Peter Zvi Malkin ( May 27, 1927 – March 1, 2005) was an Israeli secret agent, an intelligence legend, and member of the Mossad intelligence agency.
In his 27 years in the Mossad and the secret service - first as an agent and later as Chief of Operations - he took a lead role in his country's most celebrated intelligence coup and later covert operations. Malkin was part of the team that captured Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960 and brought him to Israel to stand trial. Born Zvi Malchin on May 27, 1927 in Pilgramshain, Weimar Germany (now Żółkiewka, Poland), to an observant Jewish family. In 1936, his family fled to Palestine to escape the rising tide of German anti-Semitism; his sister, Fruma, and her three children who remained behind with 150 other relatives, died in the Holocaust. At the age of 12, Malkin was recruited into the Haganah. In 1950, he was invited to join the new Jewish state's fledgling security service as an explosives expert. He was also an expert in martial arts and disguises.
Malkin spent 27 years in the Mossad, first as an agent and later as Chief of Operations. As Chief of Operations he played a major role in the capture of Israel Bar, a Soviet spy who had penetrated the highest levels of Israeli government. He also led an operation against Nazi nuclear rocket scientists who assisted an Egyptian weapons development program after World War II. Malkin's most famous mission was on May 11, 1960, when he and a team of Mossad agents led by Rafi Eitan captured Adolf Eichmann who was living in hiding in Argentina. Eichmann was one of the top Nazi officials who played a principal role in organizing extermination of the Jews during World War II. "Momentito, señor" (One moment, sir) were the words he uttered in Spanish as he approached Eichmann. Then Malkin grabbed him in a neck-lock, wrestled to the ground, and bundled him in the car that took then to a safe house outside Buenos Aires. In 1989, Israeli newspaper Maariv cited him as "one of the greatest figures ever in the history of the Mossad." Israeli journalist Uri Dan called him "an extraordinary secret warrior."
He is said to have been involved in the search for Yossele Schumacher in the 1960s. After retiring in 1976, Peter Malkin devoted his time to the artistic pursuits that served as his cover during his years at the Mossad. His paintings at the time of the capture of Eichmann in Argentina through the present have won international acclaim in London, Paris, Brussels and Israel. He has also authored books, and served as a private international consultant on anti-terrorism methods. The movie, "The Man Who Captured Eichmann" (1996) starring Robert Duvall as Adolf Eichmann, was based on his book Eichmann in my Hands: also in the film was Arliss Howard, who played Malkin. More recently, Evan M. Wiener has written a play, Captors, inspired by the book. Malkin spent his last years in New York City with his wife, Roni, and their three children. He died on March 1, 2005.