Watch this amazing short animated documentary about the hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann

Originally published at: Watch this amazing short animated documentary about the hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann | Boing Boing

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Damn, that was really well done.

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Did you, though? Gaby Weber is co-founder of the taz, works with German public TV (ARD), and is known for her investigative journalism about German Nazi war criminals, notably Eichmann and the involvement of Daimler Benz in Argentinia.

She repeatedly - and successfully - sued the German government and the German secret service for release of documents that shed light on the widespread involvement of Nazis with the German government and secret service after 1945.

When you read the German wikipedia article about Eichmann, you will find that 6 of the sources point to Webers work about Eichmann, both her own documentaries and features for German public radio and TV.

Let’s just say when rightwin papers FAZ and “Die Welt” call something that is written by a co-founder of the taz a conspiracy theory, I would take that with a grain of salt. I doubt that you would find either of these papers worth reading. Webers work obviously does not land well with the conservative pundits in Germany, they don’t like to talk about the early Bundesrepublik’s Nazi past.

If you look at how other papers report about her work, you will find more favorable depictions, e.g. in this piece in the Süddeutsche Zeitung or here in the faz

I guess @Winnetou_Koslowski was not referring to the extradition, but to the fact that Eichmann was not that hard to find. Simon Wiesenthal learned in 1953 that Eichmann was in Buenos Aires. Operation Gehlen apparently knew of Eichmanns whereabouts since at least 1952 (we know that from the files Gaby Weber got from the German government). Fritz Bauer first informed the Israeli government in 1957 that Lothar Hermann had identified Eichmann in Buenos Aires – Eichmann worked for Daimler Benz at the time, and in 1957 felt so safe in Argentina he even started giving extensive interviews. Several other people also identified Eichmann in Argentina, before in 1960 the Israeli government decided to capture Eichmann.

BTW, The Driver is Red has been released in 2017, and since then, Gaby Weber has forced the release of more files about Eichmann. Some of them appear to contain more information about the planning and preparation of Eichmann’s capture.

Just for the record: I’m not convinced that all of Gaby Weber’s claims and conclusions are necessarily true, however I’m also not convinced that The Driver is Red is necessarily a lot more accurate.YMMV.

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I did. You see, when the now-banned Winnetou_Koslowski implied that this short film was part of some sort of propaganda effort by shadowy un-named parties, I was curious about who he was citing. Being a skeptical sort, I’m afraid that his assurance that I should take the word of Gabi (sic) Weber simply because she is “on YouTube” was not enough for me, so I looked up her Wikipedia article.

After I discovered the proper spelling of her first name (and thus not confusing her with the actual Gabi Weber, a politician), I looked up Gaby Weber to find that nothing she said about the people who first spotted Eichmann in various spots in Argentina or knew about his presence there was even discussed in, let alone contradicted by, this documentary.

What I did find was that her thesis was that Eichmann was only captured and exfiltrated in 1960 by Israeli agents in the operation (which, contrary to Winnetou_Koslowski’s contention, was not an “easy” capture) as a distraction (for unexplained reasons) from alleged American underground nuclear testing in Argentina. Now I’m pretty good at quick research on such matters, but found zero sources – reputable or otherwise – confirming that such tests ever took place, or (as is also contended) that they were somehow connected to the 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile. But hey, she’s on YouTube, right? It must be true.

Weber has obviously done good journalistic work in the archives, but from what I read she also gets sloppy and blows certain items she discovers out of proportion or misinterpretation, in a way that can’t completely be explained away by the German establishment’s embarrassment over their continued interactions with Nazis after the war (e.g. the Bayer/Monsanto story mentioned in the Wiki article).

As for this short, it only describes Aharoni’s personal shoe-leather detective work just prior to the capture operation from Garibaldi Street as well as the immediate capture itself. It has the limited scope one would expect from a short film, is pretty matter-of-fact and doesn’t claim things went smoothly, so I’m really not sure how it’s part of this propaganda effort as Winnetou_Koslowski implied it was.

[Since the moderators have deleted both the user and the sub-thread he started, any further discussion you’d like to have with me on Weber’s claims should be addressed in a private DM].

Also, since my recommendation was deleted, anyone who found this short compelling might also enjoy the following podcast about another Nazi who escaped via the Ratline (with a little help from American intelligence officers and a lot of help from the Vatican):

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Some nazis were barely in hiding. Josef Mengele could be found in the phone book as “Jose.”

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It was a lot easier for Nazi criminals to hide from the rest of the world when they were safely sheltered in the arms of regimes, corporations, and institutions that sympathised with fascists (if they weren’t fascists themselves).

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She’s fueling conspiracy “theories” in several instances.
That’s not invalidating the instances where she does not, but she makes it really hard to distinguish the two.

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Like Klaus Barbie. The US protected and paid him, and later also the BND.

Thanks for your detailed response, I, too, spent some more time researching this yesterday and today, including reading (most of) her book about Eichmann (which I discovered yesterday is actually available for free on her website).

In my previous post I linked to a section of the wikipedia page about Eichmann where her perspective is explained briefly:

Nach der Darstellung von Gaby Weber jedoch sollen bei der Entführung auch mehrere Freiwillige mitgewirkt haben, unter anderem William Mosetti. Dieser war als Generaldirektor von Daimler-Benz Argentinien Eichmanns Chef und zudem als ehemaliger Manager der Standard Oil Company mit Eichmanns früherem Wiener Arbeitgeber verbunden. Nach dieser Version sollen die Entführungshelfer Eichmann erst nach Punta del Este in Uruguay gebracht und erst dort am 21. Mai dem Mossad übergeben haben, der ihn dann in der besagten El-Al-Maschine nach Israel ausgeflogen haben soll.[40]

This is quite different from the short.

Agreed, besides numerous articles by Gaby Weber in various publications and others that directly quote her without providing additional information, I also could not locate anything about underground tests in Argentina. I found at least one example for underground tests inside the US and an account that ties those tests to the impending ban of nuclear testing.

But even if there were evidence for such a test in Argentina, I would assume that if nuclear tests were to be responsible for an earthquake of that magnitude, one would require either a lot of nukes, or incredibly bad luck in selecting the location and the time for the detonation.

Having not read her book, I researched that a bit more, and read all negative reviews of Weber’s 2012 book I could find, including the one quoted in wikipedia presenting Weber’s claim as a conspiracy theory. That article quotes the book as explicitly saying “Eisenhower feared that the earthquake was caused by underground tests”, not that it actually was.

This review from German public broadcaster SWR explains the actual thesis of the book. (2nd page). This sounds quite different from the one-sentence summary in Wikipedia.

What remains is still an extraordinary claim, and even though it is presented as a coherent story in the book, I am not a historian specializing in the post-war period, so I can’t say whether or not that is possible, so I won’t engage in any speculation here or anywhere else.

The book’s sources are detailed in 627 footnotes, however as I started reviewing them I found they are almost impossible to research because most of the documents are not easily available on the internet. Which is on par with most other books about history.

I would agree, however I think the Bayer/Monsanto story is actually not an example of that. The original article is entirely correct, just the headline (which in online publications is typically not written by the author) is a bit misleading. The response in the taz misrepresents the article, the people commenting BTL explain that quite well, Weber’s response is also worth reading.

Let’s get this clear first: Even if Weber’s version turns out to be correct, that would in my opinion not automatically render any previous or subsequent depiction of the current “official version” part of a “propaganda effort”. Using the term propaganda in this specific matter is also rather tone-deaf, and I haven’t seen Weber using it here (the term propaganda does come up in her book, but only when describing Nazi propaganda).

I also don’t think that one should start nitpicking every single detail in the short, there’s a bit of creative license to a documentary, so even if Zhi Aharoni wasn’t literally on the last train out of Germany, or didn’t sit right behind Eichmann on the bus, who cares.

But if Eichman was actually captured by Mosetti and others and then handed over to Israeli Agents in Uruguay, as Weber claims, that would be a significant deviation.

Apparently Weber recently won a lawsuit she filed against the Argentinian foreign ministry for the release of files that would support her depiction of the events, and the court ordered on Aug. 10, 2021 the requested documents to be declassified within 2 weeks.

So we’ll probably see pretty soon whether or not she can actually back up her claims.

To be fair, her work is centered around exposing conspiracies: Daimler Benz and other companies laundering their Nazi money in Argentina and elsewhere, or hiding Nazis all over the world because states wanted to benefit from their “expertise” in nuclear research or in other fields, shielding Nazis in high positions in government and secret service in post-war Germany.

She is challenging the status quo of our understanding of recent history in one very specific but highly controversial aspect. Being unfamiliar with current research on the topic, I would expect that I am unfit to distinguish a valid depiction of an actual conspiracy from a mere conspiracy myth.

And even though I did find a few instances – mostly in interviews, but also on paper - where I thought she could have articulated some things a bit less evaluative, I do get the impression that her motives are sound, and I don’t think she leaves much doubt that she is outraged that so many Nazis were able to escape justice and live on without any significant consequences, not just in Argentina or the US, but even here in Germany.

Thanks, I will take a look at that BBC feature, sounds interesting.

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Thanks for your thoughtful response. Much more informative than that of the earlier commenter with what I, other users, and the moderator saw as delving into conspiricism for reasons unknown.

It would indeed, though I’m not holding my breath about evidence to that effect showing up. However that turns out, the established facts of Eichmann’s life in Argentina prior to his capture reflect poorly enough on Mercedes Benz in Argentina. And while the story of his capture is an exciting one, that of his trial in Jerusalem is the truly compelling part of the saga.

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A thoughless rarely invites consideration, and seldom leads to nuanced replies.

Probably not, we’ll see.

And, in my current and limited understanding I think that much of the current version mostly relies on statements of Mossad and memoirs of two Mossad agents. The things that secret services claim they do, or don’t do, the statements they publish, the files they keep (or destroy), are all ultimately a product of a culture that relies on deception, hidden agendas, power game, intrigue and often even torture. Over the years I’ve seen ample evidence of German, UK and US secret services “enhancing” the truth in various ways, and I would believe that is a significant chance that any other secret service is prone to the same dynamics.

Therefore I take anything any secret service claims with a grain of salt.

Agreed. As I understand, Gaby Weber has something to say about the trial as well. But I already spent enough time on that for a while.

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