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Lunch » Tags » Book » Reviews » Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi » User review

The reach of God's justice, carried out by the best of men for the best of reasons

  • Jun 19, 2009
I rarely rate nonfiction five stars ("What a classic" on my personal rating scale), but Hunting Eichmann deserves this highest accolade in every way.

1. The importance of the subject. Six million people were murdered in Europe during World War II by the German government, under the leadership and direction of Adolf Hitler, at the administrative hand of Adolf Eichmann who crafted and carried out the Final Solution. Multiplying adjectives such as Jewish, refugees, deportees, old, young, infirm, incompetent, all, while in some cases accurate, detract from the bare statement of fact: six million people were murdered in Europe during World War II by the German government, under the leadership and direction of Adolf Hitler, at the administrative hand of Adolf Eichmann who crafted and carried out the Final Solution.

2. The impact of the story. No matter how it is told, Eichmann's escape from Allied camps in the chaotic early post-war days in Germany, his clandestine survival in Europe and then Argentina for 15 more years, his capture and deportation to Israel, and finally his trial and execution, is an amazing story. In Bascomb's hand, it cracks like the best John Le Carre spy novel, only stronger in its impact because of its truth. I was struck by the ability to so easily disappear in a world before surveillance cameras, cell phones, GPS devices, high-resolution satellite photos, long range detection devices, and computer information tracking and matching systems. Conversely, it is also hard to imagine a covert intelligence operation in a foreign country with so many agents going undetected in today's world with all those technologies.

3. The intelligence of the storyteller. Bascomb writes with a spare prose that doesn't distract from the subject or the story. He seldom reaches for lofty wording that diminishes the bare authenticity of the story. His footnotes provide documentation for his occasional third-person omniscient constructions ("He thought that . . . " or "He wished that . . . "). This quality of writing and level of attention to detail is sadly missing too often in today's nonfiction.

Finally, the persistence and planning of the Israeli operatives, driven by their holy burning motivation, is a lesson we must remember in our post-modern world where nothing matters. We may think we live in the world John Lennon "Imagined"--no Heaven, no Hell, nothing worth dieing for, and only today to live for--but we're wrong. Hunting Eichmann is a demonstration of the existence of God and the reach of His justice carried out by the best of men for the best of reasons.

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review by . May 11, 2009
Years ago I read a brief description of the operation to kidnap Eichmann and bring him to Israel. With the release of this book I thought I'd take a deeper interest in what happened, how the operation was organized, and the background to the entire event. In the end I think this book delivers. Although the research is there, the book lacks in the usual endnote citations a scholarly work includes. Rather you can follow page numbers in the back and try to see which few words, designating the beginning …
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Todd Stockslager ()
Ranked #37
I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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Product Description
The first complete narrative of the pursuit and capture of Adolf Eichmann, based on groundbreaking new information and interviews and featuring rare, never-published Mossad surveillance photographs. When the Allies stormed Berlin in the last days of the Third Reich, the operational manager of the mass murder of Europe's Jews shed his SS uniform and vanished.

Bringing Adolf Eichmann to justice would require a harrowing fifteen-year chase stretching from war-ravaged Europe to the shores of Argentina.

Alternating from a criminal on the run to his pursuers closing in on his trail,Hunting Eichmannfollows the Nazi as he escapes two American POW camps, hides in the mountains, slips out of Europe on the ratlines, and builds an anonymous life in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, a persistent search for Eichmann gradually evolves into an international manhunt that includes a bulldog West German prosecutor, a blind Argentinean Jew and his beautiful daughter, and a budding, ragtag spy agency called the Mossad, whose operatives have their own scores to settle. Presented in a pulse-pounding, hour-by-hour account, the capture of Eichmann and the efforts by Israeli agents to secret him out of Argentina and fly him to Israel to stand trial bring the narrative to a stunning conclusion.

Hunting Eichmannis a fully documented, finely nuanced history that offers the intrigue of a detective story and the thrill of great spy fiction.

A Q&A with Neal Bascomb, Author of Hunting Eichmann


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ISBN-10: 0618858679
ISBN-13: 978-0618858675
Author: Neal Bascomb
Genre: History
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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