Eichmann 1940, Eichmann Adolf

SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Karl Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) was head
of the Department for Jewish Affairs in the Gestapo from 1941 to
1945 and was chief of operations in the deportation of three
million Jews to extermination camps. He joined the Austrian Nazi
party in 1932 and later became a member of the SS. In 1934 he
served as an SS corporal in the Dachau concentration camp. That
same year he joined the SD and attracted the attention of
Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. By 1935 Eichmann was
already working in the Jewish section, where he was investigating
possible “solutions to the Jewish question.” He was even sent to
Palestine to discuss the viability of large scale immigration to
the Middle East with Arab leaders. British authorities, however,
forced him to leave. With the takeover of Austria in March 1938,
Eichmann was sent to Vienna to promote Jewish emigration. He set
up the Zentralstelle fuer juedische Auswanderung [Center for
Jewish Emigration], which was so successful that similar offices
were soon established in Prague and Berlin. In 1939 Eichmann
returned to Berlin, where he assumed the directorship of Section
IV B4, Jewish affairs and evacuation, in the Reich Security Main
Office. It was Eichmann who organized the Wannsee Conference of
January 1942, which focused on issues related to the “final
solution of the Jewish question.” From this point Eichmann
assumed the leading role in the deportation of European Jews to
the death camps, as well as in the plunder of their property. At
the end of the war, Eichmann was arrested and confined to an
American internment camp, but he was able to escape unrecognized.
He fled to Argentina and lived under the assumed name of Ricardo
Klement for ten years until Israeli Mossad agents abducted him in
1960 to stand trial in Jerusalem. The controversial and highly
publicized trial lasted from April 2 to August 14, 1961. Eichmann
was sentenced to death and executed in Ramleh Prison on May 31,

Credit line: Courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives
Date: 1940
Locale: Germany
Life Picture Service , New York
Marschalek , Austria