« Guilty »

Hausner and Servatius made their summing-up statements from 24 July to 8 August 1961. The court listened to arguments for and against the death penalty and announced its judgment from 13 to 15 December: Eichmann was found guilty and condemned to death. He appealed. From 22 to 28 March 1962 the case was argued before the supreme court, which confirmed the sentence. The judgment, appeal and sentence were not filmed by Leo Hurwitz but by an Israeli company, Herzliya Studios. The footage was used in documentaries from which these excerpts came.


Adolf Eichmann was the second sentences to death ever executed in the history of the country (Meir Tobiansky, an Israeli officer in the army was accused of treason in 1948) Contrary to popular belief, the death penalty was not «re-established» for him; it was explicitly called for in the 1950 punishment law on Nazis and collaborators but had never been carried out. Eichmann's appeal for clemency was turned down and he was hanged in his prison around midnight on 31 May 1962.
The announcement of the sentence drew hostile reactions, including in Israel. Writers and intellectuals such as Martin Buber, Arthur Koestler, Pearl Buck and Arnold Toynbee cautioned that it might be perceived as an act of vengeance, especially since it was not wartime. It also gave rise to some surprising incidents, such as a request from historians at the Institute for Contemporary Jewry , a new center created to write the history of the Shoah, to interview Eichmann before his execution. A special oven had to be built because Jewishtradition forbids cremation, the method of disposal Eichmann requested. In a final symbolic gesture, at around four o'clock in the morning on 1 June 1962 the crew of an Israeli navy motorboat scattered Eichmann´s ashes in the sea beyond Israel´s territorial waters in order to avoid soiling the country's shores. The trial was over, but the burden of the past still weighed heavily on the future.