- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (March 11, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618858679
- ISBN-13: 978-0618858675
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 316 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
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Hunting Eichmann is the first complete narrative of a relentless and harrowing international manhunt.
When the Allies stormed Berlin in the last days of the Third Reich, Adolf Eichmann shed his SS uniform and vanished. Following his escape from two American POW camps, his retreat into the mountains and out of Europe, and his path to an anonymous life in Buenos Aires, his pursuers are a bulldog West German prosecutor, a blind Argentinean Jew and his beautiful daughter, and a budding, ragtag spy agency called the Mossad, whose operatives have their own scores to settle (and whose rare surveillance photographs are published here for the first time). The capture of Eichmann and the efforts by Israeli agents to secret him out of Argentina to stand trial is the stunning conclusion to this thrilling historical account, told with the kind of pulse-pounding detail that rivals anything you'd find in great spy fiction.
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I was surprised that my perception of the Adolf Eichmann I thought I knew changed after reading this book. Since my teens in the late 1960's, I have read numerous books on the Third Reich and the Holocaust, including the great works of Sir Martin Gilbert, William Shirer, and Nazi insider Albert Speer. As a result, I saw Adolf Eichmann through a concrete looking glass... a 20th century boogey man; a black and white, one dimensional monster of epic proportions whose organizational skills, robotic ability to follow orders, and sociopathy made him a perfect choice for the tasks he eagerly carried out and was to eventually answer for.
Although the focus of this book was obviously the manhunt, Bascomb managed to humanize Eichmann through short biographical flashes, at least as much as one can humanize the inhumane. He did so by offering insight into the flawed man that Eichmann was... a true case study in contradictions: a ne'er do well who found ambition and drive at the worst possible moment. A philandering husband revered by his long-suffering wife. A stern father, both loved and respected by his sons. A man able to extinguish a million lives with the mere stroke of a pen, yet who shuddered at the prospect of his own execution. A once proud member of the Third Reich's inner circle who, within 15 years of the war's end, stood before his captors in "worn and dingy socks and underwear" while being searched after his capture. And it is this "humanization" of Adolf Eichmann that makes him truly terrifying.
***** Large segments of the trial of Adolf Eichmann have been made available by Yad Vashem on You-Tube ****
I read almost everything I can find on WWII, especially relating to the Holocaust as the topic fascinates me. I feel like it somehow honors those who perished in a very small way to learn what I can about their lives and their experiences. In spite of all of the reading I have already done on the subject, this book added plenty of new dimension and understanding.
In particular, I appreciate Bascomb's description of Germany, the Catholic Church, the United States, Great Britain, Argentina, etc, and the roles they took on with regard to finding Nazis after the war, and how the Eichmann trial impacted those approaches. I also gained a new appreciation for the formation of the nation of Israel, and how it came to be.
In addition to appealing to history buffs, this is an excellent book for those who like spy thrillers. It was a page turner and many nights I could not put it down! Well worth the read.
Although there is some description of the horrors of the Holocaust, the author does not dwell on gory detail, but focuses on the mind set and motivation of the principles.
This is a fascinating and highly recommended read.