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March 17, 1961 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1961-03-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Werner Klemperer Portrays Adolf Eichmann, in Movie on Nazi's Life

BY HERBERT G. LUFT
by their parents CO Berlin followed the strife for domina-
HOLLYWOOD — We were where the elder Klemperer had tion of A u s t r i a. Klemperer

quietly having coffee on the
set at Hal Roach Studios in
Culver City while a scene was
being prepared—the actor -who
is ,portraying Adolf Eichmann
and your Hollywood columnist.
Werner Klemperer in mufti
is a mild-mannered young man
who personally hates violence
and, as he told the JTA, shirks
even a fist fight. When I asked
Klemperer, who with make-up
and hair piece frighteningly re-
sembled Eichmann, whether he
is having nightmares over the
part, he answered calmly
that he disassociated himself
completely f r o m the char-
acter once he left the sound
stage. "After all," he stated,
"I am an actor who saw a
challenge in the part." He
Would play any kind of a per-
son on the screen, if the char-
acter could fascinate him and
the story merits motion pic-
ture production. However, if
there were _anything in the
script of the picture of "Opera-
tion Eichmann" to excuse the
head of Hitler's Jewish Bureau,
he would not have accepted
the role.

Klemperer believes that
the movie has the moral
responsibility to show to peo-
ple the world over what the
Nazi regime has done. "The
crimes committed in Ger-
many should never be for-
gotten!"

We watched him in a scene
from the picture, seeing him
changing before our eyes from
the amiable young man into
an ice-cold fanatic. It is the
moment when Eichmann fear-
ing that he has been detected
phones his wife from the air-
port -demanding in a shrill voice
she should send him money
and papers. We then Under-
stood what Klemperer had been
telling us about his interpreta-
tion of the character. He was
playing Eichmann as a man
with sharp intellect, as the
image of one perfectly normal
and rational in - his own way.
Klemperer, who goes through
three distinct periods of Eich-
mann's career, duplicates not
only the Nazi's physical appear-
ance but also his mannerisms
and his manner of speech.

One country where the pic-
ture about Eichmann should
be shown, Klemperer rea-
sons, is Germany, be _ cause he
feels strongly that the peo-
ple there constantly have
refused to believe the im-
mensity of the Nazi crimes.

Klemperer should know. He
was once a German himself.
He was born 38 years ago in
Cologne, where his father, Otto
Klemperer, an assimilated Jew,
was conductor of the Munici-
pal Opera, an • he
o
late Joha
Ge • er
ad - en a lea g
Jewish
sopr
. Wer •r grew up in an
phere of gentle culture,
at
removed from the violent
-f
auvini of the str and
eer ce
When he w
er Lott
e
his yo ger
easy
only - o to y- feelin
accept
about is decision
were taken
e Eic ann ro

cure"

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become director of the State
Opera. There he went through
elementary grades and entered
secondary school when the Nazi
hierarchy rose to power—Jan.
30, 1933. Three weeks after
Hitler had become chancellor
of the Reich, Otto Klemperer
gathered his family for the emi-
gration to Switzerland where
he still maintains his perma-
nent residence.
While Otto Klemperer was
conducting in Vienna, the as-
sassination of Dolfus took place
and a wave of anti-Semitism

didn't wait for the "Anschluss"
and as early as 1935, took his
family to Los Angeles where
he became director of the
Philharmonic Orchestra. It was
here that W e r n_ e r, who had
studied piano under Schnabel,
decided to become an actor.

At the time the real Eich-
mann got busy for the exter-
mination of central European
Jewry, Werner Klemper
returned to Los Angele
work in a war plant.
into the army, Wer
sent to Ft. Lewis, W

`Operation Eichmann' Film
Nazi Crimes, Serves as War
Against Dangers of Neo-Nazism

"Never forget . . . never 'let
the world forget . . ." is the basic
theine of the Allied Artists film,
"Operation Eichmann" which
opens at the Adams Theater to-
day.
It is a =film without reserva-
tions in its firm effort not only
to expose the Nazi crimes, but
also to serve as a warning
against the recurrence of Nazism.



The latter is really the ma-
jor motivation. When Eich-
mann's voice is heard crying
for "justice" for the Nazis, as
the film commences, it serves
immediately as an admonition
to the viewers to beware lest
Hitlerism reappear.

There are deviations in the
film from the story that is com-
monly known.
For instance, Eichmann, in
this film, is not caught-,-as he
-was—while leaving the Argen-
tinian factory, where he was em-
ployed during his hideout in Ar-
gentina, but during a chase in
which there also were engaged
his fellow-Nazis who desired to
get rid of him. It was part of an
interlinking of two plots in the
film—one of the search for him
by Israelis, who finally got hold
of him, and the other involving
a group of Nazis engaged in a
new international plot to revive
anti-Semitism and Nazism. This
is done undoubtedly with the in-
tention of serving the warning
against neo-Nazism.
Meanwhile, in the "Operation
Eichmann" story, the crime of
the mass murderers is exposed,
the horrors of the extermination
camps are shown anew, and an
important documentary that is
part of the film shows the sense
of shock and disgust by those
who witnessed it — General
Eisenhower and his staff among
them—as they marched into the
death camp after the defeat of
the Hitler hordes.
Werner Klemperer plays a
superb role in delineating Eich-
mann, and the entire cast reacts
o the task of exposing history's
eatest crime with understand-
and skill.
ere is a synopsis of the film:
On Hitler's order for "final
olution of the Jewish Prob-
lem," Gestapo Jewish Bureau
chief Adolph Eichmann (Wer-
ner Klemperer) stages A mass_
asphyxiation at Auschwitz con-
centration camp. Watching is a
boy pris o.n e r, David (Jim
Baird), .whose parents and sis-
ter are among the victims. Daily
the toll mounts—to _six million.
When the Allies close-in, Eich-
mann has a truck-train-load of
Jews slaughtered, and flees.
After the war he and svelte
Anna Kemp (Ruta Lee) are in
Barcelona. Grown-up David
(Donald Buka), an Israel agent,
is sent to capture him. Eich-
mann escape s, - abandoning
Anna. David flushes him out of
the Middle East and he rejoins
Anna in Buenos Aires. There
Eichmann k i 11 s an - assassin,
Klaus (Hans Gudegast), sent
after - him by rivals in the Nazi
underground. David and other
Israelis arrive in the city. Eich-

mann boards a bus; they follow
by car. But a second Nazi as-
sassin, Haps (Hans Hermann)
is on the bus behind him. When
Eichmann alights, Hans chases
him with a drawn gun. An Is-
raeli dives out of the car, flat-
tening Hans. David and another
Israeli land on Eichmann. They
fly him back to Israel for trial,
David vowing, "First Eichmann,
then all the others. We'll never
stop till the conscience of the
world works out the final solu-
tion—for the Nazi problem.""

Among Witnesses
Against Eichmann

Why
Apologize?

then to Hawaii for training
with t h e combat military
police.
When Yehudi Menuhin, a

BRING YOUR EMPTIES TO

friend of the Klemperer clan,
entertained at the camp he
introduced Werner to Maurice
Evans, who, recognizing the
young man's talent had him
transferred it of the
Spec
er the war
er Kle
erer landed art in an un-
successful Broadway play to
wind up as a waiter in "Tofen-
etti's."



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Otto Hahn, one
the four defendants, in
the original, fictitious televi-
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signed to repeat the 'same
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Producers Bischoff and Dia-
mond were amazed by his re-
semblance to Eichmann.
Werner Klemperer, private
citizen and Jew, has strong con-
victions about the Eichmann
case. To him, the people of
Israel are the only ones to sit
rightfully in judgment over the
German mass murderer's. He
hopes that the picture—now in
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SAY "WELCOME"
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HANSI- BRAND and her
husband, JOEL BRAND, will
lie among the witnesses, who.
personally suffered and there-
fore knew Nazi criminal Adolf
Eichmann, to testify against
him at the trial to commence
on April 11.

Israel's Exit Visas
to Be .Abolished' So

(Direct JTA Teletype Wir
to The Jewish News)

JERUSALEM—Moshe Shap
Minister of Interior, announced
Tuesday in the Knesset that Is-
raeli exit visas will be abolished
soon.
He made the announcement in
a debate- on the budget of his
Ministry, explaining he had come
to the conclusion that there was
no justification for the need to
obtain -permission to leave Israel
under current conditions.
He said that security require-
ments, involving the control of
those eligible-for military service
to prevent them froin departing
from Israel, could be met by
other means.

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