Jun 25, 2014

{Book Tour & #Review} Six Million Accusers: Catching Adolf Eichmann by D. Lawrence-Young

"Six Million Accusers" is a historical novel reliving the hunt for, and capture of one of history's most evil criminals - a leading Nazi named Adolf Eichmann.  Having disappeared after WWII, members of an Israeli organization search the world for Eichmann, hoping to one day capture one of the men responsible for brutally massacring millions of Jews, and others. 

Following any tip possible, eventually they
discover a Jewish father and daughter who swear Eichmann quietly lives in their community, under a new name. T he search for Eichmann ramps up, and the agents begin to fervently believe they have found their man. 

As they get closer and closer, a plan must also be created to capture Eichmann, and secretly transport the villain back to Israel. Is it really Eichmann? And if so, what complications may arise that might destroy their plans to have this notorious Nazi held responsible for his crimes? 

An Interview with Haim A, one of the team who tracked down and captured the top Nazi, Adolf Eichmann.

First of all, tell us something about your life that isn’t mentioned in “Six Million Accusers.”

Well, most of my life story is mentioned at the beginning of the novel: how I came to Palestine as a young boy; joined an underground movement; fought in the Second World War and met my future wife. I also described what I did during the Israeli War of Independence and how I joined the Mossad. What I didn’t include was my love of sport. I love playing football and basketball. I try and play these games when I’m at home and I’m a part-time member of my kibbutz basket-ball team. I enjoy these games, especially as playing them gives me a chance to mix even more with my fellow-kibbutz members.

How has Israel changed since when you first arrived there?

When I first arrived, Israel, then called Mandatory Palestine was a very simple, even primitive country by European standards. Today it is as modern as any other Western country. It has also changed politically. At first it was very much the Socialist-flavored country as envisaged by the Founding Fathers such as Ben-Gurion. This has changed a great deal over the past forty years. Today its life-style is very similar to that of the rest of the Western world.

How has being a Mossad agent affected your life?

Being a Mossad agent has certainly affected my life. The downside is that it has made me become secretive in many ways and live my life knowing that I cannot share many of my ‘work’ experiences with my wife and family. They have learned to live with me disappearing from time to time as I go abroad on ‘government business.’ The upside is that I feel I’ve made a serious contribution to protecting my country from all sorts of enemies: internal and external. I’ve also enjoyed much of the foreign travel and have had many ‘work’ experiences which were both exciting and boring. I’ve worked with many good and bad characters, and these I’d never have met if I hadn’t been in the Mossad. Naturally, being one of the team who captured Eichmann was one of the outstanding highlights of my career.

What was your reaction when you first saw Eichmann after you captured him?

I can sum this up in two words – a complete anti-climax! First, catching him meant that I’d accomplished the mission that I had been working on for over two years. Secondly, the man himself was a boring and bland character. As I say in the book, it was almost impossible to believe that this very average looking man who was living in a shabby house in a Buenos Aires slum was one of the most feared Nazis who had organized the genocide of millions of the European Jewish community and others just twenty years earlier.

Did you ever seriously question the legality of illegally spiriting Eichmann out of Argentina and bringing him back to Israel to stand trial?

Never in a serious manner. I did give it some thought and discussed it with my fellow team-members. However, in the end I decided that the moral aspect of bringing him to trial far outweighed the legal niceties of having him tried in Germany or Austria. And remember this was in 1960, fifteen years after the Second World War when many people wanted to put the violent past behind them and start anew.

At the end of the book you say that it would have been better to keep Eichmann in prison for life instead of hanging him. Do you still think that is true?

Yes, and even more so today. When I see how Israel has grown and developed as a country, it would have been a much harsher punishment for him to have spent the rest of his miserable life living in the middle of the country built by the Jews, the people he had done his best to completely annihilate. And this is especially true as he showed absolutely no remorse for the mass-murders he had been responsible for.

What do you think of “Six Million Accusers” as a title for this book? After all, it bears no reference to what you did as a member of the Mossad team.

I think it’s a very good title. As you know, it’s taken from the Israeli Attorney General, Gideon Hauser’s opening speech at Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem. This as you know was not just a trial to seek out justice but it was one that helped to set a precedent for future international criminal trials. These included the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader who was tried for war crimes over a dozen years ago, and also the trial of the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, who had murdered many of those who’d opposed him during his 25 year reign of terror. In addition, Eichmann’s trial was also one that was geared for international and public education. Remember, this was before the days of Internet, Facebook CNN etc. So having Gideon Hausner open his speech with these words in front of an international audience via their TV stations present in the courtroom was very important. 

My Review:
Author D. Lawrence-Young has a wonderful gift for writing a well-written, fast paced historical novel. His writing style includes vivid details that fully immerse the reader into the world he creates, and a depth to his characters that puts the reader right in the midst of the chaos with them.  

Although this is not my usual preferred genre or style of story, "Six Million Accusers"is written in such a way as to captivate even a reluctant reader of this novel as I was.  I had not previously heard of Adolf Eichmann, and did not have any prior knowledge of his role in the Nazi regime during WWII, but now that I have read most of this book, I now realize the scope of his involvement and the horrible atrocities he was involved in. 

The story is thrilling and quite difficult to put down.  I highly recommend picking up a copy of Six Million Accusers: Catching Adolf Eichmann.

Kindle ebook Available for only $2.99 on Amazon.

Disclosure: I received free the item(s) mentioned in this post in exchange for my honest review. Regardless ~ All my reviews are my honest and personal opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”.

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