Eichmann's wife visited him in Israeli prison prior to execution, archives reveal

New information revealed on Nazi architect of the Holocaust who was executed by hanging 53 years ago.

June 1, 2015 15:02
2 minute read.
Adolf Eichmann Israel

Adolf Eichmann sits during his trial in Jerusalem, 1961.. (photo credit: REUTERS,REBECCA FRIEDMAN,REPUBBLICA CONFERENCE/PR)

Israeli authorities allowed Nazi arch criminal Adolf Eichmann a visit from his wife, Vera, two months before he became the only person ever to be executed in the Jewish State, information published by the Israel State Archives Blog has revealed.

Sunday marked the 53rd anniversary of Eichmann’s execution by hanging on May 31, 1962.

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Ahead of the anniversary, the archive blog published the protocol from a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in which the question of whether to allow a request by Eichmann’s wife to visit her condemned husband was discussed.

The blog also reported that notes from the log of Ramle Prison, where Eichmann was housed prior to his execution, prove that his wife was allowed to make a secret visit to the Nazi murderer.

Vera Eichmann made the request through her husband’s lawyer to then-justice minister Dov Yosef, who raised the issue before the government on March 18, 1962, saying Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion thought Israel could face international criticism if the government did not allow the visit.

Yosef said the visit should be made secretly and quickly, within 24 hours.

On the same day, then foreign minister Golda Meir told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee: “I imagine that most of us completely accept all of this [execution], but I know that their are some ‘righteous’ people in the world whose awareness now will be much greater than their awareness was during the Holocaust.”

Meir said she had no sentiments for Eichmann’s wife, but that she saw no point in preventing the visit if doing so could hurt the state’s reputation and allowing the visit would not harm the state.

MK Ya’akov Hazan agreed with the decision, but asked that arrangements be made to ensure that Vera “not help him to pass on to the next world in too humanitarian a manner.”

A log from the Ramle Prison shows an entry from April 30, 1962, documenting that Vera entered the prison at 12:20 a.m. and left at 1:43 a.m., according to the Israel Archives’ blog.

At 10:00 a.m., Eichmann received paper to write a letter of thanks to the Prisons Service commander for allowing the visit, according to the log.

Eichmann was an SS lieutenant- colonel who played a major part in organizing the logistical aspects of the liquidation of six million Jews in Europe.

After fleeing Germany following the war, he lived under a false identity in Argentina for years before he was tracked down and abducted by Israeli agents. He was tried and convicted of crimes against humanity. His execution is the only instance in the history of the State of Israel in which authorities handed down a death sentence.

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