City Paper is not for tourists
Holocaust literature generally feels claustrophobic (for obvious reasons), but Hunting Eichmann spans continents. Neal Bascomb’s book about the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the SS officer Adolf Hitler tasked with carrying out the final solution, opens with the Hardy Boys–esque line “The man from Bus 203 was late” and never slows down. Eichmann escaped capture by Allied Forces at the end of World War II by fleeing to Argentina using a fake passport. Bascomb stays in hot pursuit, writing about Eichmann’s new life as Ricardo Klement, a foreman at a Mercedez-Benz plant, but then lets him out of his sight only to jump onto the path of his hunters, the Israeli Mossad, who chased Eichmann for 15 years. He was captured in 1960. The narration, cold and steady, is omnipresent and occasionally reminiscent of pulp fiction; the man in the crosshairs would possibly be a romantic figure were he not a collaborator in history’s greatest misdeed. Bascomb’s wisely detached take on Eichmann does his unlikely story justice. NEAL BASCOMB READS AT 7 P.M. AT POLITICS & PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.