How did one of the world’s most wanted war criminals go undiscovered for nearly a decade? Explore the story that fixated the world at the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s special exhibition, Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann.
The hunt for Adolf Eichmann began with a love story. In 1956, a young woman named Silvia Hermann, a German expatriate living in Argentina, was courted by another Buenos Aires German expatriate, Nicholas Eichmann. Silvia’s father Lothar, a survivor of Dachau concentration camp who hid his Jewish identity to flee to Argentina, began to suspect that his daughter was seeing the son of an infamous Nazi. At the time, Silvia was unaware of her father’s World War II past, a secret that would unfold in ways Silvia could have never predicted.
In time, Silvia and Nicholas lost touch after her family moved to another town over 300 miles away. In 1957, news clippings with reports of a Nazi trial in Frankfurt sparked Lothar’s original hunch that Nicholas was indeed the son of Adolf Eichmann. Relying on his intuition, Lothar contacted Fritz Bauer, Chief Prosecutor of the West German State Hessen, alerting him of his findings. Thus began Operation Finale, a top-secret mission that would eventually bring SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann to justice.