The Israel State Archives contain a large quantity of Holocaust-related material. Among the varied material, three cases merit special mention – the three trials constituting milestones in the history of the State of Israel: the Kasztner trial, the Eichmann trial and the Demjanjuk trial. The Archives have scanned some of the documents related to these trials, and they can be seen on the Archives website.
For your information: the navigation aids and much of the material available on-line are in Hebrew.
The Attorney General v. Malkiel Gruenwald – the Kasztner Trial (1954)
In 1953 Israel's Attorney General filed a libel suit against Malkiel Gruenwald, a Holocaust survivor, for publishing claims that Rudolf (Israel) Kasztner, a senior official in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, had collaborated with the Nazis in deporting the Jews of Hungary, sending them to extermination camps and stealing their property. During the trial which opened in January 1954 many previously unknown details came to light about the efforts to save Hungarian Jewry, and Kasztner came under heavy suspicion. The court ruled that "Kasztner had sold his soul to the devil" and that some of Gruenwald's claims were true. In January 1957 the Attorney General appealed to the Supreme Court, but Kasztner was assassinated in March 1957, before the proceedings were completed, probably because of the trial. In January 1958 the Supreme Court overturned the previous verdict, exonerating Kasztner of most of the charges against him.
Kasztner's appeal to the Supreme Court – (Series: 30.0/50)
The Eichmann Trial (1961)
Adolf Eichmann, previously a SS-Obersturmbannführer in charge of the deportation and extermination of entire Jewish communities in Europe, was abducted from his hiding place in Argentina in May 1960 and transported to Israel to stand trial in April 1961 in the Jerusalem District Court. During the trial, the Nazi system of liquidating the Jews of Europe and Eichmann's central and active role in it were exposed. In December 1961, Eichmann was found guilty and sentenced to death. After his appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected in May 1962, he was executed on 1st June, 1962.
Files relating to the Eichmann trial are to be found in the following record groups:
The hearings in the Jerusalem District Court (Series: 31.0/1, 31.0/16, 31.0/20)
Exhibits from the Eichmann trial: (Series: 31.0/28)
Films of the Eichmann trial (Series: 31.0/30)
Ministry of Justice, Office of the State Attorney (Series: 74.0/1)
The Israel Police (Bureau 06) (Series: 79.0/1, 79.0/39, 79.0/45)
Transcripts of the trail are available on-line in Hebrew (see the website of the Ministry of Justice) and in English (see The Nizkor Project).
Additional material may be found in various series deposited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister's Office, the Broadcasting Authority etc.
The material not available on the website may be read in the Reading Room of the Israel State Archives.
The Demjanjuk Trial (1986)
In 1986, the United States extradited to Israel John Ivan Demjanjuk, a U.S. resident of Ukrainian origin, who was said to be a Nazi war criminal known as "Ivan the Terrible". "Ivan the Terrible" was a Ukrainian, a former Soviet prisoner of war who served as a watchman (Wachman) in the Treblinka extermination camp, operated the gas chambers there and personally murdered hundreds of prisoners. Demjanjuk was put on trial in the Jerusalem District Court, was found guilty and in April 1988 was sentenced to death. He appealed to the Supreme Court, and in 1993 was acquitted on grounds of reasonable doubt, after certain evidence came to light casting doubt on his identity as "Ivan the Terrible."
The hearings in the District Court (Series: 31.0/23)
John Demjanjuk's appeal to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem (Series: 30.0/33)