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The House On Garibaldi Street by Isser Harel

Discussion in 'Book Reviews' started by Smiley 2.0, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

    Dec 2, 2014
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    The Land of the Noble Steed
    The House On Garibaldi Street is the account of the capture of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann by Mossad (Israeli Secret Service) told by its former head Isser Harel.
    The fact that it was written by the man who planned and oversaw the operation of capturing Eichmann gives the book a unique quality as he is able to give the reader almost every vivid description of the operation in great detail. The details that Isser Harel gives are extensive and give a lot of information to the reader which can sometimes become too much information. But as you progress through the book you start to realize that all of these details are important in their own way as they give a slow but steady buildup to the two climaxes of the book which are the actual capture of Eichmann outside of his house and getting him out of Argentina on a plane back to Israel. And once you get to the top of those hills to the climax, as the saying goes "what goes up must come down" as you find yourself in the tense and 'exciting' days of how the operatives had to keep a very low profile in order to avoid any suspicion from any authorities that they thought might be searching for the captured Eichmann.
    There were many things that this book opened my eyes to. I can especially thank all of those extensive details that I mentioned because without them this book would not be the book that it was. I learned that the first tip of Adolf Eichmann being in Argentina came from a blind man whose daughter was of the 'romantic' interest of a young man whose last name was Eichmann which prompted his suspicion. There was also the rather puzzling fact of how cooperative Eichmann was in his capture. In regards to his cooperation, Isser Harel wrote: "His cooperation during those last few hours [of his capture before the plane for Israel lifted off] went so far that he began taking an active interest in the conspiracy and finally even showed concern for the success of the operation." But the most eye opening fact that was revealed to me in this book was that Isser Harel was considering and even made attempts to locate and capture Dr. Josef Mengele. Isser Harel mentioned how the possibility of bringing Mengele on the plane with Eichmann to Israel would have been strong had he not moved from his home outside Buenos Aires several weeks before Operation Eichmann had started which the operatives that Isser Harel sent to his home found out.
    This book is a combination of an intense and exciting thriller and moments of heartfelt reflection for those who were involved in the operation as many of them were directly affected in many ways by Eichmann's operations during the war. It exceeded the expectations that I had for this book and although I felt bogged down by the large amount of details, I understood that they were all essential in painting an accurate picture of Operation Eichmann through the eyes of the man who planned and oversaw the mission. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a tense thriller and stories of redemption and justice for those who were affected by the evil of others.
    Slipdigit likes this.
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Jan 5, 2009
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    A similar book is Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascombe. While he wasn't in on the capture, his extensive research and interviews give the book the same feel as yours. Good reading.
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2006
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    Auburn, Alabama, US
    Thanks Smiley for the good review. . I, too, have discovered things in life that I thought overly complex but later grew to appreciate.
    Thar location and returning Eichmann to Israel is one of the more notable events of such a personal nature of the Post-WW2 era to me.
    I hope to read it.


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