Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, who was hiding in Argentina, was captured by the Mossad in 1960. How did this happen? This question is answered by Deborah Lipstadt, in her 2011 book “The Eichmann’s Trial.” The decisive information, she writes, came from three people: Lothar Hermann, a German half-Jew, who fled to Argentina in 1939, his young daughter Sylvia, who did not know about her Jewish origin, and a German Jewish lawyer, Fritz Bauer, who escaped to Sweden, in the 1930’s. After the war Bauer returned to Germany and became an attorney general in Frankfurt.
One day Sylvia introduced her new boyfriend, Klaus Eichmann, to her family. Her father suspected he was a son of the famous Nazi criminal. But he decided to keep it to himself, in order to conceal his own Jewish origin. The suspicion was confirmed when he learned that Klaus refused give Sylvia his address, forcing her to correspond with him through a mutual friend. That prompted Hermann to inform the authorities. But Instead of approaching the German embassy in Argentina, where many Nazi sympathizers worked, he wrote to the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office. That how Bauer became involved. He felt that further investigation was warranted. But he was also afraid of Nazi sympathizers in the Adenauer’s government.
Supported by the minister-president of Hesse, Bauer decided to inform the Israeli government. Preoccupied with other priorities, Israel’s head of security services waited nearly a year before starting the investigation. An agent who was sent to Argentina was asked to visit Hermann. He was surprised to discover that the man was blind. He was inclined to dismiss the entire matter until he spoke with Sylvia. ... The investigation would probably have been abandoned without the active involvement of Bauer, who approach the Israeli Attorney General, Haim Cohen, in 1959. Then things started moving quickly. ...
A team of agents was sent to Argentina and they had no difficulties capturing the criminal. But they were not aware that the Argentinean secret police was also keeping close tabs on Eichmann, at that time. “On the night of the kidnapping, an undercover agent was tailing him. He saw three men grab, subdue and bundle Eichmann into a car. The agents followed the car to the save house where he was held. The secret police was also aware that, a few days before the kidnapping, a contingent of Israelis had arrived in the country and were engaged in some sort of surreptitious activity. Apparently, this much-touted secret action was anything but secret.”