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Book Title: Eichmann in my Hands|
The author of the book: Peter Z. Malkin
ISBN 13: 9780446514187
Edition: Warner Books (NY)
Date of issue: May 1st 1990
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 716 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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Eichmann in my Hands, by Peter Malkin and Harry Stein is a tense and exciting personal memoir, which narrates the true accounts from Mossad’s mission in Buenos Aires which led to the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann - a name which synonyms with Nazism and evils during the days of Holocaust – the most sought-after war criminal. Peter Malkin was one of the Israeli agents who participated in this mission and the reader gets to know first-hand details on the planning, execution and aftermath of the mission. Malkin had to wait until 1990 to get these accounts published and even then he had to change the names of most of the agents who participated in the mission due to security reasons.
Eichmann in my Hands is a beautifully balanced book, which narrates the story of Peter Malkin and his life in parallel with the life of Adolf Eichmann and later merging them together during the days of the mission with much intensity. Peter Zvi Malkin was only four and a half years old when his parents along with his brothers fled Poland to Palestine. His sister Fruma who was married at that time had to stay behind in Poland along with her husband and kids and they all perished there during the genocide. For Peter Malkin, who joined Israeli Intelligence in 1950, this was a personal mission as his family never really recovered from the loss of Fruma and other relatives and it was his chance to come face-to-face with the man who was mainly responsible for these wanton war crimes.
Adolf Eichmann joined Austrian SS in 1932 and rose through the SS ranks swiftly; by 1938 he was given the charge of forming Austria's Central Office of Jewish Emigration, which would forcibly remove the Jews from Austria. In 1939 he was heading the Reich Central Security Office department that dealt with Jewish evacuation from Berlin and in 1942 he was one of the key figures in the Wannsee Conference that developed the ‘Final Solution’ - the official policy of genocide against the Jewish people. He was the man who controlled the transportation of all the Jews headed for the concentration camps in Poland and was responsible for the death of millions. For him the mission of eliminating Jews from the face of earth was the supreme priority even during the days of the collapse of The Reich. He fled Hungary early May 1945 to Austrian Alps and even though the US Army captured him he escaped from their captivity in early 1946.
In April 1960, after 15 years, Israeli Intelligence got wind of Eichmann that he was living in Buenos Aires under the assumed identity of Ricardo Klement. A mission to kidnap him was formulated and a small team of agents was assigned with this Operation. The planning, preparation, weeks of reconnaissance of target area and the final capture of Eichmann – on May 11, 1960 - are all narrated in pulsating details, which will make this a hard to put down book. After the kidnapping Eichmann is taken away to a safe house on the suburbs of Buenos Aires and there after a brief interrogation he acknowledges his true identity with these words.
“Ich bin Adolf Eichmann… I know I am in the hand of Israelis”
The hunt of 15 years was complete and then began the part of the mission, which focused on transporting him back to Israel for legal trials. On May 23, 1960 he was drugged and smuggled on-board a special El Al flight - which came to Buenos Aires with a diplomatic delegation - as a drunken crew-member and was bought back to Israel. The success of the mission was met by a dramatic announcement by David Ben Gurion, the then prime minister, at Israeli Knesset:
“One of the greatest of the Nazi war criminals, Adolf Eichmann, who was responsible together with the Nazi leaders for what they called the ‘final solution’ of the Jewish question is under arrest in Israel and will be put on trial.”
After transporting Eichmann back to Israel, the agents fled from Argentina through various routes and Malkin along with another agent escaped on-board a train to Santiago, Chile and then to Israel.
The conversations that Malkin has with his prisoner during their days at the safe house awaiting transport to Israel is pretty absorbing and powerful and gives the reader insights into ‘How supposedly civilized people descended to such depths of barbarism’ during the days of Holocaust. Eichmann never expresses even a faint glimpse of remorse during these conversations; for him he was following the orders as a proud soldier and everything that he did was appropriate. Reading through these segments can be moving or even disturbing for some readers as Eichmann’s calm and gentle demeanor and the normalcy with which he discusses the murder of millions creates a chilling atmosphere of evil. Overall this is a fascinating book, which describes an intelligence operation with all its thrills combined with moving narrations of the personal life and emotional struggles of the author.
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