About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb

31. – 494.) Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb – I had some vague idea that Adolph Eichmann had escaped to Argentina shortly after the war through a network assembled by ex-SS members and been discovered in Argentina through information gathered in Europe and that the Israelis knew of his existence there for years before they kidnapped him. He actually was in Germany for 8 years after the war in various prisoner of war camps and working and farming. Shortly after the war he escaped detection as his role in the Holocaust was not well understood. For most of the war his leadership was understated. Later it was difficult to find him as he had avoided being photographed. He did leave Europe through the network aided by members of the Catholic Church. On finding him the German state of Hesse prosecutor, Herman Bauer, provided information to Israel which conducted a superficial search that did not confirm Eichmann’s identity. Remarkably it was a former girlfriend of Eichmann’s son Nicholas in her early 20’s, who spurred the investigation, by going to Eichmann’s home and openly asking him if he was Eichmann and finding his denials unconvincing. Israel was not positive it was Eichmann until they had actually kidnapped him. The decision to proceed came from Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who instructed the head of the Mossad, Iser Harrel, to capture Eichmann. Methodically he put together a team of experienced operatives, several of them survivors of the Holocaust, who carefully made a plan with extensive contingencies. Even with precise plans and many rehearsals the capture did not go smoothly and they were fortunate not to be detected. They spent over a week holding him before the El Al plane to transport him could be available. The stress of being with Eichmann who followed their orders exactly and was so ordinary weighed heavily on each man. To avoid any inspections in Brazil they made a trans-Atlantic flight landing in Senegal with but minutes of fuel left in the plane. The search was incredibly haphazard and the capture minutely planned. In reading about Eichmann I found myself reluctant to accept that the man who orchestrated the Holocaust was so average. (Aug. 11/09)


  1. Bill - What an interesting look at the Eichmann capture! I, too, didn't know these details at first and I find them fascinating. And it's troubling isn't it how such very ordinary-seeming people can do such extraordinarily inhumane things...

  2. Margot: Thank you Margot. I do not what "evil" looks like but "ordinary" probably makes us feel anyone could be "evil".

  3. The banality of evil.

    I'm adding this book to my 'possibles' list. Thanks for the review.

  4. Yvette: Thanks for the comment. It is a good book. The process of capture shows how difficult it is to exercise plans even when carefully made and practised.