Astrid Dehe and Achim Engstler’s Eichmann’s Executioner tells a story that began fifty years ago in May 1962. Twenty two men who have shared guarding and observing former Nazi Adolf Eichmann must choose who among them will carry out the Court’s sentence to hang Adolf Eichmann. (It will have to be one of them because no one in Israel has the training as an executioner.)
In the book, the chosen guard is Shalom Nagar, who draws he shortest straw. Ever since that fateful time, Nagar has never been able to shake it. He firmly believes the former Nazi’s last breath released a curse on him.
Nagar shares the burden he carries with anyone who wishes to hear about this period of his life guarding and observing the former Nazi. The latest to hear his story is Moshe and his friend Ben. Eventually Moshe reveals his own connection to Eichmann and it sets off a chain of events that causes Nagar to question everything about his past. Moshe too finds himself reliving painful memories. He decides to release his pain by writing about Eichmann and Nagar.
Dehe and Engstler through these two characters dive into and examines the Holocaust and the trauma it brought that is still felt by people over sixty years later. It is a power and intense book to read.