אMaterial about the trial at the ISA

 The ISA holds a large collection of material related to the Eichmann trial, including files of the police interrogation and collection of evidence conducted by Bureau 06, court files from both the District Court and the Supreme Court, exhibits and other material submitted to the Court and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister’s Office files on the process of collecting testimony and exhibits and on world reaction to the affair. The files serve as an important resource for research not only on Eichmann and the trial but also on the Holocaust itself, and as a guide to other archives and sources of documentation.

Most of the material is available to the public.

Transcripts of the trial in English were published in book form and can be seen online at the Nizkor project of the Ministry of Justice.

Files on the Eichmann trial are to be found in the following record groups:

The hearings in the Jerusalem district court (RG31), including exhibits from the trial.

The hearings in the Supreme Court (RG30)

Films of the Eichmann trial (RG145), audio recordings (RG146), cross examination of the witnesses, the verdict and the sentence.

Files from the Israel police (RG79) and particularly Bureau 06 on the interrogation of Eichmann, collection of evidence in various countries, witness statements, observers, a collection of terms in German, documents which were not included in the investigation.

Files from the Ministry of Justice and the State Attorney (RG74)including witness statements, discussion of the sentence, correspondence with Bureau 06, the appointment of a defence lawyer, other Nazi criminals, survey of the trial.

Foreign Ministry (RG130), Israel’s representations abroad (RG93) especially the mission in Cologne)

Prime Minister’s Office (RG43.3) letters from the public received by the prime minister’s bureau, files of the director-general, Teddy Kollek, etc

Files of President Izhak Ben-Zvi (RG105)

Private archives

Collection of Judge Moshe Landau 

Collection of Judge Yitzhak Olshan 

Collection of Moshe Pearlman includes the manuscript of his book on the capture of Eichmann

Collection of Milton Fruchtman on the film coverage of the trial

You can also search for material on the trial in the Hebrew catalogue using the names of these bodies and the keyword “Eichmann trial” in Hebrew

 

א.1 | The Moshe Landau collection

Moshe Landau (1912-2011) was an Israeli jurist, who was a member of the Supreme Court from 1953 until 1982 and served as the fifth president of the court. He presided over the Eichmann trial in the Jerusalem District Court. After his death 31 files from his papers were deposited in the ISA dealing with reactions to the trial. They include letters, publications and newspaper cuttings.

Link to the files in the catalogue of the Archives 

 

Page from a report on the trial by Caspar C. Cutler, an observer from the Detroit Bar Association, June 1961. File P 1084/2, Landau collection

א.2 | Photographs of the trial

The scanned materials deposited by the court include nine files of photographs from Box TS 10000, showing the courtroom, the audience, the witnesses and Eichmann himself.

Link to the scanned files

There are also photographs in the material from the Jerusalem District court, the Eisenstark Collection and illustrations by artist Benny Eden.

 

א.3 | The films of the Eichmann trial

The Government Press Office decided to give exclusive rights to film the trial to the Capital Cities company and producer Milton Fruchtman. The filming, directed by Leo Hurwitz, who had been blacklisted during the McCarthy era, was carried out in video, then a revolutionary medium. The company undertook to give the government copies of the films in the accepted medium at the time, 16 mm. film. The company did not film the verdict and sentencing of Eichmann which took place on 29 December 1961. The raw footage was taken back to the US, leaving some 84 edited films in Israel. Later some of the original films were saved with the aid of a grant from the Bnei Brith organization.

In 2015 a BBC docudrama told the story of the filming.

In the 1980s and 1990s the films at the ISA were transferred to video (U-Matic and Beta cam) with the help of the Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive. In 2011 they were uploaded to a special YouTube channel in English and Hebrew jointly sponsored by the Yad VaShem Holocaust Remembrance Authority and the ISA.

The ISA has now recatalogued them according to the day and time of session and they can be found on this website using the instructions in Hebrew (see the Hebrew website).