As the trial of Adolf Eichmann entered its third week today, the one-time Gestapo colonel was plainly showing the effects of the steady unfolding of evidence of the monstrous crimes charged against him.
Observers studying him through the glass of his enclosed dock felt he was a visibly changed man. He had clearly lost weight. There was an inch gap between his neck and his shirt collar. The suit which had fitted so well two weeks ago was sagging. His face was wan. The most striking change apparent to observers was more than physical. The earlier pose of arrogant boredom of a former Gestapo officer–whose stepmother was by Eichmann’s testimony on talking terms with a countess–was no longer evident.
After the submission of some 200,000 words of argument and evidence, in addition to the 400 exhibits including a mountain of recorded tape representing 76 reels of his self-incriminating statement to Israeli police, Eichmann looked rather “nebish.” Persons attending Eichmann’s weekly physical examination yesterday, said he was greyer and “shrinking.”
The testimony today could not have contributed toward improvement of his spirits. He glared with open hatred at Deputy Attorney General Jacob Baror when the latter took over the prosecution and presented the first material witnesses. It was felt most appropriate that Baror should be introducing some of the personalities of the Nazi holocaust because he was among those who read the writing on the wall and fled his native Frankfurt, a stronghold of Jewish orthodoxy and an established community dating back to the twelfth century.
The bearded, skullcapped attorney led his witnesses into their grim narratives with incisive directness. Whether Eichmann’s unusual nervousness today was a sign he was beginning to break down was a subject of speculation among correspondents covering the trial. The consensus was that he had had a most uncomfortable day.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.