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Ben-gurion Emphasizes Significance of Eichmann Trial to World

April 4, 1961
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The forthcoming trial in Israel of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader who directed the annihilation of 6,000,000 European Jews, will be significant not only for Jews, but also to the world at large, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared today.

In an interview in the evening newspaper Yediot Achronot, Mr. Ben-Gurion stated that “the heavy burden of the Nazi holocaust, which the Eichmann trial will reveal, rests not only on Nazi Germany. It rests also on England, France and the United States, which could have saved those Jews who fled toward Israel but were not permitted to land here.”

“The world should be faced with the potentials of anti-Semitism,” Mr. Ben-Gurion continued. “The world should be reminded, Eichmann’s personal fate is unimportant. It is the unveiling of the entire extermination program against the Jews that matters.” The Premier pointed up the fact that the Eichmann trial should remind the world that “the six million who perished included the best of the Jewish people, the very people from whom giants like Chaim Nachman Bialik and Albert Einstein came.”

Asked whether he feared deterioration of Israeli-West German relations, due to the Eichmann trial, Mr. Ben-Gurion said he sees no basis for such fears. “There was another Germany before the Nazis came to power,” he stated, “and there is now a different Germany. We are interested in having friendly relations with today’s Germany. But we want the German youth to know who the Nazis were.” He said that Israel gave no guarantees to West Germany in connection with the Eichmann trial and that, in fact, “Germany requested no such guarantees.”

(In Buenos Aires, police said today that an arson attempt on a synagogue here Thursday night might have been inspired by Nazis in connection with the forthcoming Eichmann trial in Israel. The fire was put out by neighbors and police who estimated damages at about six thousand dollars.)

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