Farewell to Moshe Landau

the founder of the Righteous Department

Judge Moshe Landau, who in 1961 presided the Eichmann trial and later Yad Vashem's Righteous Department, passed away at age 99. Born in Danzig on 29 April 1912, since 1933 he lived in Israel where he gave a crucial contribution to the development of civil rights and the independence of the bench.

His name is forever linked to the trial of Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann, whom he sentenced to death based on 15 counts. Time magazine wrote: "he crowd expected to hear first a detailed, legalistic defense of Israel’s right to try Eichmann. Instead, Presiding Judge Moshe Landau (like his two colleagues, a refugee from Nazi Germany) ordered Eichmann to attention in his glass, bulletproof cage, and bluntly told the accused: ‘The court finds you guilty".

Israel's President Shimon Peres said that Landau "left his mark in the public sector, where he set precedents that accompany us to this very day – and are the foundations of Israeli democracy. Judge Landau saw his role as a primary public and social mission for the benefit of his people, and the State of Israel will remember him as a role model for courageous leadership".

The charges
The verdict

In the international press
Moshe Landau, judge at Eichmann trial, dies at 99, The Jerusalem Post, 1st May 2011
Eichmann trial judge Moshe Landau dies at 99. Haaretz, 2 May 2011

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