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Gideon Hausner Dead at 75; Was Prosecutor of Eichmann

November 16, 1990
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Gideon Hausner, a prominent lawyer and former attorney general who won international fame for his prosecution of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1961, died here Thursday after a long illness at the age of 75. He will be buried Sunday at the Mount Herzl cemetery.

Hausner served four terms in the Knesset as a member of the Independent Liberal Party, and was a minister-without-portfolio in the governments of Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin.

Named attorney general in 1960, Hausner began prosecuting his most famous case the following year, when Eichmann was put on trial in Jerusalem.

In his opening statement, Hausner declared, “I do not stand alone here in denouncing this man. Beside me stand the 6 million who can no longer stand here to accuse him.”

Eichmann was executed May 31, 1962, and Hausner subsequently wrote a book about the trial, “Justice in Jerusalem,” which was published in 1966.

Hausner, who served as chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Foundation, had no qualms about tackling world powers whose policies he considered harmful to Israel or the Jewish people.

In 1983 he headed an international commission that planned to put the Soviet Union on public “trial” for “violations” of its own laws by the persistent persecution of Jewish culture and the Hebrew language.

Earlier that same year, he was sharply critical of the Reagan administration for banning the sale of F-16 fighters to Israel.

He charged that President Reagan and Vice President George Bush failed to absorb “the main lesson of the Holocaust,” which according to Hausner was that only a strong Israel can protect the Jewish people.

Hausner was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1915, and immigrated to Palestine at the age of 12. He studied law and philosophy at the Hebrew University and was active in the Haganah, the Jewish militia of the pre-statehood period.

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