…and Eichmann smiled

January 30, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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Professor Alan Rosenthal was the keynote speaker at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration is Sydney…a filmmaker who was a member of the crew which filmed the trial of Adolph Eichmann.

More than 250 people packed the Sydney Jewish Museum for the event which also marked the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Russians on January 27, 1945.

Jonathan Sankey and Ariella Price light candles

Eddie Jaku tells the Holocaust story to Consuls

Ahead of the function, consuls from Austria, Ecuador, Fiji, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Lesotho, the Phillipines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Timor L’Este and the USA joined Christopher Woodthorpe the United Nations Information Centre Director for Australia and New Zealand on a tour of the museum. They were guided by Holocaust survivors Eddie Jaku, Lotte Weiss and Olga Horak.

Anna Berger, president of the The Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants introduced the speakers following the lighting of candles by Josh Price, Jonathan Sankey, Ariella Zilka and Harry Staub. Following a special prayer composed for the occasion by Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Christopher Woodthorpe delivered a message to survivors, their families and supporters from Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Litzie Lemberg showed a trailer of the movie “The Last Flight of Petr Ginz” a Czech boy murdered by the Nazis in 1944 at the age of 16. As a prisoner in Theriesenstadt, Ginz produce “Vedem” a daily newspaper written by hand and copied by his friends.

Professor Alan Rosenthal directed the filming the TV documentary of the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961. He said that when a film was shown to the court showing pictures of the death camps after war revealing bodies in pits, a witness passed out. The camera caught Eichmann taking off his glasses and smiling. He said: “I ran the videotapes at the end of the day and the smile was there.”

Professor Alan Rosenthal

He told a spell-bound audience: “In his appeal, Eichmann said ‘I was following orders'”. But the Supreme Court rejected his statement saying: “He was the man who made the orders.”

In 2002, Rosenthal made a film Adolf Eichmann: The Secret Memoirs following the discovery of a diary. The filmmaker said that very few of the Nazi leaders had kept a diary.

Rosenthal said that only five pages of Eichmann’s diary were admitted into evidence because they were authenticated by bearing the architect of the Final Solution’s signature.

Professor Alan Rosenthal is currently filming a documentary on Ikey Solomon who was transported from London to Tasmania in 1850 for receiving stolen goods. He has been  often described as being the character on whom Charles Dickens based his character Fagin…but that remains unproven,


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