Holocaust Center hosts Eichmann exhibit

Operation Finale Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann Trial at Beit Ha’am in Jerusalem, Israel, 1961 (Government Press Office. Photo courtesy of Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.)

A new special exhibit, “Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann”, opens January 26 at the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills.

At the museum through mid-June, 2020, “Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann” is a coproduction of The Mossad: Israeli Secret Intelligence Service; Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland, Ohio.

The exhibit reveals the secret history behind the capture, extradition and trial of one of the world’s most notorious escaped war criminals. Eichmann, the head of the Nazis’ homicidal “Jewish Department,” who managed the transport of millions of innocent people to death camps, vanished after World War II.

Photographs, film and recently declassified spy artifacts reveal the dramatic history behind the daring abduction and globally broadcast trial of a principal perpetrator of The Final Solution, Nazi Germany’s plan for the mass murder of Europe’s Jews.

“The Holocaust Memorial Center is proud to host Operation Finale and provide our visitors with unprecedented access to artifacts and documents on a critical juncture in history,” said Holocaust Memorial Center CEO Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld. “The unwavering commitment to bring this war criminal to justice was not only inspiring, it also created global awareness of the destruction of European Jewry during World War II.”

The multimedia exhibit includes 60 original artifacts and 70 photographs, including maps, printed case files, hand forged documents and a pair of goggles used to obscure Eichmann’s vision during his capture. There also is a replica of the bulletproof glass booth used during the 1961 trial. Short films within the Operation Finale exhibit will allow visitors to hear the accounts of the abduction team that caught Eichmann and the legal team that prosecuted him.

Eichmann escaped to Argentina following the end of World War II and changed his name to Ricardo Klement. He was located through the work of a Holocaust survivor and Israel’s National Intelligence Agency, Mossad. Operation Finale was the code name given to the Mossad’s effort to capture and abduct Eichmann. He was smuggled back to Israel and stood trial for crimes against the Jewish people, where he was found guilty and executed in 1962.

The exhibit is open Sunday through Friday and is free with membership or museum admission. Special events will include:

  • Feb. 23: Operation Finale movie at 2:30 p.m.
  • Mar. 30: Operation Finale movie at 2:30 p.m.
  • Apr. 25: Yom HaShoah commemoration at 2 p.m.
  • May 11: Event featuring Neal Bascomb, author of Hunting Eichmann. This also is the 60th anniversary of the capture of Adolf Eichmann.

For more information, call 248-553-2400 or visit holocaustcenter.org.