JERUSALEM (Apr. 6)
Adolf Eichmann was moved last night from his cell in a fortress near Haifa, where he had been held since he was brought to Israel last May, to the cell prepared for him in the Jerusalem Community Center, the Bet Haam, where his trial on charges of having had a key role in the annihilation of European Jewry will open on Tuesday.
The Bet Haam has been made into a virtual fortress, as security officers made every possible effort to prevent any attempt on the Nazi’s life. The security force for the trial is composed of frontier guards, metropolitan police and plainclothes policemen. They all went through a rehearsal last night of their trial procedures.
Under giant searchlights, the guards stood by machine guns at key points, or patrolled the area carrying submachine guns. The bullet-proof glass enclosure in which Eichmann will sit during the trial is already under 24-hour daily patrol to prevent sabotage,
There were forecasts today that the trial might be one of the longest in Israel’s history. There are 39 witnesses for the prosecution, each of whom could be on the stand for half a day. There is also an enormous amount of documentary evidence to be introduced. It was therefore considered possible that the prosecution might require two to three months to present its case.
The trial will be suspended on April 13–Nissan 27–which has been declared the official legal Memorial Day for the victims of the Nazi holocaust. Observance of the occasion will begin on the evening of April 12 throughout Israel. Shops, offices and places of amusement will be closed for 24 hours.
The memorial monuments of the Yad Vashem, the official Center for Documentation of the Nazi genocide, will be opened on April 13, and the Eternal Light will be lit for the first time in the “Tent of Remembrance” which will be the central structure of the entire memorial complex.
The Yad Vashem has published a new version of the El Malei Rachamim prayer, which mentions those of Israel killed “by the Nazis and their assistants, ” omitting the word “Germans. ” The inclusion of the word touched off a considerable argument last year, leading to intervention by President Izhak Ben-Zvi. He opposed the inclusion on grounds that its use involved “blanket charges against an entire people.”