Micha Maor, Holocaust survivor and Mossad agent who helped convict Eichmann dies at 86

Michael Maor, a Holocaust survivor and Mossad agent who obtained documents proving Eichmann’s involvement in the extermination of the Jews during the Holocaust, died on Tuesday at the age of 86.

In 1960, Micha Maor was given a dangerous assignment. Its success would pave the way to Adolf Eichmann’s capture and subsequent trial in Israel. Maor’s handlers instructed him to break into a building in Frankfurt, Germany, find and photograph the German prosecution’s files on Eichmann and escape without leaving a trace.

Maor carried out the task. After the photocopies of the documents reached Israel, a Mossad team was given the go-ahead, and a few weeks later Eichmann was abducted to Israel from Buenos Aires. Eichmann was executed by Israel in 1962, the only Nazi to have been sentenced to death by the Jewish state.

Micha Maor was born in 1933 in Halberstadt, Germany; he was an only child. After the rise of the Nazis to power, his parents fled to Spain, and from there to Yugoslavia.

When the war broke out, Micha and his parents were deported to the town of Derventa.  They fled to Italian-held territory but were imprisoned by the Italians in a concentration camp on the island of Raab. After the Italian surrender to the Allied Forces in September 1943, Michael’s family fled to an area controlled by partisans and made it to the city of Topusko.

In 1944, the Germans attacked Topusko. Micha fled into the forest but, on his return, discovered his parents had been killed.

After the war, Micha found his way to a Zionist training camp near Rome. In June 1945, he arrived in Eretz Israel.

Following military service as a paratrooper and officer, Micha studied photography in Germany, while working for the Mossad. Back in Israel, Micha continued to work as a photojournalist while, at the same time, assisting the Israeli Secret Service.

He established the intelligence branch of the Israel Border Police, serving as their national intelligence officer for 15 years.

Micha is survived by his wife Sarah, three children and four grandchildren.