Eichmann (1906-1962), Adolf

18 March, 2009
Bovy Daniel

Member of the Austrian Nazi party in 1932, he immigrated to Bavaria in July 1933. In September 1934, he joined the SD (security police). In 1935, he took the lead of the Office for Jewish Affairs in Berlin. In September 1937, Eichmann flew to Palestine with Hagen in order to negotiate the Jewish emigration. Shortly after he came back, he took over the Jewish Affairs in Vienna (department IV of the security police). Within 18 months, he became expert in Jewish forced emigration. The year 1938 was crucial for Eichmann: the strong Jewish emigration started then and grew rapidly because of the Anschluss (annexation of Austria). In 1939, Eichmann replaced Müller as Head of the Office of Jewish Affairs (IVB4) in Berlin. On July 26, 1939, he opened an office in Prague. In December 1939, he became responsible of the Office for Jewish Emigration to the East. On February 13, 1940, he organized a forced emigration of the Stettin Jews, of which 230 were killed during the operation. In 1941, Eichmann recommended to use Zyklon B in Auschwitz. At this time, the extermination of Jews had not yet started. On September 13, 1941, Eichmann contacted Rademacher (Foreign Affairs) to discuss the fate of about 8,000 Jews from Serbia. As Eichmann was unable to find a solution regarding their destination, he chose to let them shoot all. On October 10, 1941, Eichmann and Himmler met to discuss about the Final Solution. After the Wannsee Conference (January 20, 1942) – Eichmann consigned all that had been said – He coordinated the Final Solution with the help of his assistants: Alois Brunner, Theodor Dannecker, Rolf Günther and Dieter Wisliceny. On July 10, 1942, Eichmann answered Dannecker who asked him what to do with the 4,000 children of the Drancy camp that they should all be deported as soon as the railway convoys would be organized. On August 1, 1942, he ordered to all SD representatives in Brussels (Belgium) to deport all stateless Jews. Even when Himmler ordered to cease gassing at the end of the war, Eichmann felt strong because he was supported by Kaltenbrunner. He played a central role in the deportation of the Hungarian Jews. After the war, he fled to Argentina but the Israeli secret services spotted him and Eichmann was captured and brought to Jerusalem to be judged. The trial had a big impact throughout the world. Hannah Arendt followed all the sessions and wrote a book on Eichmann’s process in which he appears as a typical “office criminal”. The trial allowed many Holocaust survivors and witnesses to tell what they had experienced. The charges were composed of 15 different crimes to be prosecuted. One of them was crime against the Jewish people (which was not mentioned during the Nuremberg Trial in 1946) and crime against humanity. Eichmann was hanged on June 1, 1962.


ARENDTt, H., 1963, Eichmann à Jérusalem. : Gallimard.

JOFFROY, P., KÖNIGSEDER K. (ed.), 1971, Eichmann par Eichmann, : Grasset.

Cite this item

Bovy Daniel, Eichmann (1906-1962), Adolf , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 18 March, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021, http://bo-k2s.sciences-po.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/en/document/eichmann-1906-1962-adolf, ISSN 1961-9898
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