanished.

Bringing Adolf Eichmann to justice would require a harrowing fifteen-year chase stretching from war-ravaged Europe to the shores of Argentina.

Alternating from a criminal on the run to his pursuers closing in on his trail, Hunting Eichmann follows the Nazi as he escapes two American POW camps, hides in the mountains, slips out of Europe on the ratlines, and builds an anonymous life in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, a persistent search for Eichmann gradually evolves into an international manhunt that includes a bulldog West German prosecutor, a blind Argentinean Jew and his beautiful daughter, and a budding, ragtag spy agency called the Mossad, whose operatives have their own scores to settle. Presented in a pulse-pounding, hour-by-hour account, the capture of Eichmann and the efforts by Israeli agents to secret him out of Argentina and fly him to Israel to stand trial bring the narrative to a stunning conclusion.

Hunting Eichmann is a fully documented, finely nuanced history that offers the intrigue of a detective story and the thrill of great spy fiction.

A Q&A with Neal Bascomb, Author of Hunting Eichmann

Q: What brought you to write Hunting Eichmann?

A: During my research, people asked me this countless times, and usually they prefaced it with the question of whether or not I was Jewish. When I answered the Jewish question in the negative, the overwhelming response was "Good, then you'll be seen as objective."

About why I wrote the book: that answer is connected to the first one. You do not have to be Jewish to understand the incredible significance of the operation to catch Eichmann. Without it, our knowledge and perception of the Holocaust would be much more limited. Before the Eichmann trial, the Nazi atrocities were largely being swept under the rug, not spoken about.

Only after the capture was there an extensive reexamination of the genocide; only then did it become rooted in our collective consciousness. In this respect, the operation is one of the most important, influential spy missions in history, period. Beyond a documentary over a decade ago, it has been almost fifty years since a journalist has taken a thorough look at what unfolded.

Q: How did you find Eichmann's passport?

A: Definitely one of the highlights of my research, because the document is tangible proof of how Eichmann escaped Europe. In late 2006, I was looking through old Buenos Aires newspapers when I came across a story about a lawsuit filed by Vera Eichmann against the Israelis. Court records are always one of my favorite places to research because they're often overlooked, but courts always keep meticulous records. Through one of my researchers, I petitioned the courts to see the lawsuit files. No response. I tried again. Come back in six weeks, they said, fill out this paperwork and that. Then again. You need a lawyer, they said. Then again. Finally we were given the records, which had never been accessed before.

In the file was a long report about the Argentinean investigation into the capture, which was fascinating. But no passport! A few weeks later, we heard that the judge who approved our seeing the records had gone through the file before agreeing to its release and given the passport to the Holocaust museum in Buenos Aires. Fortunately, the judge credited my researcher with the discovery, and we were given full access to the passport.

Q: What was the great challenge in writing the book?

A: No debate. It was writing the narrative sections on Eichmann during the war, how he escaped, and how he lived while on the run. When I set out to write this history, I thought I would focus almost exclusively on the hunters, not the hunted. But after discovering a memoir by Eichmann on his postwar years, not to mention reading two well-known autobiographies, I really felt that I could accurately portray his actions and mindset.

This got me into his head, so to speak--and this was an extremely uncomfortable place to be. For a while I had a bad case of insomnia, and when sleep did come, I had nightmares about his actions against the Jews. Although I knew I'd be affected by the subject matter, its level of intensity was surprising.

Q: How active is the search for surviving Nazi war criminals today?

A: A significant effect of the Eichmann case was the drive to bring the killers to justice, not only in the early 1960s, but half a century later. Before Eichmann, governments, including those of the United States, Germany, and even Israel, were doing very little. That was also the case with Simon Wiesenthal, who by 1960 had also largely given up his efforts. Today the Wiesenthal Center, led by its intrepid Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff, has launched a campaign to catch the last surviving Nazi war criminals.

Beyond the Nazis, sadly, there are recent war criminals from conflicts in Darfur, the Balkans, and elsewhere. I believe that the drive to bring these individuals to account is, at least in part, a legacy of Eichmann, whose trial showed that perpetrators of genocide must pay for their crimes, and their acts must be made known to the world so that they can be prevented in the future.

(Photo © Jillian Mcalley)

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  • Amazing story!
    From Amazon

    "Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi", by Neal Bascomb, is a good read about the notorious Nazi - Adolph Eichmann, his escape from post-war Germany, and the fifteen year effort to find and bring him to justice. The book opens with the evil deeds of Eichmann, one of the masterminds behind the "final solution" - the attempt to exterminate the Jews. In the final days of the way, although he was temporarily captured by American forces, he managed to elude capture. Indeed, it took quite a while for Allied forces to determine who Eichmann was, and why he was so important to capture. Eichmann lived in Germany for a few years, but eventually made his way to Buenos Aires, Argentina through a secret effort to bring fugitive Nazis out of Europe. Argentina was one of the primary places these Nazis fled - largely due to the anti-Semitic sympathies throughout the country at the time. Juan Peron was very amenable to the Nazis before it became obvious Germany would lose the war. The remainder of the book is about the hunt for Eichmann, his capture by the Mossad, and return to Israel for trial. How he was found and captured is an amazing tale, one that made the Mossad famous around the globe for their abilities. Definitely a good read!

  • Fascinating Story of the Post-War Nazi Escapes
    From Amazon

    While many high-ranking Nazis were captured and tried at the end of the war, or they killed themselves, a couple escaped. Some like Mengele were never captured. Some like Kammler are unclear. Eichmann, once at the top of Nazi leadership, escaped to South America to live as a working man. It's interesting to learn how many potential war criminals escaped and started new lives, and how the Allies very quickly gave up prosecuting them. In fact, as the Cold War began, they began recruiting their scientists and spies, thus beginning decades of picking and choosing which Nazis to persue. All of these escaped people, both sanctioned and unsanctioned, is the basis of the conspiracy idea that the Nazis kept trying to influence the world after thier fall. But with their most public figures gone, and others like Eichmann living in a hovel, one has to wonder if such theories are as solid as their promoters claim. See also Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race, Hitler's Flying Saucers: A Guide to German Flying Discs of the Second World War, Reich Of The Black Sun: Nazi Secret Weapons & The Cold War Allied Legend and Hitler's Suppressed and Still-Secret Weapons, Science and Technology.

  • Thrilling history, suspenseful in its detail
    From Amazon

    One knows, from the beginning, how this story ends. But with Neal Bascomb's talented pen, the thrill of the chase never wavers. Exposed by his son's chance comment to a blind man's daughter, Adolf Eichmann's road to justice from his capture by the Mossad on Garibaldi Street outside of Buenos Aires to his trial 1960 and hanging in Israel in 1962 is more thrilling in real life than any mystery. Eichmann's ratline escape in 1950 from Europe, his life in Argentina, Mossad's planning, trial runs, checks and rechecks of Eichmann's identification, the El Al flight across the Atlantic to Dakar; all are packed with excitement and drama. Bascomb never overplays his hand or is biased; his portrait of the aged and captured Eichmann masked, lying on a bed ready for transshipment to Israel is sensitive. Eichmann's purposeful non defiant walk to his hanging - resigned to the noose - captures the condemned and at the same time the talent of this writer. Israel's commitment to bringing Eichmann to justice - in the face of international pusillanimity and outrage - is capped off by its hilarious understated riposte to the Argentine's foreign minister that the kidnapping was done by "a group of Jewish volunteers, including some Israelis." Bascombe's story draws from an outpouring of articles and books. His bibliography is detailed and informative. Not even the movie will capture this book's suspense.

  • Excellent, dramatic ovewrview of Eichmann's capture
    From Amazon

    Bascomb talked to about everybody, for this book, or at least tried to: Mossad agents in on the hunt, the special El Al crew, Holocaust survivors, neo-Nazis in Argentina and even members of Eichmann's family. Bascomb's genius is in making the thrillingness, if you will (not to trivialize) of the stakeout come alive, after Mossad almost permanently dismissed the first clue it had that Eichmann was, indeed, in Buenos Aires. Interestingly, Mossad tried to nab Mengele, too, but its timing was just a bit off. Beyond that, Bascomb also does a good job, to riff on Hannah Arendt, of portraying Eichmann's banality of evil, too. This is a very good read.

  • A good read!
    From Amazon

    This is the second book that I have read on the hunting and capturing of Eichman by Israel's Mossad. I would recommend, also, the VHS video, The Man Who Captured Eichmann" in conjunction with this reading. Thoroughly enjoyed both.

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