Eichmann's Trial in Jerusalem
Proof of Guilt
The indictment charged Eichmann on fifteen counts including crimes against the Jewish people, and crimes against humanity. The prosecution team included Gideon Hausner, officiating as legal advisor to the government, and his assistants, Gavriel Bach and Yakov Bar-Or. The defense team comprised of Dr. Robert Servatius and his assistant, Dieter Wachtenbruch. The defense did not contest the facts included in the indictment, opting instead to play down the responsibility of the accused for the crimes of the Nazi regime against the Jews. The defense depicted the accused as "a small cog in the state apparatus," lacking influence upon the planning and operation of the murder machine. This line of defense stressed Eichmann's hierarchical inability to defy the instructions of his superiors, and the fact that it was the heads of the Nazi regime, rather than Eichmann, who adopted the decisive criminal decisions. However, the prosecution contrived, by means of documents and testimonies, to prove that the accused, his relatively low rank notwithstanding, was a personage of influence, initiative, and vigorous and resolute motivation to deport the Jews from the “Old Reich” territory to the ghettoes in the East, where a majority were condemned to their deaths. Furthermore, his personal responsibility was established for the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews to the annihilation camps, Auschwitz in particular. The judges noted the determination of the accused to continue at all costs the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz especially towards the end of 1944, on the verge of the collapse of the Third Reich, even in opposition to the views of his superiors.
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Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.