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The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt
Posted August 22, 2011 to photo album "The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt"
John Madden’s THE DEBT tells the tale of a trio of Mossad agents who hunted down a wanted Nazi war criminal. We explore the stories of the many real-life Nazi war criminals who went into hiding after the war, and the people who tracked them down to bring them to justice.
Eichmann on trial in Israel
In 1959, Germany informed Israel that Eichmann was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On May 11, 1960, Israeli agents captured Eichmann after he stepped off a bus, on his way home from his job as a foreman at a Mercedes-Benz factory. Gagged and bundled into an awaiting car, he was taken to a Mossad safe house, tied to a chair and interrogated. His captors smuggled him out of the country (disguised as a drunk El Al flight attendant) and he arrived in Israel on May 21. In his trial, which began in April 1961, Eichmann used what is known as the Nuremberg Defense, arguing, like other Nazis before him, that he was just following orders as a government functionary. His apparent ordinariness led Hannah Arndt to coin the term “banality of evil” in her 1963 book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Eichmann was hanged on May 31, 1962, Israel’s first and last judicially sanctioned execution.