NEW YORK (Jan. 7)
More than 2,000 people, assembled at the opening session of the 36th annual conference of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, last night heard Justice Michael A. Musmanno, of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, hailing the Eichmann sentence as “the most significant advance made since the Nuremberg trials to restore dignity to every human being, and to insure the sanctity of God-given life.”
Justice Musmanno, who presided at the Nuremberg trials, and was one of the witnesses at the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, said: “No one with the slightest regard for truth can honestly say that the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel was not conducted with the utmost fairness, dignity and compliance with the most meticulous standards of trial procedure recognized by civilized nations throughout the world.
“Adolf Eichmann was given every opportunity to establish that he was innocent of the crimes charged against him. He not only failed to refute these charges, which were proved by Himalayan mountains of evidence, but, by his own testimony, he revealed a criminality, a murderous intent, and mania for blood which has no parallel in history.”
“Eichmann has now been sentenced to death. And now an extraordinary thing is happening. There are people today who are rallying to his defense. And some of these defenders come from the most unexpected quarters. One of these made the utterly absurd and ridiculously irrelevant observation on December 16 that the hanging of Eichmann would not bring back a single one” of the six million murdered Jews.
“It does not require the learning of a doctor of philosophy to say that nothing will ever bring back the piteously slain, but if this argument were to prevail, there would be no punishment in the criminal code at all. Even punishing a murderer who killed only one person cannot restore the breath of life to his victim. What the opponents of the Eichmann sentence fail to realize is that the execution of Eichmann is not reprisal in the sense of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. His execution would be in the nature of a surgical operation: it would be the removal of a cancer which has eaten into the vitals of the human race for centuries, No one more completely represents the scourge of anti-Semitism than Adolf Eichmann.”