Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Hunt for Adolf Eichmann

Introduction

Emaciated corpses, half buried
Emaciated corpses, half buried

It was a nightmare that was so demonic and so terrifying, that there are no words to adequately describe its horrors. The Final Solution, which was Nazi terminology for the extermination of European Jews during the Second World War, was a plan for mass murder on a scale that was unprecedented in human history. Adolf Hitler, a virulent, psychotic racist, built factories for mass murder where people could be killed in a meticulous, orderly fashion.

A secondary goal of his plan was for the camps to turn a financial profit. This was accomplished by robbing the victims of virtually any material object in their possession when alive and again after death. Tons of gold were pried from the teeth of massacred Jews. Human hair was removed by the acre for use in commercial products. Twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty five days a year, the killing continued on an assembly line of death perfected by Nazi ingenuity. Some of these camps were capable of killing 10,000 people a day. Places with odd-sounding names like Auschwitz, Dachau, Belzec, Treblinka and Buchewald will be eternally synonymous with evil. Hitler wanted to breed a perfect race of Aryan beings who would rule the world for a thousand years. He wanted to do away with the infirm, the weak and the old. For a time, his Blitzkrieg armies seemed unbeatable, all-powerful and unstoppable. But in the end, he was defeated by a poverty stricken nation led by a man in a wheelchair.

Adolf Eichmann, military
Adolf Eichmann, military

This is the story of the architect of Hitler's evil vision. He was German born, but raised in Austria, the cradle for many rabid anti-Semitics. He was a slender man of average build, noticeably bow-legged, with ordinary features that were undistinguished and easily forgotten. He liked to listen to the soaring compositions of Richard Wagner, played the violin and was addicted to sweet chocolate. There was truly nothing special about the man who looked like any other German. He was trained to be a construction engineer; not that he took an interest in the subject, but because his father thought it would be easy for his son. The course of study seemed simple, especially for a boy who could not finish high school. In every respect, as a young man, he was an underachiever, a disappointment to his family and seemed destined for a life of mediocrity and anonymity. Perhaps it was that fact, the knowledge to himself that he was a nobody, even to his parents, that probably helped make him what he was.

His name was Adolf Eichmann, the man who designed and maintained the satanic machinery of death that ultimately annihilated ten million innocent men, women and children.

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