Obits

Mossad agent who nabbed Eichmann dies

jerusalem (ap) | Peter Malkin, the Mossad agent who nabbed top Nazi official Adolf Eichmann on a Buenos Aires street in 1960 has died in New York, Israeli media reported this week. He was 77. Cause of death was not reported.

Eichmann was in charge of implementing the “final solution,” the Nazi design to kill all the Jews of Europe. Six million perished in the Holocaust, most put to death in concentration camps.

Israel, created in 1948, three years after the end of the war, pledged to hunt down Nazi leaders. The Mossad security agency tracked Eichmann to Argentina, and Malkin stopped him in the street. According to his memoirs, “Eichmann in My Hands,” Malkin said to him simply, “Un momentito, senor” (just a moment, sir), before kidnapping him.

Those were the only words he knew in Spanish, according to a Web site of the World Zionist Organization. He grabbed Eichmann’s arm and wrestled him to the ground as another agent grabbed his legs, stuffing him into a car. Eichmann was interrogated for 10 days in a safe house before being spirited to Israel on a plane that carried an unwitting diplomat, Abba Eban, later Israel’s foreign minister, for a meeting with Argentine officials as a cover.

Eichmann was put on trial in Jerusalem. He was executed in 1962. The trial provided a catharsis for many Israelis, traumatized by the Holocaust.

Malkin was born Zvi Milchman and lived in Poland until the age of four, the WZO site said. He served in the Mossad for 27 years and was a master of martial arts and disguises, the Web site said.

Louis Levin, Exodus ship provider

miami (jta) | Louis “Shorty” Levin, whose ship was rebuilt into the Exodus, which ferried illegal Jewish immigrants to Palestine after World War II, died at 90 in Florida.

In 1946, Levin sold a ship that needed renovations to the Chinese American Industrial Company. The firm turned out to be a front for the Haganah, the pre-state Jewish militia.

After being rebuilt and renamed the Exodus, the ship sailed from France in the summer of 1947. British navy vessels prevented the Exodus from reaching the port of Haifa, and the ship’s passengers were taken to Cyprus.

Levin, who later became involved in real estate and liquor stores in the Washington area, was a lifelong supporter of Jewish causes.

Markus Rosenberg, survivor, grocery tycoon

dallas (ap) | Markus Abraham Rosenberg, who founded grocery supplier Arrow Industries Inc. after surviving Auschwitz, died. He was 81.

Rosenberg died last week of heart failure in Dallas.

Rosenberg was born in what is now Slovakia to a family with a wholesale grocery business. The family lost control of its business to the Nazis during World War II but was among the few Jews left in town to operate their shops. Rosenberg and his family were eventually imprisoned in Auschwitz.

After the war, surviving family members started a grocery business but lost it to the Russian occupiers in 1948.

In December 1949, Rosenberg and his brother joined an uncle in Dallas. Within six months, the brothers founded ARO Food and Spice Products.

“The first two months they called it ARO … and they soon realized everyone in Texas just called it Arrow,” his son, Steven Rosenberg, said. “They said the heck with it, let’s just call it Arrow.”

Peter Benenson, Amnesty Int’l. founder

london (ap) | Peter Benenson, who founded Amnesty International more than four decades ago, died, the human rights organization said this week. He was 83.

In 1961, at the age of 40, he set up Amnesty after reading an article about the arrest and imprisonment of two students in a cafe in Lisbon, Portugal, who had drunk a toast to liberty.

He initially envisioned Amnesty as a one-year campaign, but it went on to become the world’s largest independent human rights organizations. Currently, Amnesty, which is based in London, has more than 1.8 million members and supporters worldwide.

“Once the concentration camps and the hell holes of the world were in darkness. Now they are lit by the light of the Amnesty candle; the candle in barbed wire. When I first lit the Amnesty candle, I had in mind the old Chinese proverb: ‘Better light a candle than curse the darkness,'” Benenson once said.

Born July 31, 1921, Benenson was the grandson of Grigori Benenson, a Russian Jewish banker, and the son of Flora Solomon, who raised him alone after the death of her husband, British army Col. John Solomon.

At age 16, he launched his first campaign: to win school support during the Spanish Civil War for the newly formed Spanish Relief Committee, which was helping Republican war orphans.

Benenson then helped Jews who had fled Hitler’s Germany. Despite some opposition, he succeeded in getting his school friends and their families to raise the money needed to bring two young German Jews to Britain.