Otto Adolf Eichmann was a German Nazi SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. He was tasked by SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich with facilitating and managing the logistics involved in the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in Nazi occupied Eastern Europe during World War II. Take a look below for 30 more strange and interesting facts about Adolf Eichmann.
1. In 1960, he was captured in Argentina by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service.
2. He was found guilty of war crimes in a widely publicized trial in Israel, and was hanged in 1962.
3. After an unremarkable school career, Eichmann briefly worked for his father’s mining company in Austria, where the family had moved in 1914.
4. He worked as a travelling oil salesman beginning in 1927, and joined both the Nazi Party and the SS in 1932.
5. He returned to Germany in 1933, where he joined the Sicherheitsdienst; there he was appointed head of the department responsible for Jewish affairs.
6. After the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Eichmann and his staff arranged for Jews to be concentrated in ghettos in major cities with the expectation that they would be transported either farther east of overseas.
7. He drew up plans for a Jewish reservation, first at Nisko in southeast Poland and later in Madagascar, but neither of these plans was ever carried out.
8. Eichmann and his staff were responsible for Jewish deportations to extermination camps, where the victims were gassed.
9. Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, and Eichmann oversaw the deportation of much of the Jewish population.
10. Eichmann said that towards the end of the Second World War, he would, “leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction.”
11. After Germany’s defeat in 1945, Eichmann fled to Austria.
12. He lived in Austria until 1950, when he moved to Argentina using fake papers.
13. Information collected by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, confirmed his location in 1960.
14. A team of Mossad and Shin Bet agents captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial on 15 criminal charges, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people.
15. During his trial, he didn’t deny the Holocaust or his role in organizing it, but claimed that he was simply following orders in a totalitarian Fuhrerprinzip system.
16. He was found guilty on many of the charges and was sentenced to death by hanging; he was executed on June 1, 1962.
17. Eichmann was born in Solingen in the Rhine Province of Germany on March 19, 1905.
18. In 1914, Eichmann’s family moved to Linz, Austria, where his father had joined the “Linz Tramway and Electrical Company” as a Commercial Manager one year earlier.
19. He attended the Kaiser Franz Joseph Staatsoberrealschule in Linz, where Adolf Hitler attended 17 years before.
20. During the period 1927 to 1933, he worked as a district agent in the Salzburg district of Upper Austria for the Vacuum Oil Company.
21. On April 1, 1932, he joined the Nazi Party and seven months later joined the SS.
22. He carried on with the party activities in Linz on weekends while working for the oil company at Salzburg at the same time.
23. He returned to Germany in 1933 when the Nazi party came to power.
24. In August 1933, he received training at the SS deport in Klosterlechfeld and was sent to the Passau border as the head of a eight-man team of SS men to help Austrian National Socialists enter Germany to smuggle material for propaganda into Austria.
25. In 1938, he traveled to Egypt to strike a deal for the emigration of Jews but it didn’t materialize.
26. He was posted at an office in Vienna, Austria, to help organize Jewish emigration, which started its operations from August 20, 1938.
27. In 1940, he deported almost 7,000 Baden and Saarpfalz Jews to France.
28. In March 21, 1935, he got married to Veronica Liebl.
29. He had four sons; Klaus, Horst Adolf, Dieter Helmut and Ricardo Francisco.
30. Eichmann was unrepentant until the end for killing almost six million Jews.