Jerusalem, January 31, 2005
Hebrew University: Film of Eichmann trial is mainly a forgery
By Goel Pinto, Haaretz Correspondent
MANY sections of the documentary film, "The Specialist," which deals with the trial of Adolf Eichmann, were forged, according to a letter sent to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on behalf of the legal adviser to Jerusalem's Hebrew University.
Eyal Sivan's highly-acclaimed film, which won many awards, was released in 1999, and was put together using excerpts from the footage of Eichmann's trial in Israel in 1961.Hebrew University's charges are based on a study conducted by the former director of the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, Hillel Tryster, who ended his duties at the archive at the beginning of the month.
Tryster, who compared the film to the original footage from the trial, says that "the film, for the most part, is a perverse fraud - from its radical editing work through to artificial dialogues that never took place."
Among the examples that Tryster presents to back up his claims is a scene from the film that shows prosecutor Gideon Hausner asking one of the witnesses, Avraham Lindwasser, "Why didn't you resist? Why did you get on the train?" and receiving no response. Tryster discovered that the questions were never posed to Lindwasser, but to a different witness, Yaakov Gurfein, who did in fact answer that in 1943, they no longer had any strength and just wanted everything to be over and done with.
Lindwasser's silence in the trial came after he told the court how he had found his sister's body at the Treblinka death camp.
© Focal Point 2005 write to David Irving