- Spy agency Mossad opens its archive into legendary capture
- Documents never made public before are revealed
- Eichmann was the Nazi in charge of Hitler's plan to kill Europe's Jews
- Mossad tracked him down to Argentina and ambushed him at a bus stop
- Sedated, he was then spirited out of the country using a fake passport
- Eichmann went on trial in 1961, more than 100 Holocaust survivors testified
- He was hanged for his crimes the following year
Adolf Eichmann at the height of his power as the Nazi SS Lieutenant Colonel in charge of Hitler's Jewish bureau
It also discloses new details, such as how forensic experts identified Eichmann by his ears.
Eichmann was in charge of implementing Adolf Hitler's 'Final Solution', the plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.
Mossad's exploits typically become known only when something goes wrong. This exhibit tells a success story, offering the most comprehensive picture to date of the complex operation that helped shape the agency's image - bringing a top Nazi criminal to justice.
'This is the first time Mossad carried out a huge operation overseas, and it had to invent all this "James Bond" stuff in the process,' said the curator, who can be identified only as Avner A because of agency regulations.
'This operation made Mossad,' he said. 'It proved to itself and to the entire world that it could pull off an operation at the end of the world with a variety of bodies, under all kinds of identities and with various technical and technological means.'
Avner said the agency's tactics and strategies have evolved since then. Even so, the exhibit was initially intended to remain classified, but 'the Eichmann story is so strong that we just couldn't keep this one to ourselves'.
Among the highlights of the exhibit at the Beit Hatfutsot museum of the Jewish people in Tel Aviv are the original Mossad file on Eichmann, code named 'Dybbuk' - Hebrew for 'evil spirit,' the briefcase with a concealed camera that took the first pictures of Eichmann in Buenos Aires, the fake licence plates the agents made for vehicles to track Eichmann, the gloves used to nab him, the needle used to sedate him and the forged Israeli passport his captors used to smuggle him out of Argentina.
Eichmann's 1961 trial in Jerusalem captivated the country and the world with gripping public testimony of more than 100 Jews who survived extreme torture and deprivation in concentration camps and brought to life the horrors of the Nazi 'final solution.'
Eichmann was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was hanged the following year, the only time Israel has carried out a death sentence.
After the war ended in Germany's defeat, Eichmann escaped American captivity and fled to Argentina in 1950, assuming the name Ricardo Klement.
There he kept out of sight until 1957, when his eldest son, Nick, befriended a girl named Silvia.
Her father, Lothar Hermann, was a Holocaust survivor. After becoming suspicious of the young Eichmann, he dispatched a letter, displayed in the exhibit, to Fritz Bauer, a fellow Jewish Holocaust survivor, who was the German state of Hesse's chief prosecutor. Bauer informed the Israelis, who started investigating.
Two years later, Mossad agent Zvi Aharoni located the family home in Garibaldi Street in Buenos Aires and returned with photographs of Ricardo Klement that matched those taken of Adolf Eichmann. Israeli forensic experts matched the details of the ears in each photo for final confirmation.
On the evening of May 11, 1960, a seven-man team waited near the bus station where Eichmann arrived each evening from his job at a Mercedes Benz factory.
After Eichmann got off the bus, agent Zvi Malkin jumped on him, making sure to put his gloved hand inside Eichmann's mouth, in case he had a cyanide pill hidden inside a tooth as some former top Nazis were known to have in case of capture, Avner said.
Two agents helped shove Eichmann into the getaway car where a fourth agent, Aharoni, awaited.
Items in the Operation Finale exhibit reveal the story behind the Mossad spy agency's legendary operation
Adolf Eichmann, who died June 1962, is pictured in the box during his trial at the Jerusalem Supreme Court in Tel Aviv
Eichmann relaxing on his bed, reading a book in his cell at the Teggard Fortress near Nazareth, just before he was taken to trial in Jerusalem
Eichmann has been portrayed on screen many times. Here Stanley Tucci plays the Nazi mastermind alongside Kenneth Brannagh as General Reinhard Heydrich in the BBC's 2002 film Conspiracy - The Meeting at Wannsee