The photo that led Mossad to architect of the holocaust Adolf Eichmann: Engineer in Argentina after WWII realized true identity of his colleague and told German authorities who IGNORED him – but Israel didn’t after seeing this snap
- Gerhard Klammer turned in Nazi chief executioner Adolf Eichmann twice
- A photo he passed to a prosecutor showing him standing with Eichmann ultimately sealed the Nazi’s fate
- The German geologist worked with Eichmann in Argentina in the early 1950s
- Their company was known to employ former Nazis who had escaped
- Klammer tried to turn Eichmann in in the early 1950s, but he never heard back
- In 1959, he told a close friend where Eichmann was, which led to his capture
- Eichmann joined the Nazis in 1932 and rose through the ranks of the party
- He was eventually captured by Mossad, tried, and hanged in Israel in 1962
- Klammer’s identity, meanwhile, was unknown until Friday
The photo that helped bring Nazi mass-murderer Adolf Eichmann to justice has been revealed for the first time, alongside the identity of the man who turned him in.
That snap – taken in the early 1950s – shows Eichmann, who is circled in red, standing next to Gerhard Klammer, a German geologist who worked alongside the infamous Nazi at an Argentinian construction firm.
Klammer’s involvement in bringing Eichmann to justice was only revealed last week, 32 years after his death, with his family’s blessing.
He emigrated to Argentina in the early 1950s to seek work, and began working for the Capri construction company in Tucuman Province, which sits in the north of the country.
Shortly afterwards Eichmann joined the same firm, calling himself Ricardo Klement. Klammer knew of his colleague’s true identity, and tried to inform German authorities.
Klammer knew who Eichmann was because their company, which planned hydroelectric power plants, employed many Nazis, according to German magazine Der Spiegel.
This is the photo of Adolf Eichmann (circled) with Gerhard Klammer stood to his right, which ultimately led to his capture
Eichmann (circled) is pictured stood next to Gerhard Klammer and colleagues from the Argentinian construction firm where both men worked
But they ignored his message, and he never received a response to the astonishing tip.
Klammer shared the identity of his former colleague again in 1959 after returning to his home country.
He confided in a close friend – a priest who had served in the German army, and shared the photo of himself with Eichmann, as well as the mass-murderer’s home address in Argentina.
That information was then passed to a bishop, who in turn passed it to Fritz Bauer. Bauer was a German Jewish prosecutor who had made it his mission to hunt Eichmann down.
US troops captured Eichmann after World War II, but he escaped from a prison camp in 1946. He landed in Argentina after living in Germany under a false identity for years, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Bauer fled his homeland during World War Two, but returned after fighting stopped.
He was the most powerful Jewish prosecutor in the country at the time. Eichmann was widely-known to have escaped to Argentina, but Bauer was the only German lawyer intent on bringing him to justice
Bauer had previously received intel on Eichmann from a half-Jewish man called Lothar Hermann who’d moved from Germany to Argentina.
His daughter had gone on a date with Eichmann’s son, who’d boasted of his father’s true identity.
That information sparked a 1957 attempt by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to try and track Eichmann down.
But they couldn’t find him, and returned empty handed.
Gerhard Klammer, left, knew his colleague at an Argentinian construction firm was Nazi butcher Adolf Eichmann, right, with his first tip-off to German authorities ignored
Eichmann, second from right, smiles as a Jewish prisoner has his hair cut at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Bauer traveled to Israel to meet with head of Mossad Isser Harel to pass on Klammer’s information.
Harel and Israel’s then Attorney General Haim Cohn were sufficiently convinced
It was Klammer’s tip-off which ultimately helped Mossad track Eichmann down in Argentina in May 1960.
Eichmann had since moved from the address Klammer had given him, but Mossad agents were still able to track him down from it.
They were able to kidnap him and bring him back to Israel to face justice, in one of the most daring and famous missions ever carried out by government agents.
An eight man team of Mossad agents arrived in Buenos Aries a month before Eichmann’s capture on fake passports, and planned to seize him off a bus he regularly took to work.
Their plan was almost abandoned when he failed to take that bus, but the Mossad crew got lucky when they spotted Eichmann getting off another bus 30 minutes later, and seized him.
He was transferred between local Mossad safe houses for nine days. The Nazi killer was then sedated by an Israeli doctor, and dressed in a flight attendant’s uniform before being loaded onto an El-Al plane, and flown to Israel.
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion shared news of his capture with the world the following day.
Eichmann is pictured during his trial in Israel in 1961, which saw him accused of genocide and crimes against humanity
Eichman was convicted on all 15 counts he was charged with, and hanged months later
Above, the home in Suburban Buenos Aires where Eichmann’s wife and children were found living
Prosecutor Fritz Bauer (right) followed up on Klammer’s claims and handed the information to Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency
He spent nine months in jail, and was put on trial for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity in April 1961
Eichmann was convicted on all counts, and was hanged in June 1962. Klammer made Bauer promise never to reveal where the tip that led to Eichmann’s capture had come from.
Bauer kept his promise, with Klammer’s name finally revealed in a German newspaper story published Friday finally explaining his role in the historic capture.
Klammer’s name was first reported by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which said Klammer has earned ‘a place of honor in Israeli history.’
Eichmann was sent to Vienna with the mission of ridding the city of Jews after the city’s annexation in 1938, according to History.com.
‘He set up an efficient Jewish deportation center and in 1939 was sent to Prague on a similar mission. That year, Eichmann was appointed to the Jewish section of the SS central security office in Berlin,’ the website says.
In January 1942, Eichmann met with top Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference near Berlin, where he was appointed to organize the identification, assembly, and transportation of millions of Jews from occupied Europe to Nazi death camps where Jews were gassed or worked to death.
It’s impossible to know the actual death toll of the Holocaust, but most sources estimate that six million Jews were killed in the massacre, and that a total of
Eichmann’s trial began in April 1961 following his capture.
He was convicted in December of 15 counts of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, war crimes and membership in a criminal organization, according to the International Crimes Database of The Hague.
He was hanged in May 1962 in prison in Ramla, Israel.
Adolf Eichmann – The Nazi Architect of the Holocaust
Karl Adolf Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany in 1906 and lived a ‘rather ordinary’ life as a traveling salesman in Austria for an oil company before World War II, as described by the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Eichmann was the oldest of five children born to a Calvinist Protestant family and attended the same secondary school in Linz, Austria that Adolf Hitler attended 17 years before him, according to The Eichmann Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt.
Eichmann lost his job with the Vacuum Oil Company AG during the worldwide Great Depression and joined the Nazi Party in April 1932, quickly becoming a member of the Schutzstaffel led by Heinrich Himmler – known as the SS.
By October 1934, Eichmann was stationed at the central office for the Sicherheitsdienst – the intelligence agency of the SS – in Berlin, where he dealt with Jewish affairs. He married his wife Veronika Liebl in 1935, with whom he had four sons.
After becoming regarded as an expert on Jewish affairs, Eichmann and his boss Herbert Hagen travelled to Palestine in 1937 to determine if the Jews in Germany could voluntarily emigrate there, according to Nazi Hunter: The Wiesenthal File by Alan Levy.
Hagen believed that having many Jewish people in Palestine might lead them to creating an independent Jewish country – which the Reich was vehemently against.
After Austria was annexed by Germany, Eichmann was sent to Vienna to organize the emigration of Jews from the city. Nearly 100,000 Jews had left Austria or were smuggled to Palestine and other countries by the time he left Vienna in May 1939, according to Eichmann: His Life and Crimes by David Cesarani.
Eichmann was then ordered to conduct a similar mission in Prague before he was transferred back to Berlin to serve as a member of Himmler’s Reich Security Central Office in 1939.
That year, the Nazi policy changed from voluntary emigration to forced deportation of Jewish people.
Reinhard Heydrich, the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst, ordered his staff to start collecting Jews in cities in Poland and deport them to reservations in German territories to await deportation.
Heydrich then tapped Eichmann to head the arrangement of all deportations into occupied Poland and the confiscation of Jewish property, according to Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews by Peter Longerich.
Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann stands in a protective glass booth flanked by Israeli police during his trial April 21, 1961 in Jerusalem
Heydrich told Eichmann in mid-September 1941 that Hitler ordered all Jews to be killed, and attended the Wannsee Conference of top German leaders in 1942 to plan the extermination of the Jewish people.
Eichmann, now a colonel in the SS, drafted for Heydrich a list of the numbers of Jews in various European countries and prepared statistics on emigration. He later supervised the deportation of Jewish to the death camps at Bełżec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz and others.
Though Eichmann did not make policy, he was described as the ‘chief executioner’ of the Holocaust by Encyclopedia Britannica.
He was responsible for collecting information on the Jews in each area, organizing the seizure of their property, and arranging for and scheduling the horrific packed trains that took the Jews to their deaths.
Eichmann was captured by U.S. troops after the war but escaped from a prison camp in 1946 and lived in Germany under a fake name for many years until he made his way to Argentina – where he was ultimately captured by the Mossad.
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