The Trial of Adolf Eichmann – Participants, Then & Now

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Bach, Gavriel
Deputy State Attorney and Legal Advisor to Bureau 06, which investigated Eichmann before the trial

Photo 1961: Bach, Gavriel1961 Quote: 5/25/61: BACH: [Shows the witness a copy of the letter] Do you recognize the handwriting here?

WITNESS MARGOT REICH: Yes. I can also read it. I remember that the letter was torn in the way that it is torn here.

BACH: And how did this letter reach you?

REICH: In the mail. And on it was written: “Blessed be the hand which will post this letter.”

BACH: With the court’s permission, I shall read the translation here.

PRESIDING JUDGE MOSHE LANDAU: Yes. If she [the witness] wants to, she can read it herself, but I would like to spare her this emotional experience.

REICH: Yes, I understand.

BACH: “My dear wife and children. One postcard I have already thrown out of the train. I shall endeavor to write another letter. There is no doubt that we are setting out upon a very long journey. May God help us so that we may meet in joy, for one miracle already happened on the Sabbath. Maybe God will help us again. We were not able to take everything with us. What we have in the railway wagon is a rucksack. The important people are in one wagon, wagon No. 60. The destination – Germany. At any rate this is what we know. But possibly, the German soldiers accompanying us will get off at Kassa. The attitude towards us is tolerable. We are lucky that it is not very hot. If only I knew that no harm would befall you! I shall somehow bear my fate whatever it may be. I do not want to make you sad, but I would want very much to live yet in your midst. May God grant us that we may be allowed to achieve that. My dear children, look after your mother. And you, my dear wife, protect our property. If, with God’s help, I should return – I will thank Him for that. If I have an opportunity – I will write. Until then I embrace you from the bottom of my heart, with love, your father. From the freight-car, Thursday, 10:30 approximately.” I request to submit this document.

Photo 1996: Bach, Gavriel1996 Quote: Well, actually, I don’t think that only David Ben-Gurion thought that this would be a – a case of historic dimensions. I mean, we were very – very much aware of the fact that this was a special case, with enormous historic impact. I mean, the Holocaust had been mentioned in other trials before, like in the Nuremberg trials, but it was always just one – marginal point. It was mentioned in passing by this or that witness, or in some of the judgments. This was the first and only case, it’s had at – until that point, where the – the Holocaust was the focal point and where we could deal with it, in all its aspects.

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