Eichmann Underground

The Crimes of Adolf Eichmann: A Timeline

1932

Adolf Eichmann joins the Nazi party after losing his job as an oil company salesman.

1935

As a sergeant in the SD, Eichmann enforces the Nuremberg Laws, designed to "drive Jews out of all phases of German life" by depriving them of citizenship, property, and basic rights.

1937

Eichmann travels to Palestine in a quest to become the Nazi expert on Jewish identity.

1938

After the annexation of Poland, Eichmann adopts a system of brazen duplicity. He meets with Jewish leaders professing sympathy, and then directs the seizure of all Jewish property and the expulsion of the population. Jews who could not obtain foreign visas are sent to concentration camps in Dachau and Buchenwald. Eichmann rises to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Around this time, he coins the term "Final Solution."

1940

After the German invasion of Poland, Eichmann is named head of the Emigration and Evacuation department in charge of the deportation of Jews. His ability to secure trains determines the number of Jews deported. He also directs the consolidation of Polish Jews into ghettos, the conditions of which cause many to starve.

1941

At the direction of Adolf Hitler and other top personnel, the annihilation of Jews begins on a mass scale. Eichmann is tasked with arranging the transport of the Jews to killing centers. Jews in newly occupied areas are slaughtered by Einsatzgruppen units, which Eichmann observes.

1942-1943

Eichmann arranges deportations from many countries including Slovakia, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and Croatia. Having observed the gas chambers at Belzec, he encourages his superiors to authorize the use of Zyklon gas at concentration camps.

1944

After the German seizure of Hungary, Eichmann oversees the deportation of over 400,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in a two-month span. He attempts to trade the lives of one million Jewish citizens for 10,000 trucks. As Germany moves to occupy Budapest, he begins a forced western march of Jewish civilians, many of whom perish. Late in the war, Eichmann attempts a last stand with a group of soldiers, but ultimately abandons the effort and disappears into hiding.

1945

Eichmann is not named as a defendant at the Nuremberg trial, but his name is mentioned during proceedings with such frequency that he becomes one of the most sought Nazi criminals.

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