Sunday, April 10, 2011

Before the court in Jerusalem, Adolf Eichmann listened impassively reading of indictment

The trial of Adolf Eichmann began April 11, 1961 in Jerusalem. The court reporter of the "World" of the time, Jean-Marc Théolleyre reported historical debates held there until their term, December 15, 1961. We are republishing the article he wrote on the first day of trial for our edition dated April 12, 1961.

The trial room is like a theater or meeting. It was cold and clear architecture of modern buildings. What first attracts attention - before the panel took places where members of the Jerusalem District Court, the president and his two assessors Landau, Benjamin Halevy judges and Isaac Raveh - is left, the glass box is the cockpit of Adolf Eichmann.

Behind these walls, there is his wooden chair, his table and microphone. If he looks ahead, he sees the other side of the courtroom the desk of the Attorney General Gideon Hausner, surrounded by his assistants. On his left, he discovered his judges in robes and black ties, and above them on the wall, the candlestick with seven branches on black gold, brilliant arms of the State of Israel.

In contrast, on his right, the crowd of journalists, who occupy the slope of the twenty rows of seats, and the public a first in the orchestra of a theater. In other glass cockpits, always at his right hand, like balconies, will officiate at the staff interpreters Simultaneous translation in German, English and French.

So here he is this Adolf Eichmann who was lured into this room the world. It came almost on the fly in his glass cage, looming out of the wall by a door which is hardly guessed the drawing coincides with the wall. He walks on the courtroom a look of quiet curiosity. However, the pale face and some games of the cheek muscles appear to betray some anxiety.

Since the time of his arrest is the first time he sees other people as his guardians, or those who questioned him. He wears a dark new suit which was delivered yesterday, a white shirt also new, and a polka dot tie completes this elegant cladding. What is striking is the height of the forehead broad and receding.

Behind the glasses, one perceives the evil eye, and it is possible to detect for the hour of attention. "You are accused in the court by the indictment, which includes fifteen points and I'll read it. This indictment will be later translated into German." Eichmann still standing, do not blink.

The defense did not budge further. Playback starts step by step, followed after the presentation of each point in its Hebrew translation in German. Eichmann keeps his immobility. Anime no reaction to the statement of this litany of words in which recurring leitmotif in the same expressions plunder, looting, violence, theft, rape, torture and extermination.

He listens. The trial attracted the attention of the world has begun. This small, stocky man, stocky, gray-haired, it is Dr. Servatius, Eichmann's lawyer, for his armed struggle. Against what is he fighting? Against an indictment that lists fifteen counts. The first four are against Eichmann crime against the Jewish people.

He describes the acts he committed in his capacity as head of the execution of the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews, called by its authors seriously the "Final Solution of the Jewish question." These acts were perpetrated in eighteen European countries. Seven other charges dealing with crimes against humanity, that is to say actions initiated against the Poles, Slovenes, Gypsies, and a number of children of Lidice.

The twelfth is still head a war crime, and the last three against Adolf Eichmann retain its membership in the Nazi Party, the SS and the Gestapo, as many organizations declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. As opening day of trial, it is for the Jerusalem District Court to defend the legal validity of his indictment.

It is certain that if an International Criminal Court had existed at the time of Eichmann's capture, she was usually called to the judge. This is not the case. Undoubtedly, the main legal argument of the defense will focus on transferring the old SS Argentina to Israel, and we already know that Dr.

Servatius has requested the hearing of the two Israeli pilots who brought back the captive within Israel. For a lawyer, this transfer following a seizure in a foreign country by volunteers of Israel is no doubt a violation of fundamental rights of the Argentine state. To this the prosecution replied that the incident may have been permanently closed by the statement released August 3rd 1960 by both governments, who have since returned to friendly relations.

Another contentious issue will arise whether an Israeli court has jurisdiction to try Eichmann, accused of crimes committed outside the State of Israel and even before the birth of this state. Again, the answer is predictable. The Israeli judge is bound by the law regularly passed in 1950 by the Parliament of his country and he does not belong to ascertain whether it complies with the standards of international law.

The question is therefore whether the Israeli law of 1950 on the repression of war crimes is contrary to the rights of people. Article published in the 12/04/1961

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