Menu JTA Search

Ben-gurion Reports to Cabinet on Eichmann; Wants Trial Held in Israel

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion told the Israel Cabinet yesterday that there was no question but that the trial of Adolf Eichmann, who directed the Nazi annihilation of 6,000,000 Jews, could properly be held in Israel.

He told the Cabinet that the widest possible airing should be given to the proceedings, in view of the historical significance of the event and the need to expose the enormity of the Nazi crimes which, he said, were gradually being forgotten.

Additional details of Eichmann’s capture were given at the Cabinet meeting but the manner and place of the Nazi killer’s seizure were still being kept secret. After the head of Israel’s security services addressed the meeting, the Prime Minister explained the reasons for the secrecy about the place of Eichmann’s capture.

In a report on the Cabinet meeting, The Jerusalem Post declared today that unless members of Eichmann’s family, or his friends, make a formal complaint of his absence, the government of the country where Eichmann was seized is not expected to take any action. That government so far has not taken any official cognizance of his disappearance.

It was considered highly unlikely here that Eichmann’s immediate family would make any complaint about his capture since the family is living under a false name and would not wart its true identity revealed. In that connection, it was learned that the Argentine Ministry of the Interior has officially denied press reports that a man named Eichmann had lived in Argentina and had recently disappeared.

INDICTMENT AGAINST EICHMANN EXPECTED TO BE PRESENTED WITHIN SEVEN WEEKS

It was also disclosed today that the indictment against Eichmann will be presented by the Attorney General’s office within seven weeks because otherwise under Israel law, Eichmann would have to be released. A court may issue twice a detention order for a two-week period without specific charges. The Attorney General can extend the detention for another 30 days. At the end of the 60-day period, however, police must either release a suspect on bail or present a court with a formal charge sheet. The defendant has the right to demand a preliminary hearing.

In another development, Joel Brand, described as the man who during the war negotiated with Eichmann on the latter’s offer of Jewish lives for trucks, said that many more arrests of former Nazi leaders could be expected after the seizure of Eichmann and the arrests in West Germany of Herman Krumey, Eichmann’s adjutant, and Heinz Beckerle, Hitler’s Ambassador to Bulgaria.

(Heinz Beckerle, the Nazi Ambassador in Sofia, was taken into custody in West Germany this weekend. He has been accused of organizing the deportation of Jews from Bulgaria in 1943. He was arrested on these charges last October but the lower court here released him for lack of evidence, Dr. A. Bauer, the German prosecutor, said that after the arrest of Eichmann, there was a danger that former prominent Nazis might try to escape.)

Mr. Brand brought back with him from a visit to West Germany, large quantities of microfilmed documents on Nazi crimes. He said that Ireland was one of the principal centers of neo-Nazism with branches in many countries.

Reliable sources were quoted in Tel Aviv to the effect that Eichmann had agreed to a request of his investigators to write his biography, which will include the Hitler era. According to the report, Eichmann was expected to reveal many aspects of the extermination of European Jewry which are still not known.

Two film producing groups were reported today to have discussed with Israel authorities the possibility of making a documentary film on Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi arch murderer of Jews, and on his forthcoming trial in Israel.

Israel and French film makers are negotiating a Joint production, according to Davar, which reported that the producers hoped that during the trial enough details would emerge on Eichmann’s hiding and capture to make possible a dramatization of the role of Israel’s Secret Service in apprehending him. Officials of the American team, now shooting a film version of Leon Uris’ “Exodus” here, have contacted Israel authorities about making a documentary on Eichmann.

NEXT STORY