BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Lothar Hermann, a German Jew who advised Israel that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was residing in Argentina, was honored.
On Monday, Hermann was publicly recognized by Israeli representatives in Buenos Aires and the Argentinian Jewish umbrella organization DAIA. He also was recognized by the Coronel Suarez City municipality in which he lived and where his unmarked tomb is located. The municipality declared his tomb part of the city’s historical heritage.
Hermann, who had escaped the Dachau concentration camp, was residing in Argentina when he discovered that Eichmann also was living there. He alerted Israeli authorities to his discovery after sending his daughter to verify his suspicions.
“We recognize him because his niece presented us the whole history, we checked the facts with the embassy, and his tomb is now at the cemetery as NN (no name) without any recognition, so he deserves some thanks from us,” said DAIA Vice President Alberto Hammershlag, who conducted the ceremony, told JTA. “He put his daughter at risk in order to say publicly that Eichmann was here.”
Israeli Ambassador to Argentina Daniel Gazit presented a letter of thanks from Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
In 1935, Hermann was arrested for spying by the Hitler regime and was sent to Dachau, where he lost an eye because of the beatings, according to police documents in Frankfurt. He later escaped to Argentina.
In 1959, Hermann wrote to Tuvia Friedman, who headed the Haifa Documentation Center for Nazi Crimes, confirming the suspicions of the Israeli government that Eichmann indeed was living in Argentina.
Eichmann was smuggled out of Argentina by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency in 1960. Two years later he was hanged following a trial.
A $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture had been offered by the Haifa Documentation Center, but when Hermann tried to claim the reward, the Israeli government said it would not honor the claim because the offer was not an official one. In 1971, the claim was renewed via a letter to Prime Minister Golda Meir and Hermann was finally paid. Herman died three years later in Argentina.