The Trial of Adolf Eichmann – Sentencing

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Presiding Judge:

   After considering the appropriate sentencefor the Accused with a deep feeling of the burden of responsibility borne by us,we reached the conclusion that in order to punish the Accused and deter others,the maximum penalty laid down in the law must be imposed on him. In theJudgment we described the crimes in which the Accused took part. They are ofunparalleled horror in their nature and their scope. The objective of thecrimes against the Jewish People of which the Accused was found guilty was toobliterate an entire people from the face of the earth. In this respect theydiffer from criminal acts perpetrated against persons as individuals. It may besaid that such comprehensive crimes, as well as crimes against humanity whichare directed against a group of persons as such, are even more heinous than thesum total of the criminal acts against individuals of which they consist.

  But at the stage of passing sentence consideration must also, and perhapsprimarily, be given to the injury inflicted on the victims as individuals, whichwas implicit in these crimes, and the immeasurable anguish which they and theirfamilies suffered and still suffer to this very day because of these crimes. For the despatch of each train by the Accused to Auschwitz, or to any otherextermination site, carrying one thousand human beings, meant that the Accusedwas a direct accomplice in a thousand premeditated acts of murder, and thedegree of his legal and moral responsibility for these acts of murder is not oneiota less than the responsibility of the person who with his own hands pushedthese human beings into the gas chambers.

  Even if we had found that theAccused acted out of blind obedience, as he argued, we would still have saidthat a man who took part in crimes of such magnitude as these over years mustpay the maximum penalty known to the law, and he cannot rely on any order evenin mitigation of his punishment. But we have found that the Accused acted outof an inner identification with the orders that he was given and out of a fiercewill to achieve the criminal objective, and in our opinion, it is irrelevanteven for the purpose of imposing a punishment for such terrible crimes, how thisidentification and this will came about, and whether they were the outcome ofthe training which the Accused received under the regime which raised him, ashis Counsel argues.

  This Court sentences Adolf Eichmann to death, for thecrimes against the Jewish People, the crimes against humanity and the war crimesof which he has been found guilty. We shall not impose a penalty on him formembership of a hostile organization, of which he was found guilty (see theCriminal Procedure (Trial Upon Information) Ordinance Section 30(2), last part,and Crim. App. 132/57, 11 Piskei Din , 1544,1552).

This is the Sentence. You are entitled to appeal against theJudgment and the Sentence, and if you wish to do so, you must submit theStatement of Appeal to the office of this Court within ten days from today andthe grounds of appeal within fifteen days from today.

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