Eichmann trial documents found in trash to be auctioned


(JTA) — A trove of documents related to Israel’s 1961 trial of the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann will be auctioned off in Jerusalem after their discovery in a trash bin.

The collection will be up for sale on Dec. 2 at the Kedem Auction House. The sellers have estimated it could bring in more than $20,000.

The documents, some of which were also found in a deserted apartment in Jerusalem, reportedly had belonged to a member of the prosecution team.

Meron Eren of the Kedem Auction House said in a statement that it was fortunate that the collection was not lost, as the man who found the documents in a Jerusalem trash bin reportedly then searched the apartment from which they had come and found more papers just before they were to be discarded.

Eichmann, who was responsible for organizing the genocide of European Jewry, escaped Germany to Argentina after World War II and was captured by Israel’s Mossad spy agency in 1960. He was hanged on May 31, 1962, following a trial lasting some four months.

Among the documents recently uncovered are a signed statement by Israel’s then-foreign affairs minister, Golda Meir; correspondence involving prosecution attorneys regarding Eichmann’s body language during the trial; and remarks from the closing argument. Photographs of the court also were uncovered.

In one document, an attorney asks, “Did you notice how he stands there for a full hour without moving at all? There is only one muscle one can see him working: the gullet muscle. And there you can see he’s not that peaceful …”

Some documents deal with the legality of the Mossad’s kidnapping of Eichmann. In one of them, Meir herself certifies that the capture and transfer to Israel “were subjects of discussions between the governments of Argentina and Israel, and a solution was found to the disagreements, acceptable by both governments.”

The history of the trial has been the focus of increasing attention in recent years.

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