Sir Ben Kingsley as Nazi Adolf Eichmann in New Film “Operation Finale”

Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann. © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Otto Adolf Eichmann went down in modern history as a man of great evil, priding himself with the death of 6 million people. He became one of most wanted men in Europe by the end of World War II.

Following “exhaustive attempts” to find and capture him after his disappearance, many assumed he had committed suicide. However, this was far from the reality.

Eichmann had somehow managed to slip through the fingers of the hunters, and had ended up in a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina with his family. Although the search had been officially called off, clandestine operations ran in the background, with the Israeli Mossad leading the chase.

Adolf Eichmann in SS-Uniform, ca. 1942. Photo: Sargoth / CC BY-SA 3.0
Adolf Eichmann in SS-Uniform, ca. 1942. Photo: Sargoth / CC BY-SA 3.0

The movie Operation Finale is a fierce thriller based on the incredible true story of the hunt for Adolf Eichmann. The clandestine operation was one of the most intense and extremely daring missions in modern history.

Against towering odds, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, Mossad, was tasked with finding and bringing the notorious Eichmann to Israel, where justice waited. The new film with its dramatic scenes relives the events surrounding the expedition.

Eichmann on trial in 1961
Eichmann on trial in 1961

The movie portrays Academy Award winner, Sir Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann, and Golden Globe winner, Oscar Isaac as agent Peter Malkin. Also starring in the thriller are Lior Raz, Melanie Laurent, Joe Alwyn, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson, Michael Aronov, Torben Liebrecht, Mike Hernandez, Ohad Knoller, Greg Hill, Greta Scacchi and Pêpê Rapazote.

Written by Matthew Orton and Directed by Chris Weitz, Operation Finale is set to bring the intensely dramatic incident to big screen.

(From L to R) Mélanie Laurent as Hanna Regev, Oscar Isaac as Peter Malkin, Nick Kroll as Rafi Eitan, Michael Aronov as Zvi Aharoni, and Greg Hill as Moshe Tabor in OPERATION FINALE, written by Matthew Orton and directed by Chris Weitz, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures. © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.
(From L to R) Mélanie Laurent as Hanna Regev, Oscar Isaac as Peter Malkin, Nick Kroll as Rafi Eitan, Michael Aronov as Zvi Aharoni, and Greg Hill as Moshe Tabor in OPERATION FINALE, written by Matthew Orton and directed by Chris Weitz, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures. © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

The movie which will be released on the 29th of August 2018 follows Peter Malkin—Isaac—as he chases after the notorious Eichmann—Ben Kingsley—while being in turn opposed by Argentina’s fascist forces.

Eichmann’s story is chilling. He was one of Hitler’s deadliest Lieutenants and one of the organizers of the Holocaust, charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity.

Placards about the conviction of Karl Adolf Eichmann
Placards about the conviction of Karl Adolf Eichmann

The hunt for Adolf Eichmann could be likened to a game of cat and mouse. He was extremely evasive, managing to remain undetected by British and American agents. However, the small Israeli investigation team tasked with finding him was dedicated and Eichmann was not the only one on the their ‘wanted’ list.

Eichmann was first spotted and caught in southern Germany under the guise of a German Luftwaffe corporal. His disguise had almost been betrayed by the Schutzstaffel tattoo on his arm but he managed to convince his captors that he was indeed a Schutzstaffel lieutenant—a Junior Lieutenant called Otto Eckmann. He was sent to a poorly guarded camp from which he escaped.

Red Cross passport under the name of “Ricardo Klement” that Eichmann used to enter Argentina in 1950
Red Cross passport under the name of “Ricardo Klement” that Eichmann used to enter Argentina in 1950

He moved across western Germany with the aid of former SS colleagues, and later moved to Argentina after increased fears of capture. The search for him was called off in 1947 with records stating that he was dead. Cause of death: Suicide.

However, the search for Eichmann kept running in the background as several survivors of the Holocaust remained dedicated to finding him. On 18th February 1960, information made it’s way to the Mossad that Eichmann was in Buenos Aires.

Adolf Eichmann’s extension of arrest hearing.
Adolf Eichmann’s extension of arrest hearing.

The Argentine government was known for bluntly declining the extradition of fugitives and was thus a bone in the neck of the operation. Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion decided that Eichmann should be kidnapped rather than extradited.

Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial
Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial

Hence, 15 years after the Second World War, the covert op which caught Eichmann was launched. It was a mission with a lot of moving parts exposing it to many potential points of failure.

Adolf Eichmann in the yard of Ayalon Prison in Israel, 1961. Photo: Government Press Office (Israel) – CC BY-SA 4.0
Adolf Eichmann in the yard of Ayalon Prison in Israel, 1961. Photo: Government Press Office (Israel) – CC BY-SA 4.0

The upcoming film Operation Finale came following screenwriter Mathew Orton’s deep research on the story of Eichmann, the hunt, and all the agents involved in the operation.

 

Operation Finale Official Poster
Operation Finale Official Poster

Peter Malkin particularly was an object of fascination, although he was not the leader of Mossad team, he was paramount to the success of the mission. He was emblematic of the millions of people who were affected by the genocide, having lost his older sister and her children to the Holocaust.

Operation Finale will be in theaters on August 29th. It promises to give an intense visual recount of the real-life events.