Saturday, 14 November 2015

Operation Finale : How Mossad put the world's biggest murderer on trial

With the world witnessing the downfall of Adolf Hitler's heinously justified empire, the Nazis as well as the holocaust survivors got into a bizarre slugfest of sorts. As the Nazi leadership went into oblivion, men and women were quick to renounce all their associations as they were sought by both the Allied Forces as well as the highly unorganized Israeli battalion. Many fled away and receded into the alcoves of nothingness to escape perdition, and while the world went jubilant to the end of the most hideous Adolf till date, another equally repugnant Adolf went away and avoided the expurgation. This demon was Adolf Eichmann. 

Eichmann was the greater Adolf's point man in the execution of the latter's final strategy "The final solution" for dredging the Jewish 'scum' off the planet. Hence the pedicular responsibility to operate the holocaust gas chambers and massive enslaving and termination facilities with all pertinent logistics, came under the direct suzerainty of Eichmann. With Hitler never even personally visiting any of the concentration camps, Eichmann became the chief executioner of the world's most Goliath genocide - The Jewish holocaust. And now with Berlin in absolute doldrums, Eichmann surreptitiously moved out and fled away from the smoldering Jewish fury for vengeance. 

"Eichmann, Adolf" by Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Museum do not name an author.The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek website attributes the image to Heinrich Hoffmann (1885–1957) (image: hoff-895; negative: Hoffmann 8841), a German photographer who was known as Hitler's personal photographer. The library obtained the negative and a copy of the image as part of a collection purchased from Hoffmann's son in 1993.Following an inquiry from a Wikipedian in 2014, the library checked the negative and confirmed "with certainty" that this is not one of Hoffmann's images. His negatives were made of glass and had identifying numbers etched onto them. The library said they cannot determine the authorship of the Eichmann negative. - Yad Vashem (see here, and here for a version with a signature); the caption of this image on another page (link doesn't work) reads "Eichmann, RSHA (Reich Central Security Office), 1942, Collection Archive, Yad Vashem Archives."The image is also available at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, crediting DIZ Muenchen GMBH, Sueddeutscher Verlag Bilderdienst. The latter credits "S. M." Photograph number (Bild-ID): 126367.. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eichmann,_Adolf.jpg#/media/File:Eichmann,_Adolf.jpg
Adolf Eichmann in his Nazi Regalia
Shortly after the Axis disintegration, the focus of Israel moved on to the strengthening of its dominion against all its Arab neighbors. However, the focus on nabbing Eichmann never fizzled even a bit. Day after day, top leaders sat to see where they stood on finding out Eichmann. It was pretty much clear Eichmann had developed many close contacts during his term as Hitler's top man, and he was going to leverage on some of them to settle in one of the many countries, which in a rather reticent way, still supported the Nazi cause. Hence getting Eichmann to Israel was the classic example of seeking a needle in a hay sack.

Year after year, the search continued. With Mossad's formation in 1949, all the relevant files on Eichmann were passed on to them. It included photos from his SS file. The same were circulated among all the Mossad katsa network which was now pretty widespread. The help of many sayanim was also sought to see if someone who fit in Eichmann's description was checking in at a hotel or aa airport or was boarding a taxi. And soon, much to their chagrin, Mossad found out that Eichmann might have undergone a plastic surgery in a circumventing move. 

The Nazis had championed the technique of plastic surgery, all just to further their unedifying agenda to besmirch Jews as being inferior to and distinct from the pure Aryan race. There were rumors that in the Jewish concentration camps, children who didn't look Jewish were made to look more Jewish to justify their entrapment. It was now conceived that one such deft doctor from the Nazi days might have come at Eichmann's avail to get him a makeover. 

While any other intelligence agency would've moved on to the more pressing matters, Mossad has always been relentless on getting to the guillotine someone who just as much as got featured on their list. Hence Mossad analysts sat on the job of coming up with multiple visages of Eichmann so that many prospective faces and corporeal profiles could be created, and distributed among the ever pervasive katsa network. And so it happened! 

From 1946 onward till 1960, katsas all over the world indulged in a massive and a rather eternal lookout for Eichmann, who as per Mossad was definitely alive and had assumed a new look. The team of analysts kept revising their facial estimates of how Eichmann would look then on the basis of many innuendos Mossad's katsas kept receiving from multiple informers spread all over the world. The search seemed endless and incessant until that one day in 1960 when Mosaad's network got the much awaited piece of info. 

A man who resembled one of the many of Eichmann's prospective profiles drawn up by Mossad's own surgeons, was spotted in Buenos Aires in Argentina. It was definitely among one of the many cities where Mossad thought Satan's own child could be. He was working under the guise of a red cross officer and used to go to work with a rather innocuous job role, by catching up a bus every single day. It was this inveterate routine that Mossad chose to capitalize to bring him down. 

On one fine evening in the May of 1960, as Eichmann was walking back to his apartment, a Mossad unit led by the legendary Rafi Eitan(Who later became the most successful director general of Mossad), swiftly made their moves. Before anyone could catch a whiff, 2 men from the back of a Buick limousine moved out, muffled Eichmann to tamper his howl, and snatched him and hurled him on the back seat. He was immediately sedated. As Eitan had Eichmann's head in his lap, he observed the distinctive scar marks on Eichmann's neck, which reaffirmed that it was Eichmann indeed. From there on, Mossad's main problem begun. 

While capturing Eichmann was a feat in itself, getting him out of the country and back to Israel was quite a gargantuan task. However, Mossad's grip on the matters was so surreal and pragmatic, that they had a solution for that as well. Eichmann was put in a safe house and he didn't prove very trenchant or non-cooperative. He probably realized that fate had the better of him. In the meanwhile, Mossad executed the small steps that were to lead in the most massive covert spurious expat operation ever conducted. 

A conference was scheduled to take place in Argentina, and an El Al(Israel's national carrier) airlines was sent with a truckload of delegates. But scattered in this concoction were Mossad katsas who were to carry out the crucial task of getting Eichmann to Israel. As the conference went on, Eichmann was given another makeover. Ironically, as the first one got him spared for 15 years, the second one was his death knell. Eichmann's hair was colored and was given a mustache that made him appear prominently Jewish. He was then put on the El Al flight back to Israel, where he was made to look like a sick El Al crew member. He was heavily sedated for him to not be able to as much as speak a word. Finally, amid much tension and apprehensions, the flight took off, quenching much of the gnarling anxiety the Mossad operatives had in their minds about pulling off the most preposterously risque operation with supreme sagacity. It was the closest real life came close to real life in producing a gut wrenching climax. 

Eichmann was flown to Israel where on the next morning, an elated Prime Minister announced to a flummoxed parliament and to the world, that Adolf Eichmann, the most notorious Nazi perpetrator still alive, whose prime job was to get millions of Jews from France and other countries to Germany and gavel them to damnation, was now not very far from the noose. Later on May 31st 1962, Eichmann was hanged. It was the only hanging ever announced on the holy lands. His body was cremated and ashes scattered all over the sea. And with that, Mossad thought Israel may never have to encounter the unrestrained antisemitism. But not to be!