Former Mossad agent Yaakov Meidad, who took part in the abduction of the Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann, died Saturday at the age of 93. Meidad was living in Tel Aviv.
Meidad was in charge of the logistic aspects of the assignment, carried out in Argentina in May 1960 under the command of the Mossad chief at the time, Isser Harel. Among other things, Meidad rented the cars and apartments used for the capture and was one of the Mossad operatives who guarded Eichmann at the apartment he was held in until he was smuggled to Israel.
In a meeting of operatives who took part in Eichmann’s capture that took place five years ago at the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies at Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak, Meidad recalled that he was chosen to participate in the assignment due to his ability to change identities, be liked by people, and gain their trust. “You have no idea what a small nervous man he was, how he signed [the document agreeing to be tried in Israel], and how he behaved, this man who sent millions to their death,” Meidad said, referring to his first encounter with Eichmann. Two years later, the Nazi criminal was executed in Israel.
Meidad was born in 1919 in Berslau, Germany, (now Polish Wroslaw). His mother was a teacher, and his father was a director of a hospital ward after serving as a medical officer in WWI. Meidad, their only son, immigrated on his own to Palestine in 1934, at the age of 15. His parents remained behind and were murdered in the holocaust, his mother in Auschwitz, and his father in Terezinstadt. Meidad studied at the Hebrew Reali high school in Haifa before enlisting in the Technion to study electrical engineering. When WWII broke out, Meidad was the first Jew from the Yishuv to volunteer to serve in the British Army and fight Nazism. Meidad also fought in the 1948 war and fulfilled several posts in the IDF before joining the Mossad in 1955.
For more go to Haaretz.com