Sentencing Eichmann – The Trial of Adolf Eichmann



Moshe Landau Presiding Judge The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Presiding Judge Moshe Landau

Presiding Judge:

After considering the appropriate sentence for 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 the Judgment we described the crimes in which the Accused took part. They are of unparalleled horror in their nature and their scope. The objective of the crimes against the Jewish People of which the Accused was found guilty was to obliterate an entire people from the face of the earth.

In this respect they differ from criminal acts perpetrated against persons as individuals. It may be said that such comprehensive crimes, as well as crimes against humanity which are directed against a group of persons as such, are even more heinous than the sum total of the criminal acts against individuals of which they consist.

But at the stage of passing sentence consideration must also, and perhaps primarily, be given to the injury inflicted on the victims as individuals, which was implicit in these crimes, and the immeasurable anguish which they and their families suffered and still suffer to this very day because of these crimes.

For the dispatch of each train by the Accused to Auschwitz, or to any other extermination site, carrying one thousand human beings, meant that the Accused was a direct accomplice in a thousand premeditated acts of murder, and the degree of his legal and moral responsibility for these acts of murder is not one iota less than the responsibility of the person who with his own hands pushed these human beings into the gas chambers.

Even if we had found that the Accused acted out of blind obedience, as he argued, we would still have said that a man who took part in crimes of such magnitude as these over years must pay the maximum penalty known to the law, and he cannot rely on any order even in mitigation of his punishment.

But we have found that the Accused acted out of an inner identification with the orders that he was given and out of a fierce will to achieve the criminal objective, and in our opinion, it is irrelevant even for the purpose of imposing a punishment for such terrible crimes, how this identification and this will came about, and whether they were the outcome of the training which the Accused received under the regime which raised him, as his Counsel argues.

This Court sentences Adolf Eichmann to death, for the crimes against the Jewish People, the crimes against humanity and the war crime of which he has been found guilty. We shall not impose a penalty on him for membership of a hostile organization, of which he was found guilty (see the Criminal 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 the Judgment and the Sentence, and if you wish to do so, you must submit the Statement of Appeal to the office of this Court within ten days from today and the grounds of appeal within fifteen days from today.

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