“As I stand before you today, judges of Israel, to argue against Adolf Eichmann, I am not alone; six million prosecutors stand here by my side”. This is how my father, Gideon Hausner RIP, Head Prosecutor in Eichmann’s trial – held in 1961 at “The People’s House” in Jerusalem – began his iconic opening speech. Eichmann, who was in charge of the “final solution” to the Jewish problem, had been one of the chief Nazi criminals and the one responsible for the murder of Jews in each and every occupied country.
Every word in my father’s speech was carefully thought out. He wanted it to echo not only in the Jerusalem court hall but in the whole wide world. And indeed – it did. Eichmann’s trial touched the deepest cords in the hearts of holocaust survivors who were afraid, until then, to tell their horrible stories. It was only thanks to the trial that they were acknowledged as “heroes”, rather than submissive victims, “sheep to the slaughter”. Eichmann’s trial was, no doubt, a historical event of monumental significance.