Session 1 Forword, Eichmann Adolf


Some thirty years have passed since Adolf Eichmann was put
on trial before the District Court of Jerusalem and since
the appeal against his conviction before the Supreme Court
of Israel. But it is only now that it has become possible to
publish in English the record of the proceedings before the
trial Court, the judgments of that Court and of the appeal
in the Supreme Court.

It is our belief that in spite of this long delay, the
publication of these proceedings has lost none of its
importance. In fact, it acquires special meaning at the
present time when tendencies of so-called “historical
revisionism” have become rife in many countries, with their
denial of the very occurrence, or at least the extent, of
the catastrophe which the National Socialist regime in
Germany brought upon the Jewish people.

In an introductory passage to its judgment, the District
Court pointed out that the Holocaust of European Jewry had
already been dealt with by the International Military
Tribunal at Nuremberg in its judgment at the trial of the
Major War Criminals, and also in several subsequent trials.
However, in the trial of Adolf Eichmann the persecution and
mass murder of Jews in countries under German occupation
were central to the proceedings. The Court emphasized that
in spite of the manifold grave questions raised by the
Holocaust, it remained its duty not to stray into areas
outside its criminal proceedure. Yet – the judges states –
they did not lose sight of the moral and educational value
implicit in the conduct of the trial, both for the citizens
of Israel and for the world in general. Thus, “the evidence
at this trial of survivors of the Holocaust who poured out
their hearts on the witness stand, will certainly provide
valuable material for the research worker and the

During the course of the trial the proceedings were recorded
in Hebrew in shorthand and also mechanically. Evidence given
in other languages was translated simultaneously. At the end
of each day a transcript of the proceedings was published in
Hebrew, English, French and Yiddish. For the present
publication, the translation of the record of proceedings
has been fully revised and whenever necessary has been
compared with the transcript in the original language in
which the evidence was given and also with the tape
recording. The translation of the judgments of the District
Court and the Supreme Court is based on the official version
which was published together with the original text of the

The entire project of publication has been co-ordinated by
Dr. Daniel Fraenkel of the Israel State Archives. The team
of translators who took part in this onerous task was led by
Sam Levin, Ruth Morris, Hava Hareli and Mordechai Shalev.
The major part of the transcript was typed by Esther
Herskovics, who also read the proofs. A final comprehensive
revision of the manuscript was done by Shlomo Ketko, who was
also responsible for the production of the volumes in the
press. All of them are to be highly commended for their

This first volume contains the record of the proceedings in
the District Court up to and including the thirtieth
session. The following volumes will complete the record of
the trial and will contain the testimonies taken outside
Israel, the final addresses of the Prosecution and Counsel
for the Defence and the judgments in both instances. There
will also be a glossary of terms and an index. Further
volumes will contain the statement given by Adolf Eichmann
to the Israel police, as well as the main exhibits produced
at the trial.

The publication of the proceedings of the Eichmann Trial has
been undertaken by the Board of Directors of a Civil Trust
constituted under Israeli law. The Directors of the Trust
were Justice Moshe Landau, who acted as Chairman, the late
Mr. Gideon Hausner, in his capacity as Chairman of the
International Committee of Yad Vashem, Justice Gabriel Bach,
and State Archivist Paul A. Alsberg, who also acted as
Honorary Secretary. Dr. Josef Burg, the present Chairman of
the International Committee of Yad Vashem, joined the Board
of Directors after the death of Mr. Hausner.

Jerusalem, June 1992

Last-Modified: 1999/06/02