Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichman walks in the yard of his cell in Israel’s Ayalon Prison in April 1961. Credit: Israeli Government Press Office.
(JNS.org) The identities of the Israeli prison guards who kept watch over and ultimately carried out the execution of Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann were finally revealed on Monday, 52 years after his trial, Israel Hayom reported.
Unit Aleph-1, a special Israel Prison Service unit, was charged with guarding the Nazi architect of the Final Solution during his trial, with his execution by hanging, and with the cremation of his corpse.
At a conference for commanders of the Israel Prison Service, a short film was screened that re-enacted the measures taken by the special unit to guard Eichmann during his six months of imprisonment, to hang him in June 1962, to cremate his body, and to have his ashes scattered at sea.
According to eyewitness accounts of the guards, the unit contained 22 guards and four officers, carefully selected to ensure that none was a Holocaust survivor. Avraham Merhavi commanded the unit, which was charged with ensuring that Eichmann neither escaped nor committed suicide.
“We did what we did out of loyalty to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people,” said Ovadia Zakuto, who served as a guard in the unit.