Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
Adolf Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany, on March 19, 1906. His school years were nothing special, and he relocated to Austria and joined the Nazi party in April of 1932. After he lost his non-government job and the party was banned in Austria, he moved back to Germany and began rising through the ranks. He transferred to the Special Service - the real power behind the Nazis, and continued his rise in power.
In October of 1939, Eichmann was assigned to facilitate over 70,000 Jewish deportations. He sent them to Nisko, Poland, and left the Jews in a field with no food or water. He was afterwards promoted again to overseeing Jewish affairs. His task was to deport as many Jewish people as possible without using too many resources that the military needed. One of his ideas was to send 4 million Jews to Madagascar, but that plan was shelved when Germany could not defeat Britain in the Battle of Britain.
Instead, Eichmann and Hitler decided to round up and exterminate as many Jews as possible. After Germany invaded Hungary, Jewish exterminations expanded, continuing until July 6, 1994. Angry at the commands to cease exterminations, Eichmann transferred back to the military, and continued exterminating Jews.
After the war ended, Eichmann was captured by the Americans under the name Otto Eckmann. He started changing his identification frequently, and evaded capture until May 11, 1960. He was forcefully taken to Israel later that month.
Eichmann was interrogated daily, with over 3,500 pages of interviews generated. His trial started on April 11, 1961, and lasted 56 days. The trail itself was challenged by the defense, who stated that Eichmann shouldn’t even be in Israel, and was kidnapped to bring him to justice. The motion was dismissed, and, eventually, Eichmann was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Several appeals were denied, and Eichmann was sentenced to death. He was hung on May 31, 1962.