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The Trial

Fifty years ago, Adolf Eichmann was tried for war crimes. In a new book from Nextbook Press, historian Deborah E. Lipstadt examines the proceedings that changed the way we think about genocide.

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Adolf Eichmann listens to the proceedings during his trial in Jerusalem, 1961.(Israel Government Press Office via United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

When Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi many hold responsible for the Final Solution, went on trial in Jerusalem 50 years ago, the proceedings riveted people around the world. Eichmann, who’d been captured by Israeli agents a year earlier in Argentina, was being prosecuted in a country whose existence was in part due to his crimes. The trial re-focused attention on one of the century’s greatest horrors and drew criticism for the prosecutor’s decision to have survivors testify about their traumas. Such testimony was seen by many as distracting from facts and playing on emotions; it would also force victims to relive the brutality they’d experienced in the Holocaust.

These and other issues form the basis of The Eichmann Trial, a new book by Emory University historian Deborah E. Lipstadt from Nextbook Press. Lipstadt is no stranger to the courtroom or to the perils of anti-Semitism. In 1996, she was sued by David Irving, who’d accused her of libeling him by calling him a Holocaust denier. Lipstadt won her case at trial in 2000. She joined Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to talk about the importance of survivor testimony, about the controversy surrounding the 1961 trial, and about how her courtroom experience changed the way she thinks of Eichmann’s. [Running time: 21:26.] 

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paul right says:

However we might think of that Eichmann, he will never get out of the sea which is where he belongs simply put and if we could put more of these evil creatures away I say so be it!

Check out the extraordinary prize-winning documentary about his (Yemenite-Jewish) executioner.

I was in Israel in 1961 as a Boy Scout attending the 8th Jamboree. As I read the article, so many memories, but the one that pops up the most is of the fortified court house. This was real.

Dillie Jasper says:

I remember coming home from school and sitting down with my mother to watch the trial on television. I was 9 years old but learned so much from my mother about the “man in the glass booth”.

Cristina Altieri says:

Excellent podcast of The Eichman Trial. I just bumped into this web site and I will visit it frequently from now on! Many thanks,
Cristina, New York

Mike Thornhill says:

Paul Right was prescient with his out to sea disposition suggestion.


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The Trial

Fifty years ago, Adolf Eichmann was tried for war crimes. In a new book from Nextbook Press, historian Deborah E. Lipstadt examines the proceedings that changed the way we think about genocide.

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