Thursday, May 31, 1962: Adolf Eichmann hanged

June 1 story from The Associated Press:

TEL AVIV, Israel -- The state of Israel hanged Adolf Eichmann last night for his role in the Nazi extermination of six million Jews. The Gestapo officer went to his death hailing Germany, Austria and Argentina and declaring: "I had to obey the rules of war and my flag. I am ready."
Eichmann, 56, who insisted to the end he was not to blame for the horrors of Hitler's death camps and torture chambers, died two minutes before midnight on the gallows of Ramleh Prison outside Tel Aviv.
He was the first person executed by this dominantly Jewish nation in its 14-year history.
The Israeli government announced later that Eichmann's body was cremated on board a police boat at 3:45 a.m. and the ashes were scattered on the Mediterranean.
Israel charged him with crimes against humanity in his merciless roundup of Jews for shipment to the gas chambers of the Nazi Reich.
Eichmann's last words, addressed to a small group which witnessed his hanging in a third-floor room, were:
"After a short while, gentlemen, we shall all meet again. So is the fate of all men. I have lived believing in God and I die believing in God.
"Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the countries with which I have been most closely associated and shall not forget them. I greet my wife, my family and my friends. I had to obey the rules of war and my flag. I am ready."
Eichmann was born in Austria, served Germany and hid out after World War II in Argentina.
Eichmann was taken to his death two years and 21 days after Israeli commandos captured him in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel by air, ending a worldwide search by Jewish agents that began in the smoldering ruins of the Nazi empire at the close of the war.
He died at the end of the rope within hours after Pres. Izhak Ben-Zvi, acting with unexpected speed, rejected his final possible plea for mercy and sealed his doom.
Eichmann was hanged on an improvised scaffold in an area ordinarily used as a warden's storeroom. He walked steadily to the scene of his execution handcuffed to two guards.
Eichmann had been informed that his appeal was rejected but he was not told he was to be hanged forthwith until the guards came for him and led him the last 50 yards from his cell to the execution chamber.
When Eichmann was told his appeal had been rejected he asked for and got a bottle of red wine. It was a dry carmel, one of Israel's best wines. He drank half a bottle. He mounted the scaffold by a single step and stood directly under the noose which was suspended over his head on a chain. His hands were bound with a white cloth. Prison aides also tied his knees and ankles with the same white material.
At one point Eichmann complained that he could not stand straight unless the bonds around his legs were loosened.
The guards quickly eased the pressure. When the bonds were in place Eichmann stepped forward onto a black painted square, the trap door.
A guard shouted the Hebrew word for ready -- "muchan" -- and Eichmann disappeared from view.

1960 photos from Israel's police files.

* "The Executioner" (from www.aish.com, 2005): @
* Website of "The Hangman" (2010 documentary): @
* "The Eichmann Trial and the Role of Law" (American Bar Association Journal, September 1962): @

Earlier posts:
* Israel abducts Adolf Eichmann (May 11, 1960): @
* The trial of Adolf Eichmann (April 11, 1961): @
* Adolf Eichmann verdict (December 11 and December 15, 1961): @


  1. Too bad it was not a long, lingering death like he inflicted on so many Jews and others. May he long burn in Hell

  2. Unfortunately the man's request for a transfer was refused after inspecting certain locations and discovering atrocities there, if the prosecution team would not regard the defendant as a normal person a burden of conscience, they blame our arch enemy mental disorder, thus ruling out execution


Blog archive


Follow: @