Florida Holocaust Museum getting blockbuster Eichmann exhibition

Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann is the first exhibition in the United States to fully document the pursuit, capture, extradition, and trial of a Nazi war criminal.
Published August 29 2017
Updated August 29 2017

ST. PETERSBURG —The Florida Holocaust Museum in February will be getting the blockbuster exhibition on the capture of Adolf Eichmann, one of the most dramatic espionage stories in modern history.

Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann is the first exhibition in the United States to fully document the pursuit, capture, extradition, and trial of a Nazi war criminal.

The story is told using recently declassified artifacts from the Mossad, Israel's Secret Intelligence Service. It also includes objects and images made available outside the country for the first time such as original 1960s-era artifacts, photographs, award-winning films and audio, as well as contemporary design elements and interactive features, to tell a story of espionage and intrigue.

The traveling exhibition, making its fourth U.S. stop in St. Petersburg starting Feb. 10, is the first time that the recently declassified Mossad materials have been seen outside of Israel. It was hailed at stops in Chicago and New York this year for playing out more like the plot of a spy novel than a typical museum exhibit.

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It culminates in his trial and includes the famous bulletproof glass booth in which Eichmann sat, expressionless, as Holocaust survivors recounted the horrors for which he was responsible.

During World War II, Eichmann was the key functionary in charge of transporting millions of European Jews to death camps. After the war he disappeared and Operation Finale — the code name of Israel's effort to find him — reveals how Mossad agents located Eichmann in his hiding place in South America, and how they abducted him and smuggled him to Israel to stand trial.

His trial was among the first in history to be completely televised and it captivated millions of people across the globe.

The exhibition is co-produced by the Mossad; Beit Hatfutsot - The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage of Cleveland.

Career Mossad agent Avner Avraham curated the espionage artifacts featured in the exhibition.

"I also see it as a new way to share the Holocaust story," Avraham said in a news release. "We must learn from the Holocaust, especially as you see what is happening around the world today with bombs, international tensions, and crimes against humanity. This exhibition illustrates what we are talking about when we say 'never again.' "

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

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