NEW YORK (Apr. 11)
The opening of the Eichmann trial today in Jerusalem is extensively covered in the entire American press with the major newspapers in New York and in other cities reporting the proceedings from the courtroom on their front pages and devoting columns of space on the inside pages to various aspects of the historic trial. Similar attention to the trial proceedings was paid all day today by the radio and television networks.
The New York Times, in an editorial commenting on the trial, said: “There are crimes–historic crimes–so monstrous that they shatter the bounds of normal legal procedure and dwarf both the criminal and any punishment that maybe inflicted on him. Such a crime was the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews in Europe–a crime which led to the mass murder of six million men, women and children in Nazi concentration camps. And such a criminal is Adolf Eichmann, the shrunken, colorless little man who as an arrogant and ruthless Nazi officer became the chief executioner of the Jews and who now goes on trial before a tribunal of his intended victims.”
The Times editorial pointed out that “while it would have been better to have had this trial in Germany, it is a continuation of the Nazi war crime trials that began in Nuremberg after the war and continued and still continue in many countries, including West Germany itself. And though Eichmann is being tried under what is an Israeli ex port facto law, he is really being tried under the law laid down at Nuremberg, where he was indicted with Hitler, Himmler and others who managed to evade Justice, and where the Judgment of the international high tribunal merely codified the “common law of mankind.”
The New York Herald Tribune said in its editorial, “Probably no other trial like the Eichmann trial has ever been held. No trial has dealt with a crime of greater magnitude; no trial has been more closely watched by so many nations; no trial has aroused such controversy and evoked such memories; no trial has opened history’s pages so plainly and so pitilessly.”
Pointing out that the proceedings at the trial “will reach far beyond the question of one man’s culpability for crimes in which many men were involved,” the Herald Tribune editorially continued; “One might have preferred that Eichmann be tried elsewhere than in Israel, but the grim reality remains that no one else except Israel cared enough about him to apprehend him and to try him. And there, with the whole world watching, he will present-his case protected by the rules of civilized Jurisprudence which his victims were never permitted to invoke.”
The New York Journal American in an editorial on the Eichmann trial lauded “the political and intellectual maturity of the Israeli people” for their reaction to the entire case At the same time the editorial, which appeared in Hearst papers throughout the country, expressed support for the legality of the proceedings as substantiated by the precedent of the Nuremberg trials.
Other New York newspapers commented in similar vein. All newspapers carried a photograph of Eichmann undergoing a pre-trial physical examination as well and pictures of the inside of the courtroom and the figures -involved in the prosecution and defense of the man who is charged with directing the mass-killing of 6,000,000 Jews in Nazi Europe.