Who was Adolf Eichmann

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SS leader

  • March 19: Adolf Eichmann is born as the son of the accountant and later company owner Adolf Eichmann and his wife Maria (née Schefferling) in Solingen (Rhineland).

  • The family moves to Linz (Austria).

  • Visit of the "Higher Federal College for Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Building Construction" in Linz. Eichmann leaves school without a degree.

  • Activities as miners and salespeople in companies in which his father is a partner. Later he was a travel agent for the "Vacuum Oil Company" in Vienna.

  • Joined the German-Austrian Front Fighter Association

  • April 1: Eichmann becomes a member of the Austrian National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP). Admission to the Schutzstaffel (SS) takes place seven months later.
    Due to the Austrian NSDAP ban, he moved to Germany, where he received fourteen months of military and ideological training from the SS in Bavaria.
    Eichmann is accepted into the security service (SD) and moves to Berlin.

  • Lecturer at the SD main office in Berlin, Section II 112 ("Jews"). Eichmann deals with the question of how the forced relocation of the Jewish population can be accelerated. He acquired a superficial knowledge of Hebrew and Yiddish and made contact with Zionist leaders.

  • March: After the "Anschluss" Austria was transferred to Vienna.
    August: Eichmann organizes the "Central Office for Jewish Emigration" in Vienna, the only Nazi agency authorized to grant Austrian Jews exit permits. In less than a year and a half, around 128,000 Jews were forcibly left the country.

  • October: He takes over the management of the "Reich Center for Jewish Emigration" set up by Reinhard Heydrich in June in Berlin. Eichmann is involved in the plans for the forced relocation of Jews to the Generalgouvernement.
    December: He receives Section IV D 4 "Emigration and Evacuation" (from 1941 Section IV B 4 "Jewish Affairs, Eviction Matters") from the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in Berlin, Kurfürstenstrasse 115/116. Eichmann becomes the central figure in the deportations of several million Jews to ghettos and concentration camps.

  • November 9th: Promotion to SS-Obersturmbannführer.
    Eichmann travels to Auschwitz for the first time. Further visits to the extermination camps will follow.

  • January 20: He takes minutes at the Wannsee Conference.

  • March: As leader of a Sonderkommando, Eichmann organizes the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in Budapest.

  • After the end of the Second World War, he managed to escape from American internment in February 1946.

  • Eichmann lives in Germany with forged papers. He works temporarily as a woodworker in the Lüneburg Heath.

  • Eichmann emigrated to Argentina via Italy, where he lived in Buenos Aires under the name Ricardo Klement. His wife Vera (née Liebl) followed him a little later with her three sons. Among other things, he gets a job as a welder and mechanic in a Mercedes-Benz factory.

  • May 11: After months of observation, the Israeli secret service arrests Eichmann. He is kidnapped to Israel nine days later because there is no extradition agreement between Argentina and Israel.

  • April-December: Eichmann trial in Israel. He pleads not guilty as charged and relies on orders from superiors. Eichmann is sentenced to death in the first and second instance.

  • Night of June 1st: Adolf Eichmann's death sentence is carried out in Ramleh prison near Tel Aviv.

Susanne Eckelmann, Dr. Mark Rudiger
© German Historical Museum, Berlin