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Monday, 11 April 2011

Israel, US, Germany mark 50 years since Nazi trial

Israel said Sunday the 50th anniversary of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann's trial will be marked in Germany and America, as well as in the Jerusalem building where the case was heard.

Tuesday marks a half-century since the start of the historic trial of Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat responsible for masterminding the logistics of Hitler's "Final Solution" -- the extermination of six million Jews.

The trial lasted eight months and, in December 1961, Eichmann was sentenced to death. He was hanged in Israel on May 31, 1962.

Israel's cabinet said in a statement that the anniversary would be commemorated by official events in Jerusalem, Berlin and New York City.

"There will be three main ceremonies around the world," it said.

"In Jerusalem, where the trial was held, at the Wansee Villa in Germany, where the Final Solution for the annihilation of the Jews was decided upon and in New York, where the largest single Jewish community in the world is concentrated."

The statement did not specify the dates of the ceremonies or give other details.

Speaking to ministers and media at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the significance of the 1961 trial was immense.

"It marked a turning point in which the State of Israel and the Jewish people began to mete out justice to their persecutors and said: Enough! No more," he said.

"Regrettably, our enemies and those who seek Jewish lives have not gone from the world, but the State of Israel exists and it knows how to defend itself."

Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum on Friday said it had uploaded footage of the entire Eichmann trial to YouTube ahead of the anniversary, about 400 hours in all.

The footage can be viewed on separate YouTube channels -- one in the original Hebrew, German and Yiddish, and a second dubbed into English.

The initiative is part of a larger project launched earlier this year by Yad Vashem and Google to post all of the museum's Holocaust documents on the Internet.

The English-language version can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/EichmannTrialEN while the original language version can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/EichmannTrial

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