Thursday, November 21, 2013
Review of Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb (Quercus, 2009)
Hunting Eichmann focuses on the hunt for and capture of Eichmann, concentrating on the period from the end of the Second World War up until his arrival in Israel. As such, it sketches over Eichmann’s career within National Socialism and his activities during the war, and also his trial in Israel. In this sense, the book is very much about the search for him by various people and groups and the planning and execution of his capture by an Israeli Mossad team. Through extensive research, Bascomb produces a compelling narrative of how various events unfolded and all of the key personnel and their relationships and interactions. The result is a telling that has the feel of a novel, rather than a dry and detached history. In particular, the reader gets a sense of the personalities and politics at play, and the wider resonance of Eichmann for Holocaust survivors. Personally, I would have liked a little more detail on Eichmann’s career and also the trial, but this is nonetheless a fascinating and well told read of how one of the most notorious war criminals of the twentieth century was brought to justice.