How Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s Holocaust trial unified Israel

When Nazi Adolf Eichmann stood trial for war crimes 50 years ago, it helped to unify the young state of Israel by allowing Jewish people to talk openly about the Holocaust.

Adolf Eichmann has been described at the architect of the Holocaust

“For Jews,” the Israeli historian Tom Segev said, “there were always two Adolfs.”

Adolf Hitler had killed himself in the ruins of his Berlin bunker but the other Adolf, SS Lt Colonel Adolf Eichmann, was what Segev called “the face of the Holocaust”.

Fifty years ago this week, shortly before 9 o’clock in the morning of 11 April 1961, the “second Adolf” faced justice in a makeshift Israeli courtroom in Jerusalem.

The Eichmann trial helped create modern Israel and has profound implications for the world today.

“When I stand before you,” the chief prosecutor Gideon Hausner told the court, “I do not stand alone. Here with me at this moment stand six million prosecutors.”

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