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Gabriel Bach, who helped prosecute Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, dead at 94

Gabriel Bach, a member of the Israeli team that prosecuted Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, died Friday. He was 94.

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Bach, a former Israeli Supreme Court justice, also served as a state prosecutor and deputy attorney general, The Jerusalem Post reported. His career spanned 46 years from 1951 to 1997, and Bach served for 31 years in the Military Advocate General’s Corps and in the state prosecutor’s office.

In 1982 he was appointed to Israel’s Supreme Court, the newspaper reported.

Born in Germany in 1927, Bach grew up in Berlin under Nazi rule, Haaretz reported. His family fled Germany in 1938, settling first in Amsterdam and then moving to Palestine two years later, the news organization reported.

Bach used to say that he was literally “kicked out of Germany” by a train platform guard when his family fled to Amsterdam, the Post reported.

Bach called the Eichmann trial the “height of his career.”

In 1961, he was appointed the legal adviser to “Bureau 06″ -- the special police unit in charge of the investigation of Eichmann, the newspaper reported.

Along with attorney general Gideon Hauser and Ya’acov Bar Or, Bach prepared and conducted the prosecution of the Nazi war criminal, which ended in Eichmann’s conviction and execution, according to the Post.

“When he, the prisoner, was led to my room, I saw myself for a moment as a child with my family in Germany, there on the platform, and a chilling thought passed through my mind – how easily it could have been a trap,” Bach wrote in his memoirs. “It was not easy to keep my face neutral at that moment, a poker face.”

Bach later said he was satisfied with the verdict and Eichmann’s death sentence. Eichmann was hanged at a prison in Ramla on June 1, 1962.

Bach was not only satisfied with the guilty verdict, but also with Eichmann’s death sentence.

“My opinion was that in cases of crimes against humanity and mass murder, the death penalty must be applied,” Bach told Ynet, a major Israeli news outlet, in 2021.


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