|REEL FACE:||REAL FACE:|
Born: March 9, 1979
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Born: May 27, 1927
Death: March 1, 2005, New York City, New York, USA
Bio: Strongman, Expert in Disguises & Martial Arts
Born: December 31, 1943
Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, UK
Born: March 19, 1906
Birthplace: Solingen, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Death: June 1, 1962, Ramla, Israel Execution by Hanging
Born: February 21, 1991
London, England, UK
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Bio: Son of Adolf Eichmann
Haley Lu Richardson
Born: March 7, 1995
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Bio: Girlfriend of Klaus Eichmann
Born: February 20, 1947
Croton-on-Hudson, New York, USA
Birthplace: Quirnbach, Westerwaldkreis, Germany
Death: July 1974, Coronel Suarez, Argentina
Bio: Father of Sylvia Hermann
Born: June 5, 1978
New York City, New York, USA
Born: November 23, 1926
Birthplace: Ein Harod, Mandatory Palestine
Bio: Leader of Operation Finale
Born: May 1976
Born: February 6, 1921
Birthplace: Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
Death: May 26, 2012, England, UK
Bio: Interrogator with Knowledge of Argentina
Born: November 24, 1971
Birthplace: Vitebsk, Russian Empire
Death: February 18, 2003
Bio: Organizer of Operation Finale & Director of Mossad
Born: December 3, 1977
Reinbek bei Hamburg, Germany
Bio: Cool-Headed, Experienced Agent
Bio: Strongman & Technical Master
Michael Benjamin Hernandez
Bio: Master Forger
Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) Adolf Eichmann has been nicknamed "The Architect of the Holocaust". However, the agents involved in capturing him have noted that this gives him a little too much credit since there were a number of key organizers of the Final Solution. From 1939 to 1945, Eichmann, under orders from Reinhard Heydrich, masterminded the logistics involved in transporting millions of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps during World War II. His experience for this job came from his previous employment at an oil company, where he meticulously organized the delivery of oil and other supplies to customers across Austria.
When Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, Eichmann oversaw the deportation of the majority of the Jewish population, handling the logistics involved in transporting such a large number of people to the extermination camps, mainly to Auschwitz. In roughly four months time, approximately 437,000 of Hungary's 725,000 Jews had been exterminated.
As the end of the war neared, Adolf Eichmann is quoted as saying that he would "leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction" (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich). The total number of Jews killed in the Holocaust would end up being between five and six million.
Yes. While conducting our Operation Finale movie fact-check, we learned that the real Adolf Eichmann was in U.S. custody at the end of World War II, but the U.S. troops didn't know who they had. While being taken to various camps for SS officers, he produced forged papers that identified him as "Otto Eckmann". After he caught wind that his real identity had been discovered, he fled from a prisoner work detail in Cham, Germany. While on the run, he managed to obtain new papers that said he was "Otto Heninger". He moved around often, eventually settling in Lüneburg Heath in Northern Germany. Eichmann initially found work in the forestry industry. He lived there until 1950, leasing a small plot of land in Altensalzkoth.
While Adolf Eichmann was still living under a false identity in Northern Germany, the Nuremberg trials had taken place and various SS officers, including Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, divulged damning evidence about Eichmann. As his exact role in the Holocaust became more widely known, his status as a fugitive grew.
With the help of Nazi sympathizers, Eichmann was able to obtain a landing permit for Argentina in 1948, along with a fake ID under the alias "Ricardo Klement". This helped him to secure an International Committee of the Red Cross humanitarian passport that allowed him to emigrate to the South American country of Argentina in 1950. Upon leaving Germany, he stayed in a number of monasteries across Europe that were doubling as safe houses. On June 17, 1950, he traveled by ship from Genoa, Italy and arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 14.
After himself arriving in Argentina in July 1950, Eichmann sent for his family in 1952 and they settled in the capital city of Buenos Aires. While there, his son Klaus began dating a half-Jewish German girl named Sylvia Hermann in 1956. She had emigrated to Argentina with her family in 1938. Sylvia's father, Lothar Hermann, had escaped the Dachau concentration camp, where he was severely beaten and lost sight in one eye.
According to the true story, Lothar became suspicious after her daughter's boyfriend Klaus began telling Sylvia about his father's exploits as a Nazi. That, coupled with the last name "Eichmann", prompted Lothar to contact the prosecutor-general of the state of Hesse in West Germany, a man by the name of Fritz Bauer. Lothar then sent his daughter to gather more intelligence on Klaus's father, whom she encountered in person when she showed up at the Eichmann home. Acting on the promising evidence, Fritz Bauer spoke to Mossad director Isser Harel in 1957, and Harel put together a team of operatives to surveil the Eichmanns. This is all depicted rather accurately in the film.
In a 1996 interview with Leon Charney, Peter Malkin explained that Adolf Eichmann was the biggest war criminal who still hadn't been brought to justice. "After the Nuremberg trials, there haven't been so many stars later, and one of the stars was Eichmann, and for us Jews he was the biggest one. Not only Jews, I think for many people. He was the biggest man then. He was the head of the Jewish department, and he was responsible for sending millions of people, six million Jews and about another six million of other nationalities, and about one-half million of children, to death in the camps."
It wasn't common for the Mossad to carry out such an operation. Like the CIA, their main purpose was to gather intelligence from abroad. "The Mossad and the CIA is always bringing information from outside the country. ... This was an exception, the capture of Eichmann."
Yes. After arriving in Buenos Aires in April 1960 as part of an eleven-person team, Mossad agent Peter Malkin posed as a painter while observing Eichmann's movements. He often used artistic endeavors as his cover while he was with Mossad. The identity helped to inspire a lifelong love for painting. Some of Malkin's paintings and drawings portray Eichmann and his capture. Many of these drawings and accompanying written memories are included in his book The Argentina Journal: Paintings and Memories.
After living in Argentina for a decade, Adolf Eichmann was finally captured on the rainy night of May 11, 1960. Israeli Mossad agent Peter Zvi Malkin was part of an eleven-man team led by Mossad operative Rafi Eitan, who is portrayed by Nick Kroll in the movie. The team, which was made up mostly of Shin Bet agents, captured Eichmann, who was then going by the name Ricardo Klement, not far from his home on Garibaldi Street in the industrial community of San Fernando, Buenos Aires. They had arrived the month prior to observe Eichmann's movements.
Like in the movie, Mossad agent Peter Malkin was the first to engage Eichmann during the capture, saying to Eichmann in the only two words of Spanish he had learned, "Momentito, señor. One moment, sir." He restrained Eichmann in a neck lock and was quickly assisted by two fellow Mossad agents, who helped wrestle a frightened Eichmann to the ground. They got him into a waiting car where they concealed him on the floor under a blanket.
Yes. In researching the Operation Finale true story, we discovered that Mossad agent Peter Malkin indeed had conversations with Eichmann after Eichmann's capture. In his 2002 book The Argentina Journal, Malkin describes what it was like coming face-to-face with the man who was largely responsible for the murders of his own family members and millions of others. "Who is that man lying on the iron bed? What does he signify to me?" Malkin pondered.
He noted that Eichmann "did not look like a monster," which surprised him. He forced himself to talk with Eichmann, about which he commented, "Long an accomplished agent, I was at last becoming a human being." His conversations with Eichmann helped him to realize that the former Nazi was not a monster but a human being, which made Eichmann's actions during the war even harder to comprehend. Malkin later commented that "a monster can be excused for his behaviour . . . The problem is not how a monster could do it, but how a human being did it." -Peter Malkin Obituary
In fact-checking Operation Finale, we learned that the real operation went smoothly and mostly as planned, which of course wouldn't make for an exciting film. In real life, Eichmann's son later revealed that he and about 300 fellow fascists found out about the flight taking Eichmann out of Argentina, but they were half an hour too late to prevent the plane from departing. They figured out what likely had happened to Eichmann after having spent time the previous week searching hospitals and morgues for him. Team leader Rafi Eitan commented on Israel's Channel 2 investigative news program Uvda that operationally speaking, capturing Eichmann was "one of the easiest missions we did."
No. This is where the movie takes one of its biggest liberties. The movie character Dr. Hanna Elian (Mélanie Laurent), who safely sedates Adolf Eichmann to get him on a plane back to Israel, was male in real life. The real doctor's name was Dr. Yonah Elian. The gender was changed in order to create the character's fictional romance with Mossad agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac). In his book, Eichmann in My Hands, the real Peter Malkin mentions a female agent named Rosa showing up in Argentina, but their was no romance between them. He described her as being unattractive and hard to take at times. She had been sent there to act as the wife of another agent.
He didn't deny orchestrating the deportation of millions of Jews, but he never admitted guilt and claimed that he was just following orders. "As far as this question is concerned, I can only say that I've never killed anyone." Eichmann said at his trial, referring to physically taking another person's life. "I had to obey orders. I had to do it."
"He said [in his trial], 'I was only responsible for the transportation,'" recalls ex-Israeli Mossad agent Peter Malkin. "So, it looks like, in those days, behind a desk, you could kill much more than with a pistol, and that's what he had done. He'd just send them to the camps." -Charney Report
Yes. The booth was made of bulletproof glass and was meant to protect him from potential attempts on his life during the trial. Many people were in attendance at the trial, and it was highly publicized. Tickets were even given out. Watch the Adolf Eichmann Trial Video.
Yes. At the conclusion of his trial, the "Architect of the Holocaust" was sentenced to death in December 1961 for crimes against the Jewish people. The Adolf Eichmann hanging took place in Israel on May 31, 1962. As stated at the end of the movie, he was cremated and his ashes were spread in the Mediterranean Sea so that he would have no final resting place.
Yes. Several other movies have been made about the capture of Adolf Eichmann, including the 1996 television film The Man Who Captured Eichmann starring Robert Duvall as the Nazi mastermind. Arliss Howard portrayed Malkin. The film was based on Peter Malkin's 1990 memoir Eichmann in My Hands.
In an interview with Leon Charney, Peter Malkin stated that he spent 28 years in the Mossad, which is the Israeli equivalent of the CIA. Prior to working in the Mossad, Malkin had worked in the Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency, whose motto is "Defender that shall not be seen" or "The unseen shield". While part of the Shin Bet, he served as an explosives expert. He was also skilled in martial arts and was a master of disguises. He eventually became the Head of Operations of the Mossad, which is "equivalent to a general," he explained.
In 1976, Malkin retired to the United States and became a well-regarded painter in Manhattan, where he lived with his wife, Roni, and their three children. It wouldn't be until 1991, well over a quarter century after Adolf Eichmann's trial, that Malkin's involvement in his capture became public knowledge. He would author two books, Eichmann in My Hands and The Argentina Journal. The latter features his paintings depicting the capture of Eichmann and his written memories of the experience. Malkin also acted as a private international consultant on anti-terrorism tactics. He passed away on March 1, 2005.
Peer deeper into the Operation Finale true story by watching an interview with the real Peter Malkin, who is portrayed by Oscar Isaac in the movie. Then watch the Adolf Eichmann trial videos that feature the former Nazi on the stand in Israel in 1961. At the end of the trial, he was found guilty. The Adolf Eichmann hanging was carried out on May 31, 1962.