Adolf Eichmann: architect of the Holocaust

Adolf Eichmann was one of the chief organisers of the Holocaust and convicted for war crimes in 1962. This series tells the story of his televised trial, one of the first global TV documentaries.

Using a combination of archive footage, dramatisation and interviews with people involved in the television production and the trial, this clip introduces us to the groundbreaking trial of the Adolf Eichmann. The trial was the first global TV documentary series as each day a summary was flown to 37 countries. The Eichmann trial was able to shed light on the horrors of the Holocaust for millions around the world for the first time.

Alan Rosenthal, who worked on the TV production aged 21, discusses his memories of Eichmann and the intense atmosphere of the trial. Gabriel Bach, deputy prosecutor at the trial, explains that Eichmann was "charged with causing the mass deportation of Jews to death camps and their murder” and how the policy of forced emigration of 6 million Jews changed to the "Final Solution."

Teacher Notes

Why is Eichmann so unknown in Holocaust histories? Using this clip and a variety of sources and images, students can build up a picture of the man Adolf Eichmann. It is important to use material from pre, during and post war so that students can assemble a chronological narrative as well as points that highlight key episodes in Eichmann’s life.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.