Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris
April 8 – September 28, 2011
17, rue Geoffroy–l’Asnier, 75004 Paris
+33 1 42 77 44 72

On 11 April 1961, one of the most spectacular trials in recent history began in Jerusalem: the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Whilst most European countries still tried to suppress the memories of the Second World War, the unexpected announcement of the capture and subsequent judgment of a man, who was presented, not without exaggeration, as one of the principal architects of the “Final Solution”, reopened a case which had remained unresolved since Nuremberg.

A major event, the trial of Eichmann, one of the main coordinators of the Nazi policy to exterminate the Jews, aroused much international interest and was entirely filmed. It was the first important trial held by a national jurisdiction of an individual person for crimes directly relating to the Holocaust. The trial raised the issue of how to judge, years after the facts, crimes of a nature and gravity without precedent, without adopting the proceedings of a war time tribunal, contrary to democratic principles. This was not the first trial in which Holocaust survivors were asked to testify, but it constituted an exceptional platform for the witnesses in Israel, a country which hadn’t existed at the time the deeds were perpetrated. The Eichmann Trial thus triggered a debate on Israeli identity which has never really come to a close.

To mark the 50th anniversary of this event, the Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris, is presenting much of the original evidence that was used during the trial, including extracts of the preliminary interrogation and the newspapers held by Adolf Eichmann in prison, sound recordings, photographs and his reactions to the lawsuit. Accompanying this are images of the actual trial, as well as approximately 250 hours of video of the trial, filmed by Leo Hurwitz.