The Trial of Adolf Eichmann – Participants, Then & Now

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Gutman, Israel
Witness to conditions in the Maijdanek concentration camp, Poland

Photo 1961: Gutman, Israel1961 Quote: 6/2/61: ATTORNEY GENERAL GIDEON HAUSNER: Mr. Gutman, while you were in the hospital, did you see people being marched off to the gas chambers in Maijdanek?

GUTMAN: Yes, this happened once. I heard some noise, and whoever could stand on his legs jumped out of bed and ran to the windows. All this only lasted a few seconds, for we were chased back at once and not allowed to watch. I saw this march of naked people. Amongst them I noticed a boy – I don’t know how old the boy was, perhaps ten years old. I saw that this boy was holding in his hands, in his arms, a child who was younger still. And I saw two SS brutes – one was pointing at the scene to the other and laughing. I would like to say that there were moments like this when I tried to gaze into their eyes, to look stealthily, since to glance directly was too dangerous. I wanted to see whether they showed any trace of scruples, of mental anguish whether there was any spark of humanity in their eyes. And I constantly encountered the very same experience. Whenever we grieved – they were rejoicing; whenever they were able to maltreat us – they laughed, they were drunk with blood.

Photo 1996: Gutman, Israel1996 Quote: And what happened during the– the-the Eichmann trial, that for the first time, the public here in our country and in the, especially young people in the country, yes, and the interest was enormous, they listened and they – they heard perhaps for the first time what happened to this kind of simple people which was the, their tragedy, what happened to their families, what happened to them, day by day, and – and this -this caused a very strong, a very profound change in the – the approach to the average survivors.

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