Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The abduction of Eichmann, a former senior Nazi officer, from his home in Buenos Aires in May 1960 by a Mossad team led by Isser Harel was an intelligence coup that helped establish the organization’s reputation  for undertaking daring, highrisk missions and pulling them off successfully. Eichmann had sought refuge in Argentina after World War II, changed his name to Ricardo Klement, and found work at a local  Mercedes-Benz factory.
He was traced by the Israelis, who were determined to place him on trial for war crimes committed during the Holocaust, and was abducted outside his home on Garibaldi Street by a Mossad team that included Zvi Milchman. Eichmann was held for 10 days in a nearby safe house, where he was interrogated to see if he knew the whereabouts of Dr. Josef Mengele. He did not, so he was drugged to make him appear drunk, dressed in the uniform of an El Al steward, and taken aboard an airliner bound for Israel.
Considered an architect of the Holocaust, Eichmann was tried in April 1961, convicted of crimes against  humanity, and hanged in May 1962. Harel later wrote an account of the operation, The House on Garibaldi Street, and Milchman, who adopted the name Peter Melkman, wrote Eichmann in My Hands.