“Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann” opens Winter 2018
August 1, 2017 [St. Petersburg, FL] — Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann is the first exhibition in the United States to fully document the pursuit, capture, extradition, and trial of a Nazi war criminal. The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) is proud to present this blockbuster exhibition, co-produced by The Mossad – Israel Secret Intelligence Service; Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cleveland, Ohio.
Cleveland Jewish News raves, “Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann is an extraordinary exhibition. It engages your intellect at the start and tears your heart out by the end.”
Fifty-six years ago, Adolf Eichmann, who had been in charge of transporting millions of European Jews to death camps, sat in a courtroom for a trial that would be among the first in history to be completely televised. The trial captivated millions of people across the globe and it was the first time that many of them learned the details of the Holocaust.
“There was a march of survivors, I would say approximately 100 survivors, who came into the witness box and told the story of what happened to them. And people watched them and listened to them and heard them in a way they hadn’t heard them before,” said Deborah Lipstadt, renowned historian and professor of Religion and Holocaust Studies at Emory University.
The dramatic story behind one of the world’s most notorious escaped Nazi war criminals being brought to justice is told using recently declassified artifacts from the Mossad, Israel’s Secret Intelligence Service. The exhibition includes objects and images made available outside the country for the first time – original 1960s-era artifacts, photographs, Telly Award winning films and audio, as well as contemporary design elements and interactive features, to tell a story of espionage, intrigue and, ultimately, justice served.
Also included in the exhibition is one of the most iconic objects of the century – the bulletproof glass booth in which the accused sat as the courtroom drama was broadcast around the globe.
The Chicago Tribune is calling Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann, “A Holocaust Museum smash.”
During World War II, Eichmann was the key functionary in the Nazis’ attempt to annihilate all of Europe’s 11 million Jews. After the war he disappeared, but his crimes made him a wanted man. Operation Finale – the code name of Israel’s effort to find him – reveals exactly how Mossad agents located Eichmann in his hiding place in South America, and how they abducted and smuggled him safely to Israel to stand trial.
Career Mossad agent Avner Avraham curated the espionage artifacts featured in Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann. This exhibition is the first time that the recently declassified Mossad materials have been seen outside of Israel.
“I also see it as a new way to share the Holocaust story. We must learn from the Holocaust, especially as you see what is happening around the world today with bombs, international tensions, and crimes against humanity. This exhibition illustrates what we are talking about when we say “never again.” That message is even more important as survivors turn 80 and 90 years old because they will not be able to tell their stories forever,” said Avraham.
Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann opens to the public on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at The Florida Holocaust Museum.
The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann is a co-production of The Mossad – Israel Secret Intelligence Service; Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cleveland, Ohio.
This exhibition is made possible by a generous grant from the Maltz Family Foundation.
About The Florida Holocaust Museum
2017 marks a monumental milestone for The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) as the Museum celebrates its 25th Anniversary. One of the largest Holocaust museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The FHM honors the memory of millions of men, women and children who suffered of died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit www.TheFHM.org.
Photos and credits
Eichmann Trial at Beit Ha’am in Jerusalem, Israel, 1961.
-Government Press Office
Eichmann raises his hand to vote at a Nazi gathering, 1942. -Mossad Archive
Forensic crime lab file, 1960. -Mossad Archive
The exhibition’s trial room video installation. -Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage