Operation Finale

The lathe for duplicating keys. Photo: Elad Sarig.

Operation Finale

The Story of the Capture of Eichmann

Opening: February 10, 2012

Exhibition Curator: Avner A.

Exhibition Designer: Ori Glazer

[CLOSED: 31 OCTOBER, 2012]


At the conclusion of World War II, when the scope of the tragedy unleashed upon the Jewish people became known, there were many who felt the need to seek revenge against the perpetrators. One of the major offenders among these war criminals was Adolf Eichmann; he was a senior officer  in the Nazi party, charged with facilitating and managing – with uncommon  precision - the logistics of “the final solution.” Following the war, Eichmann managed to escape from the Allied Powers, and in 1950 made his way to Argentina under an assumed identity.


In 1960, Eichmann was abducted in a Mossad operation led by Isser Harel, who was assisted by a team from the operational unit of the Shin Bet (General Security Services). Eichmann was smuggled out of Argentina and flown to Israel with the aid of an El Al plane and crew.   The operation assured that he would be tried in Jerusalem, the capital of the sovereign Jewish state. Eichmann’s trial marked the first time that the story of the Holocaust survivors was revealed to the entire world; their memories and testimonies drew a picture of the human spirit elevated to heights of strength and nobility in the face of heinous crimes too horrible to fathom.

Mossad - Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations – chronicles for the first time the story of the abduction through documents illustrating details of the operation – an undertaking which had never before been attempted.  The evidence on display in this exhibition represents a body of material gathered during this unprecedented operation. It is rightly heralded as a life-changing event in the history of the State of Israel and the entire world, when the heroic deeds of a few allowed others to raise their voices so that a doubting world would hear the truth.


The Mossad is lifting its veil of secrecy in order to educate those who were not alive during the Holocaust, as well as to salute the organizations and individuals in Israel and abroad who acted at great risk, and to give thanks to them and their families. A special thanks, also, to those whose names and identities must remain secret.


“Where there is no counsel, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proberbs 11:14)

The exhibition has been arranged under the auspices of the Mossad – Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations


On display until October 31,  2012


Curator: Avner A.
Head of Curatorial Department: Smadar Keren

Project Manager: Michal Houminer

Registrar: Geula Goldberg
History Consultant: Neomi Izhar
Museum Consultant: Orit Engelberg Baram

Exhibition Design: Ori Glazer - Architect, Onna Segev - Graphic Designer, Lia Eleonora Fang - Interior Designer

English Translation and Editing - Gail Aricha

Film Directing: Rotem Kipnis



                               The exhibit was made possible by the generous support of
                                                                 The IRIS Charity Trust
                                                         The SUNFLOWER Charity Trust
                                                            The ORCHID Charity Trust
                                                           The JASMINE Charity Trust



                                   The Mossad                        Minister Yosi Peled








Historical Background
With the outbreak of World War II, Adolf Otto Eichmann was appointed head of Jewish Affairs in the Gestapo. This brought him on an inspection tour of Eretz Israel in 1937. The official policy for “the final Solution” to the question of European Jewry was formulated in the Wannsee. Eichmann convened the conference, wrote the speech delivered by Reinhard Heydrich, and recorded the procedures and resolutions of the meeting. He was then put in charge of organizing “the final solution” throughout Europe: establishing  the dates and times of arrest and deportation, deciding on the  confiscation of  properties,  and determining  the number of those to be deported  by train to the their final destination at the concentration camps.


Following the Nazi occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Eichmann arrived with his team of aides and personally organized the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz.

During the months of May and June, 370,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to their deaths.

At the end of the war, Eichmann, under the assumed identity of “Otto Eckmann” was arrested by the U.S. Army.  He escaped from his captors and lived under the assumed name of “Otto Heninger.”  In the summer of 1950, he fled to Argentina through Italy with a Red Cross passport in the name of “Ricardo Klement”. Eichmann was one of the major Nazi war criminals who had escaped trial at Nuremberg.  In the 1950s, information regarding his whereabouts began to reach authorities in Israel. The Mossad, together with the General Security Services (the Shin Bet), set out to locate, expose and identify him. On 11 May 1960, he was abducted near his home in an operation led by Isser Harel, Chief of the Mossad. Eichmann was brought to a safe house and then flown to Israel nine days later by a special El Al plane.
On 11 April 1961, Eichmann’s trial began, during which 120 witnesses testified for the prosecution, and 1,600 pieces of evidence were presented. It was the first time that the Holocaust was publically exposed in all of its brutality and horror. 

On 15 December 1961, Eichmann was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was executed by hanging on 31 May 1962; his body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea, beyond the territorial waters of the State of Israel. [Back to page top]