THE HOUSE ON GARIBALDI STREET: The First Full Account of the Capture of Adolf Eichmann Told By the Former Head of Israel's Secret Service by Isser Harel

THE HOUSE ON GARIBALDI STREET: The First Full Account of the Capture of Adolf Eichmann Told By the Former Head of Israel's Secret Service

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Even though you know how it turns out, the excitement remains undiminished in the account of the identification of Adolf Eichmann by the Israeli Secret Service, his tracking and his capture. Isser Harel, who directed the Argentinian operation, promises the reader a professional narrative which will explain the intricate alternative plans and cross-checkings involved. The operation was actually beset by the most low-level problems, as Israelis depended on faulty Latin American rented cars, standard airline schedules and an old-fashioned shuffling of personnel from cafe to cafe. These mundane matters do accentuate suspense, and so does the initial effort to make sure Eichmann was Eichmann--made easier by the unexplained fact that his son Nick kept the name while living with his father, but also raising your hair when the first investigator finds his Argentinian informant more and more peculiar--until suddenly he realizes that the man is blind. Harel describes the Eichmann-trappers in detail; while many Jews, he says, didn't even know who Eichmann was, these single-minded men and women without exception had lost close relatives to the Nazis. As for Eichmann himself, once nabbed in his dreary Latin bungalow, the former exterminator ""behaved like a scared submissive slave whose one aim was to please his new masters,"" and even did his best to help the success of the clandestine plane transfer to Israel. However Harel does not attempt to go beyond treating Eichmann as an incarnation of individual evil; nor does he point out the implications of the fact that one of the key identifiers of Eichmann was a Zionist leader who had negotiated with the Gestapo in the 1930's, when it still seemed that a ""deal"" might be made. But the story stands on its own and it is fully convincing and engrossing.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1975
Publisher: Viking