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In the years between the end of WWII in 1945 and the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, the men and women who would become the citizens of the first Jewish state in almost 2,000 years had already formed a small army equipped with an assortment of old British, American, and other assorted weapons, including a small number of tanks, trucks and armored personnel carriers. The Israelis had also formed the core of an air force that would eventually become one of the most effective forces on Earth.
With these weapons and the determination to form their own country, defend the Jewish people coming already living there and those flooding into the area from the refugee camps of post-war Europe, the Israelis had a good start, but one thing was missing – an intelligence and spy organization. Without this, the armed forces of Israel might not know of plans to invade and destroy their country, and to do harm to its citizens and interests.
In late 1949, the “Central Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”, or “Mossad Merkazi le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim,” or “The Mossad” as it is commonly known, was born.
Before we begin, we should make clear one thing – what follows is intended to be an informative video on certain exciting and unusual episodes in Mossad history. We're aware that from 1948 until today, both the actions of the Mossad and the development of the state of Israel are intense and emotional topics. While we condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms, we are also away of the many controversies surrounding both the Mossad, the birth of Israel and the current state of affairs in both Israel and Palestine. We are not taking sides – merely informing you about a part of history that many people know very little about.
EichmannBy 1961, the Mossad had existed for 12 years, but few people knew of it or much about it outside of the Middle East. Those who did were foreign governments and intelligence agencies, and those who knew the Israeli foreign intelligence agency was after them. Many considered one of those men to be one of the key architects of the Holocaust, former SS Obersturmbannfuhrer or lieutenant colonel Adolf Eichmann.Eichmann had been hunted by the Israeli government, its agents, and famous Nazi hunters since the end of WWII. Like many other Nazi fugitives, it was believed that he had taken refuge somewhere in South America, where dictatorships, some of them like the Nazis in many ways, sheltered or provided them with new identities. Quite a few South American countries, especially Argentine, Chile, and Brazil, had significant and influential German immigrant communities, most of them formed long before the rise of Hitler. Not all Germans in these countries were sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazis – neither before, during, or after the war, but a large minority were. It was thought that Eichmann and other Nazi fugitives would have sought shelter in these countries and some anonymity in these communities. Adolf Eichmann lived in Buenos Aires in a small house on Garibaldi Street. He worked for Mercedes-Benz and eventually rose to become a department head. In recent years, it has become clear that many people knew who Eichmann was and at least part of this story. In 1956, he gave an interview to a Nazi journalist and told him, in explicit detail, about his role in the Holocaust and the extent of the murderous program he helped to run. Parts of this interview were later used in his trial.The story of Eichmann’s capture is quite detailed, and the mission to both find and kidnap and take him back to Israel is well-known, but that’s not the point of this story. With the kidnap of Eichmann, his subsequent televised trial in Israel, and eventual execution for crimes against humanity, the Mossad became a known entity in living rooms around the world.
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