Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World'sMost Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is the story of the identification and capture of Adolph Eichmann in Argentina. The author first details some of the elements of the capture and then backtracks to help the reader understand the role Eichmann played in brutality of the “Final Solution.” At the end of the war, Eichmann went into hiding and after 2 years, with the help of a division of the Roman Catholic Church, he was spirited out of Germany and given a new identity in Argentina. I had no idea until recently that the Catholic church saw Hitler as a force in protecting Europe from the atheistic communist and, before the true horror of the Nazi crimes were well known, was part of an organized effort to help high ranking Nazi’s escape.
The bulk of the book is about all the minute details that went into the identification of Eichmann and the decision of the Israelis to attempt to capture him. By the time Eichmann was identified, the Germans were attempting to put the war era behind them and they weren’t interested in capturing him and bringing him back to trial, especially since there were a number of high ranking Nazis who were in the present government. (The rest of Europe and the US, also were using Nazis as spies and weren’t interested in trying Eichmann for fear that their names would come out.) The Israelis were not a country when the crimes were committed so they felt that the Argentine government would not turn him over them. The only thing to do was to capture him and spirit him out of the country.
I thought the book was well written and even though the reader knows the outcome, the details are very interesting and create a sense of excitement and suspense. My only objection is that there wasn’t a lot of information about Eichmann himself. It is so hard to understand what makes a person do something so abhorrent and the book would have been better if it had gone into more of his family background.
View all my reviews >>