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New York museum recreates scene of Nazi war criminal's trial

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/14/2017 By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press
The bulletproof glass booth in which Adolf Eichmann testified during his trial in Jerusalem District Court is displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press The bulletproof glass booth in which Adolf Eichmann testified during his trial in Jerusalem District Court is displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Half a century after Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was convicted and hanged in Israel for engineering the deaths of millions of Jews, the bulletproof-glass booth where he sat facing justice has come to New York for a multimedia, you-are-there recreation of the courtroom.

Avner Avraham, former Israeli Mossad agent and curator of "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann," describes the exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press Avner Avraham, former Israeli Mossad agent and curator of "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann," describes the exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

It's part of an exhibit at Manhattan's Museum of Jewish Heritage that opens Sunday, created by a former agent of Israel's Mossad intelligence service that captured Eichmann a decade after he fled to Argentina.

The 1960 forensic crime lab file comparing photos of Adolf Eichmann in World War II and as Ricardo Klement in Argentina, are displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press The 1960 forensic crime lab file comparing photos of Adolf Eichmann in World War II and as Ricardo Klement in Argentina, are displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Surrounding Eichmann's actual booth are screens with original video footage — seven minutes culled from 350 courtroom hours — that makes visitors feel like they're spectators at the 1961 proceedings. They hear the voices of survivors who testified against the SS lieutenant-colonel, as well as the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

Avner Avraham, former Israeli Mossad agent and curator of "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann," stands among silhouette cutouts of the eleven agents who caught Eichmann in Argentina, in the exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press Avner Avraham, former Israeli Mossad agent and curator of "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann," stands among silhouette cutouts of the eleven agents who caught Eichmann in Argentina, in the exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The balding, 55-year-old German who once planned the routes of cattle-car trains that brought Jews to Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other camps sits stone-faced in footage rolling on a screen right behind the original booth. To the right is another screen beaming the traumatic, tear-drenched testimonies, with one man collapsing to the floor in exhaustion after he speaks.

Original negatives, the first photos of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, and the Leica 35mm camera that was used, are displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press Original negatives, the first photos of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, and the Leica 35mm camera that was used, are displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

"Here with me stand 6 million prosecutors," chief prosecutor Gideon Hauser intones in Hebrew, with a subtitled English translation. "Their blood cries to heaven, but their voices cannot be heard."

The taped goggles used to obscure Adolf Eichmann during his captivity in Argentina and on his flight to Israel, are displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press The taped goggles used to obscure Adolf Eichmann during his captivity in Argentina and on his flight to Israel, are displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The trial was held in a Jerusalem theater converted into a courtroom — an appropriate setting for the last act of what unfolds like a sensational cloak-and-dagger story, starring the organizer of Hitler's "Final Solution."

The original suitcase containing a kit for making license plates in Argentina, during the capture of Adolf Eichmann, is displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press The original suitcase containing a kit for making license plates in Argentina, during the capture of Adolf Eichmann, is displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The details drew Avner Avraham, who left the Mossad two years ago to collect materials for the exhibit, which takes its title "Operation Finale" from the code name of the undercover Eichmann mission led by Israel's still-budding intelligence force in the 1950s. Its agents fanned out across Europe and Argentina, assembling the pieces of a puzzle that ended with Eichmann's hanging.

Adolf Eichmann's SS file, obtained by the Israeli Mossad in 1960, is displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press Adolf Eichmann's SS file, obtained by the Israeli Mossad in 1960, is displayed in the "Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann" exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Avraham said the proof they had the right man came down to his left ear.

Eichmann was abducted by the Mossad in 1960 as he got off a bus while heading home from work at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Buenos Aires. They confirmed it was him by comparing his ear to a photo of Eichmann in a pre-World War II German army file.

Characters who populate the 4,000-square-foot exhibit include cardboard figures of the 11 key Mossad agents, including one woman who closed in on Eichmann after tracking him for months. He was taken to Israel aboard an El Al plane, camouflaged as a cabin attendant in the airline uniform.

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Museum of Jewish Heritage: http://mjhnyc.org

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