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Adolph Eichmann

 
The Eichmann Show-About Eichmann's Trial-Now on Netflix is Worth Watching

by Rhonda Spivak, October 8, 2017

 

 
The Eichmann Show  a docudrama that was part of the BBC’s Holocaust Memorial season in 2015 is now on Netflix and is worth watching.
 
 

In 1961, Adolf Eichmann ,the chief architect of the Holocaust went on trial in Israel, after being apprehended in Argentina. The footage of the trail was shown on television in 37 countries  as a result of the efforts of  producer Milton Fruchtman and director Leo Hurwitz who made that broadcast possible. For the first time people around the world sitting in their living rooms were confronted with the true extent of Nazi atrocities, hearing them directly from the mouths of survivors. The Eichmann Show tells the story of the behind the scenes filming of the  trial, through the eyes of  Fruchtman and Hurwitz, a genius director who becomes obsessed with seeing if he can find any trace of  humanity in Eichmann.

 

 

One of the most compelling aspects of the The Eichmann Show was the decision by director Paul Andrew Williams  not to attempt any enactment of the dramatic scenes that took place in the courtroom but rather to interweave archival clips from  the original 1961 footage of the trial throughout  the docudrama. I had never seen clips from the Eichmann trial before watchingThe Eichmann Show as the trial took place before I was born. The archival clips of the trial enable a  a new generation to stare into the devastating eyes of evil. We can watch how Eichmann seemed indifferent to hearing the horrors recalled by the witnesses at the trial, and we can get a sense of how much was at stake at the trial, since it becomes unimaginable that Eichmann could get off. 

 

 

In order to ensure they received permission to film the trial from the Israeli judges presiding over Eichmann's trial , Fruchtman and Horowitz devised a smart way to disguise the cameras from view by building them into the wall of the courtroom. 

 

 

Up until the trial of Eichmann, people, even in Israel, did not talk about what happened in the Holocaust, but the trial changed that. There is a scene near the end of the drama when Hurwitz is eating alone at his hotel when he was approached by his  Mrs Landau, the hotelier. She shows him the concentration camp tattoo on her arm, and says “When we first arrived here, they did not believe us. They said such things were not possible. So we stopped speaking about it… Now they listen.”

 

Although they are not household names, Fruchtman  (who gets death threats by Nazi supporters for his efforts to broadcast the trial) and Hurwitz deserve to be remembered for ensuring the trial was in fact captured by television cameras, and enabling the world to have the full record of the Eichmann Trial. 

 
The Eichmann Show  a docudrama that was part of the BBC’s Holocaust Memorial season in 2015 is now on Netflix and is worth watching.
 

In 1961, Adolf Eichmann ,the chief architect of the Holocaust went on trial in Israel, after being apprehended in Argentina. The footage of the trail was shown on television in 37 countries  as a result of the efforts of  producer Milton Fruchtman and director Leo Hurwitz who made that broadcast possible. For the first time people around the world sitting in their living rooms were confronted with the true extent of Nazi atrocities, hearing them directly from the mouths of survivors. TheEichmann Show tells the story of the behind the scenes filming of the  trial, through the eyes of  Fruchtman and Hurwitz, a genius director who becomes obsessed with  seeing if he can find any trace of  humanity in Eichmann.

 

 

One of the most compelling aspects of the The Eichmann Show was the decision by director Paul Andrew Williams  not to attempt any enactment of the dramatic scenes that took place in the courtroom but rather to interweave archival clips from  the original 1961 footage of the trail though out  the docudrama. I had never seen clips from the Eichmann trial before watchingThe Eichmann Show as the trial took place before I was born. The archival clips of the trial enable a  a new generation to stare into the devastating eyes of evil. We can watch how Eichmann seemed indifferent to hearing the horrors recalled by the witnesses at the trial, and we can get a sense of how much was at stake at the trial, since it becomes unimaginable that Eichmann could get off. 

 

 

In order to ensure they received permission to film the trial from the Israeli judges presiding over Eichmann's trial , Fruchtman and Horowitz devised a smart way to disguise the cameras from view by building them into the wall of the courtroom. 

 

 

Up until the trial of Eichmann, people, even in Israel, did not talk about what happened in the Holocaust, but the trial changed that. There is a scene near the end of the drama when Hurwitz is eating alone at his hotel when he was approached by his  Mrs Landau, the hotelier. She shows him the concentration camp tattoo on her arm, and says “When we first arrived here, they did not believe us. They said such things were not possible. So we stopped speaking about it… Now they listen.”

 

Although they are not household names, Fruchtman  (who gets death threats by Nazi supporters for his efforts to broadcast the trial) and Hurwitz deserve to be remembered for ensuring the trial was in fact captured by television cameras, and enabling the world to have the full record of the Eichmann Trial.

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.