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On this day in 1961, Adolf Eichmann, the chief administrator of the Holocaust, was found guilty of war crimes by a panel of three judges in Jerusalem. He would be executed the following year, the only person subjected to capital punishment by the legal system in modern Israel.
“I will leap into my grave laughing because the feeling that I have five million human beings on my conscience is for me a source of extraordinary satisfaction.” —Adolf Eichmann, 1945
Watch the last 44 minutes of the 1997 PBS documentary The Trial of Adolph Eichmann, narrated by David Brinkley. Includes the decision and sentencing of the court and Eichmann’s reaction to the verdict: “I am convinced in the depths of my heart that I am being sentenced for the deeds of others.”
Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.