Friday, June 6, 2014



Blogspot by David Lawrence-Young re. his latest historical novel: SIX MILLION ACCUSERS: Catching Adolf Eichmann
An Interview with Haim A, one of the team who tracked down and captured the top Nazi, Adolf Eichmann.
First of all, tell us something about your life that isn’t mentioned in “Six Million Accusers.”
image descriptionWell, most of my life story is mentioned at the beginning of the novel: how I came to Palestine as a young boy; joined an underground movement; fought in the Second World War and met my future wife. I also described what I did during the Israeli War of Independence and how I joined the Mossad. What I didn’t include was my love of sport. I love playing football and basketball. I try and play these games when I’m at home and I’m a part-time member of my kibbutz basket-ball team. I enjoy these games, especially as playing them gives me a chance to mix even more with my fellow-kibbutz members.

How has Israel changed since when you first arrived there?
When I first arrived, Israel, then called Mandatory Palestine was a very simple, even primitive country by European standards. Today it is as modern as any other Western country. It has also changed politically. At first it was very much the Socialist-flavored country as envisaged by the Founding Fathers such as Ben-Gurion. This has changed a great deal over the past forty years. Today its life-style is very similar to that of the rest of the Western world.

How has being a Mossad agent affected your life?
Being a Mossad agent has certainly affected my life. The downside is that it has made me become secretive in many ways and live my life knowing that I cannot share many of my ‘work’ experiences with my wife and family. They have learned to live with me disappearing from time to time as I go abroad on ‘government business.’ The upside is that I feel I’ve made a serious contribution to protecting my country from all sorts of enemies: internal and external. I’ve also enjoyed much of the foreign travel and have had many ‘work’ experiences which were both exciting and boring. I’ve worked with many good and bad characters, and these I’d never have met if I hadn’t been in the Mossad. Naturally, being one of the team who captured Eichmann was one of the outstanding highlights of my career.

What was your reaction when you first saw Eichmann after you captured him?
I can sum this up in two words – a complete anti-climax! First, catching him meant that I’d accomplished the mission that I had been working on for over two years. Secondly, the man himself was a boring and bland character. As I say in the book, it was almost impossible to believe that this very average looking man who was living in a shabby house in a Buenos Aires slum was one of the most feared Nazis who had organized the genocide of millions of the European Jewish community and others just twenty years earlier.

Did you ever seriously question the legality of illegally spiriting Eichmann out of Argentina and bringing him back to Israel to stand trial?

Never in a serious manner. I did give it some thought and discussed it with my fellow team-members. However, in the end I decided that the moral aspect of bringing him to trial far outweighed the legal niceties of having him tried in Germany or Austria. And remember this was in 1960, fifteen years after the Second World War when many people wanted to put the violent past behind them and start anew.

At the end of the book you say that it would have been better to keep Eichmann in prison for life instead of hanging him. Do you still think that is true?

Yes, and even more so today. When I see how Israel has grown and developed as a country, it would have been a much harsher punishment for him to have spent the rest of his miserable life living in the middle of the country built by the Jews, the people he had done his best to completely annihilate. And this is especially true as he showed absolutely no remorse for the mass-murders he had been responsible for.

What do you think of “Six Million Accusers” as a title for this book? After all, it bears no reference to what you did as a member of the Mossad team.

I think it’s a very good title. As you know, it’s taken from the Israeli Attorney General, Gideon Hauser’s opening speech at Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem. This as you know was not just a trial to seek out justice but it was one that helped to set a precedent for future international criminal trials. These included the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader who was tried for war crimes over a dozen years ago, and also the trial of the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, who had murdered many of those who’d opposed him during his 25 year reign of terror. In addition, Eichmann’s trial was also one that was geared for international and public education. Remember, this was before the days of Internet, Facebook CNN etc. So having Gideon Hausner open his speech with these words in front of an international audience via their TV stations present in the courtroom was very important.
"Six Million Accusers" is a historical novel reliving the hunt for, and capture of one of history's most evil criminals - a leading Nazi named Adolf Eichmann.

Having disappeared after WWII, members of an Israeli organization search the world for Eichmann, hoping to one day capture one of the men responsible for brutally massacring millions of Jews, and others. Following any tip possible, eventually they discover a Jewish father and daughter who swear Eichmann quietly lives in their community, under a new name. The search for Eichmann ramps up, and the agents begin to fervently believe they have found their man.

As they get closer and closer, a plan must also be created to capture Eichmann, and secretly transport the villain back to Israel. Is it really Eichmann? And if so, what complications may arise that might destroy their plans to have this notorious Nazi held responsible for his crimes?

"Six Million Accusers" is based on historic detail, and David Lawrence- Young does an excellent job reliving the hunt for, and capture of Adolf Eichmann. Well written and easy to read, "Six Million Accusers" should be a staple of the educational discussion of WWII and the aftermath.

~~D. Bettenson

What people are saying...

"D. Lawrence-Young has a knack of bringing history to life with his meticulous research and a style that involves the reader in the dramas of the past.  He has come more up to date with his recent novel which is a compelling account of the Israeli hunt and capture of the mastermind behind the Nazis' "Final Solution", the planned extermination of Europe's Jews, Adolf Eichmann. We see this through the eyes of the only fictional character in the book who becomes one of those tracking down Eichmann to his South American hiding place. The book is full of surprises about what they found there, the way Eichmann was living and his family.  The suspense is maintained even though we know Eichmann was brought to Israel, but right to the last we are kept wondering what might go wrong with his capture and clandestine return to Israel to face trial.

This is a book that's hard to put down until at last justice is served."
- Patrick C. Notchtree Author of: “The Clouds Still Hang”

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