44: The Needle - Israel Story 44: The Needle - Israel Story
44: The Needle
In May 1960, the Mossad captured Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, and brought him to stand trial in Jerusalem. It's one of Israel's most glorified chapters, right up there with Entebbe, the bombing of the Iraqi Nuclear Reactor and Operation Solomon. So why did the doctor who sedated the Nazi mastermind minimize his role in the saga? And what can that tell us about the legacy of World War II, eighty years after its start?
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Last month, the world marked the eightieth anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the start of WWII. In Israel, too, this was a big milestone: Kids discussed it at school, academics held conferences at the various universities, newspapers ran articles and editorials. But this wasn’t, of course, always the case is Israel. For years, the war – and the Holocaust – were taboo topics. European Jews, many Israelis felt, had gone to the camps like sheep to the slaughter, without resisting, without putting up much of a fight. That perception began to change, almost overnight, as a result of one major event – the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann.

Every other Israeli, it seems, claims to have been somehow connected to that heroic operation. But for years, one man who actually was at the heart of the covert kidnapping, did all he could to erase himself from the history books. Gregory Warner and Daniel Estrin bring us the complicated story of Dr. Yonah Elian, the anesthesiologist who sedated one of the world’s most notorious Nazis.

This episode is a collaboration with “Rough Translation,” an NPR podcast that tells stories from around the world that offer new perspectives on familiar conversations.

Marianne McCune edited the piece, and scored it together with Mike Cruz. Joel Shupack arranged the rest of the episode with music from Blue Dot Sessions. It was produced by Jess Jiang, Neal Carruth, Will Dobson, Anya Grundman, Sarah Knight, Andy Huether, John Ellis, Matt Orton, Autumn Barnes, Zev Levi, Yoshi Fields, Niva Ashkenazi, James Feder and Yochai Maital. Sela Waisblum mixed the episode. Thanks to Larry Kaplow, Karen Duffin, Quil Lawrence, Ann Hepperman, Alex Goldmark and Sana Krasikov. The end song, “Perurim Shel Or” (“Sparks of Light”) is the first single from the new album of Israel Story’s band leader, Dotan Moshonov.

The Jerusalem Portfolio is a professionally managed investment portfolio of Israeli-focused public companies listed on the Tel Aviv, US and London stock exchanges. Learn more about how you can invest in the Israeli innovation, creativity and vision that made the desert bloom! The first ten Israel Story listeners who sign up will receive a free $50 to invest. Use promo code ‘Israel Story’ when signing up.

Two Nice Jewish Boys is an Israeli podcast in English hosted by Naor Meningher and Eytan Weinstein. Each week they feature incredible guests, and have fascinating conversations. You can subscribe to the ‘Two Nice Jewish Boys’ Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kotel HaMishpachot is the the Egalitarian Kotel. You and your family are welcome to attend a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat service at Robinson’s Arch, on the southern end of the Kotel. Services take place at 6pm during the summer and 4pm during the winter.
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