För exakt sextio år sedan startade rättegången mot den nazistiske krigsförbrytaren Adolf Eichmann i Jerusalem. Åklagaren Gideon Hausners inledningsanförande har blivit en klassiker:
“In the place where I am standing before you today, Judges of Israel, to lead the prosecution of Adolf Eichmann, I do not stand alone. With me are six million prosecutors.2 But they cannot rise to their feet and point an accusing finger towards him who sits in the glass-encased witness dock and cry out: “I accuse.”3 For their ashes are piled up on the hills of Auschwitz and the fields of Treblinka, and are strewn in the forests of Poland.4 Their graves are scattered throughout the length and breadth of Europe.5 Their blood cries out, but their voice is not heard.6 Therefore I will be their mouthpiece7 and in their name I will unfold this terrible indictment. ”
1 6,000,000 Accusers: Israel’s Case Against Eichmann, The Opening Speech and Legal Argument of Mr. Gideon Hausner, Attorney-General (Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Post, 1961), was an official translation put out by the Government of Israel, in cooperation with Hausner, a couple of months of Hausner’s speech. With a handful of exceptions, the version here is faithful to that text. 2 This refers to the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis as part of the Holocaust between 1939 and 1945. 3 The phrase “I accuse” comes from the French author, Emile Zola, who in January 1898 published a famous letter, “J’Accuse”(meaning, “I accuse”) on the front page of one of France’s leading newspapers. He was writing to criticize the politicians and military leaders responsible for the Dreyfus Affair, in which a Jewish captain in the French army was falsely accused and convicted of treason, setting off a wave of anti-Semitism. The case was known to Israelis as one of the worst examples of the growing anti-Semitism that convinced many Jews at that time of the necessity of a Jewish state and because Zola, a non-Jew, was widely admired for his principled stance. 4 Auschwitz and Treblinka, in Poland, were two of the death camps in which the Nazis carried out mass extermination of the Jews, with a total of perhaps 1.8 million being murdered in them. After being killed by poison gas, the Jews’ bodies were burned in the crematoria and then their ashes were buried nearby. 5 One of the Nazis’ techniques for murdering Jews was for special units in the German Army or local collaborators of the Nazis to march entire communities into the forest, force them to dig long, open graves, and then shoot each of them, causing them to fall into the pit in one layer after another. Such graves were scattered in many of the countries that the Nazis conquered in Europe. 6 The language here is taken from the fourth chapter of Genesis, the Biblical story of Cain murdering his brother Abel, which leads God to tell Cain that his brother’s blood is crying out from the ground. 7 Hausner is using a phrase from Exodus (chapter 4, verse 16) when God tells Moses at the Burning Bush to go to Egypt and demand that Pharaoh let the Israelites go. When Moses objects that he cannot speak well, God tells Moses that he’s sending his brother Aaron, “And he will speak on your behalf to the people and he will be for you a mouth and you shall be for him like God.” Hausner is using that same language to say that he will play the role of Aaron, the spokesman, giving voice to the victims of the Holocaust, whose role is more elevated and who are the sources of the truth that he will speak.
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The Great Speeches – the Six Million Accusers by Gideon Hausner