One of the most feared and hated Nazi leaders of World War II, Adolf Eichmann was responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews.
He was born in Solingen on 19 March 1906. Later the family moved to Linz, Austria, where Adolf Eichmann spent his youth. A member of the Austrian Nazi party, he quickly rose through the ranks. 1938 he headed the Austrian office for Jewish emigration where he brought together all the bureaucratic agencies needed for Jewish expulsion.
In December 1939 Eichmann was transferred to Amt IV dealing with Jewish affairs and evacuation, and for the next six years Eichmann's office was the headquarter for the implementation of the Final Solution - his assignment was to murder all the Jews in Europe.
Eichmann oversaw the deportation to the concentration camps and his efficient organization rounded up and transported millions to their deaths at infamous camps such as Auschwitz, Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec. But only in Budapest after March 1944 did the desk-murderer Adolf Eichmann become a public personality, working in the open and playing a leading role in the massacre of Hungarian Jewry.
In August 1944 this Master of Death could report to Himmler that approximately four million Jews had died in the death camps and that another two million had been killed by mobile extermination units.
After the war, Eichmann escaped capture and the stage was set for one of the greatest manhunts in history. But Eichmann lived in Germany for five years before moving to Argentina where he would live under an alias for another ten years. Israeli agents finally captured him in 1960 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he was brought to Israel.
May 23, 1960, the Prime Minister Ben Gurion announced to a startled Knesset that Adolf Eichmann was in Israeli hands and was to be put on trial for his life. He described Eichmann as "one of the greatest of the Nazi war criminals".
Eichmann was tried for crimes against humanity. In his jailhouse writings, he tried to put distance between himself and the Nazi genocide, claiming he was just a bureaucrat. His only defense was that he was "on the lowest rung," that his "position was too insignificant," and he declared repeatedly, "I had to obey." He showed no reaction to the horrors that were described in court.
December 2, 1961, Eichmann was sentenced to death for crimes against the Jewish people and crimes against humanity. On May 31, 1962, the State of Israel carried out the only death sentence in its history on the man whose only defense was, "I was just following orders."
Adolf Eichmann was executed in The Ramleh prison.