(photo credit: Courtesy)
Over 50 years since he watched Adolf Eichmann hang at a prison in Ramle, 88-year-old Micky Goldman joined a delegation of 185 Israel Police officers visiting Poland for Yom Hashoah.
Goldman was born in 1925 and was deported to Aushwitz-Birkenau in 1943. Though his parents and siblings were murdered by the Nazis, Goldman managed to survive the war and in 1947 he made his way from a displaced persons camp to Israel, living in a detention camp in Cyprus for a year and a half after the ship he set sail on was stopped by the British.
After arriving in Israel he joined the Israel Police and following the capture of Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, Goldman joined a special police unit called Bureau 06, tasked with conducting the investigation for the state case against Eichmann.
Goldman and the rest of the around 40 members of the team – many of them Holocaust survivors – conducted interviews with survivors in order to gather statements and find witnesses to testify in court against the former SS Lieutenant Colonel, one of the main architects of the Holocaust.
Goldman himself became a personal assistant to Attorney General Gideon Hausner, who headed the investigation of Eichmann, and also took part in an interrogation of the Nazi war criminal in Israel.
"When he opened his mouth I saw the gates of the crematorium", Goldman said, describing the experience in an interview with Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies.
In the interview, Goldman said of the Eichmann trial “first of all, this was a just trial, legally. The main legal purpose was administering justice to a mass murderer, proving his guilt with the material we had to collect. That was the dry, legal aspect of it. The wider purpose, as far as I knew then, was to present the totality of the murder of Jews in Europe to the world, so that it would never be forgotten.”
In the article he also recounts being one of two Israeli witnesses of the execution and being on the boat that sailed off the coast of Jaffa to dump Eichmann's ashes in international waters.
“I didn't feel anything. No feelings of revenge, because there was no revenge. No human can avenge what they did. Only God can,” he told his interviewers.
In 1963 he resigned from the police and began work as an emissary of the Jewish Agency, where he worked until his retirement in 1995.
The Israel Police delegation
visiting Poland this week visited the Warsaw Ghetto, where they said Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, for the victims. The police also visited the Treblinka and Majdanak camps. The delegation, led by Tel Aviv Police Chief Bentzi Sau, also marched from Auschwitz to Birkenau in a procession where Israel Chief of Police Yochanan Danino walked alongside his polish counterpart.