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An inside look at Israel’s operation to capture Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann
An exhibition about the covert Israeli operation to capture Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1960 keeps on revealing new secrets.
The guest book for the “Operation Finale: The Story of the Capture of Eichmann” exhibition, which opened some two months ago, filled up very quickly. So did a second, which, like the first, was placed at the exhibition entrance. Some of the hundreds of pages are full on both sides.
The exhibition’s curator is Mossad employee Avner A. One day Avner noticed a tall, elderly man with erect posture who spent a long time at the guest book. When he approached the man and asked his name, the man replied: “I am Yitzhak Elron, the Israel Defense Forces’ attache in Argentina at the time of the operation.”
Brig. Gen. (res. ) Elron, now 88, actively helped in the surveillance of Eichmann that culminated in his capture and abduction to Israel, his trial and subsequent execution. Elron told Avner how he and his wife, Sarah, kept Eichmann under surveillance before he was abducted from his home in a Buenos Aires suburb. One day, for example, they sat in a Jeep near his home and waited for him, pretending to be a couple of lovers. Elron, incidentally, never told his wife she was taking part in a secret mission.
When he tried to turn the Jeep around to drive away, the vehicle slipped and fell into a ditch. He got out, unscathed, and the couple went to call for help; when they got back to the Jeep, they found someone had stolen one of the wheels. Now this story too is making its way into the history books.
In the wake of the chance encounter between A. and Elron, the latter produced, from his private archive, rare behind-the-scenes pictures from the operation. They are published here for the first time.