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Argentine Presses Demand for Eichmann Return Before Security Council

June 23, 1960
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Under the impetus of an impassioned Israeli indictment of Adolf Eichmann as a mass murderer before the Security Council today, the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain voiced the most severe condemnations of the Nazi extermination of Jews in Europe ever heard at the United Nations.

The American, British and Russian attacks against the Nazis in general, and Eichmann in particular, took place as the Council debated an Argentine complaint that accused Israel of endangering peace and security by the seizure of Eichmann in Argentina. The Argentines accused Israel of violating their sovereignty, and insisted that Israel return Eichmann as well as punish the Nazi’s abductors.

Mrs. Golda Meir, Israeli Foreign Minister, defended Israel’s position, but not until it became clear that Argentina had scuttled a proposed meeting in Europe between Arturo Frondizi, President of Argentina, and David Ben-Gurion, Israeli Prime Minister.

Dr. Mario Amadeo, Argentine delegation chairman, had insisted on holding the Council meeting which, it had been hoped, would be postponed or canceled while the dispute between the two countries was directly negotiated between Frondizi and Ben-Gurion. Dr. Amadeo told the Council in opening the debate that the Frondizi -Ben-Gurion meeting had been called off because Mr. Ben-Gurion had stated publicly that he would not accede to Argentina’s demand for the return of Eichmann.


This assertion was flatly contradicted by Mrs. Meir. Only this morning, she said, the Israel Ambassador at Brussels had received a note from the Argentine Embassy there stating: “The President of Argentina considers that the meeting would not be possible until after the United Nations has dealt with this question.”

Thus, Mrs. Meir asserted “members of the Council could judge for themselves the real situation regarding a meeting between the two leaders. If a meeting does not take place, it is clear that the responsibility lies on the Government of Argentina.”

Dr. Amadeo, in his speech, asserted that his Government had always been friendly toward Israel; had harbored many refugees, including Jews, who enjoy full rights of citizenship, and had attended to settle its dispute with Israel through negotiations. However, he also used the terms “lynch law” and “mob law” to describe Israel’s alleged actions regarding Eichmann; said that Argentina had given refuge to many people, including Jews, whose passports were not in good order. Just as Eichmann’s had not been, and insisted that violation of his country’s sovereignty by Israel endangered peace.


Dr. Amadeo introduced a resolution which called for “reparations” from Israel. He explained that by “reparations, ” he meant return of the Nazi to Argentina and the punishment of those who “clandestinely and illicitly” captured him. The resolution stated also that the Council, by adopting the measure, would in no way condone “heinous crimes such as those of which Eichmann is accused, ” But, in sharp contrast with the addresses that followed, he did not once utter outright condemnation of either Eichmann or the Nazi practices of mass murder of Jews or of any other people.

Mrs. Meir once again apologized, on behalf of her Government, for the violation of Argentina’s sovereignty which, she said, had been committed by Jews, some of whom were Israelis. However, she insisted that the Council has no real “competence” in this case, declaring that the legal questions involved did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Council, which is a political body.

“A number of Jews, among them Israelis, broke the laws of Argentina,” she declared, “not in tracking down an ordinary murderer but in apprehending Adolf Eichmann.”

She quoted extensively from protocols of the Nuremberg trials and from writings of former leading Nazis to show that Eichmann was not merely an ordinary murderer but one obsessed with effecting the “final solution” of the Jewish problem through the most atrocious mass murders in history.

Those who captured Eichmann, she said, “have taken a first step in redressing a grave, historic injustice–Eichmann’s evasion of justice. Is this a problem for the Security Council to deal with? This is a body that deals with threats to the peace. Is this a threat to peace–Eichmann brought to trial by the very people to whose total physical annihilation he dedicated all his energies, even if the manner of his apprehension violated the laws of the Argentine? Or did the threat to peace lie in Eichmann at large, Eichmann unpunished, Eichmann free to spread the poison of his twisted soul to a new generation?”

Mrs. Meir objected strenuously to Dr. Amadeo speaking of alleged Israeli “lynch law and mob law.” She expressed surprise at his “extraordinary” method of speaking about Eichmann “and his victims in the same breath.”


The theme of Nazi crimes and those of Eichmann specifically was then taken up by the three speakers following Mrs. Meir: Arkady A. Sobolev for the Soviet Union; Henry Cabot Lodge for the United States, and Sir Pierson Dixon for Britain.

Mr. Sobolev called Eichmann “a war criminal of the first magnitude.” He accused the Argentine Government of having violated international obligations by not having arrested Eichmann and bringing him to justice. He implied that the USSR would prefer that Eichmann be returned to one of the scenes of his many crimes, naming among those locations. Auschwitz, which is now in Poland. Mr. Sobolev concluded by asserting that his Government “shares” Argentina’s concern for violation of its sovereignty. But the impression was that Russia would not support a vote in favor of Argentina’s resolution, differing with Argentina about the return of Eichmann to Argentina.

Mr. Lodge called attention to the fact that the United Nations War Crimes Commission had identified Eichmann as a war criminal. “In view of this all too extensive background, ” he said, “we can well understand the strong feelings of the Government of Israel, many of whose citizens are children, brothers, sisters and parents of people murdered in Europe hardly more than 15 years ago. The United States and its allies fought World War II against Nazism. We were against it then, we are against it now.”


Mr. Lodge proposed two amendments to the Amadeo resolution. One would express the hope that “the traditionally friendly relations between Argentina and Israel will be advanced. ” The other would assert that the Security Council is “mindful of the universal condemnation of the persecution of the Jews under the Nazis, and of the concern of people in all countries that Eichmann should be brought to appropriate justice for the crimes of which he is accused.”

Sir Pierson supported both of the Lodge amendments and was just as outspoken against the Nazis and Eichmann as was the American representative.

After Sir Pierson spoke, the Council adjourned until tomorrow morning when, among the speakers listed, are the representatives of Poland and France.

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