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Gideon Hausner
Gideon Hausner
Date of birth 26 September 1915
Place of birth Lemberg, Austria-Hungary
Year of aliyah 1927
Date of death 15 November 1990
Knessets 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
Party Independent Liberals
Ministerial posts
(current in bold)
Minister without Portfolio

Gideon Hausner (Hebrew: גדעון האוזנר‎, 26 September 1915 – 15 November 1990) was an Israeli jurist and politician. Between 1960 and 1963 he served as Attorney General, and was later elected to the Knesset and served in the cabinet.

Hausner is most widely known for heading the team of prosecutors at the war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961. Hausner is generally credited with exposing the Holocaust to the world in bold cross-examinations of Eichmann. His judicial skill also set the precedent that the defense "I was only following orders" is not valid if such orders are wholly criminal and illegal. The prosecution succeeded in proving Eichmann's guilt, and Eichmann was found guilty on all charges, including crimes against humanity and crimes against the Jewish people. He was sentenced to death.

Biography

Born in Lemberg, capital of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, a province of Austria-Hungary, Hausner immigrated to Mandate Palestine from Poland in 1927. He attended high school in Tel Aviv before studying philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and then law at the Jerusalem Law School.

A member of the Hagana, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War he served in the Etzioni Brigade. After the conflict he worked as a military prosecutor, and then as president of the military court.

In 1960 he was appointed Attorney General, but resigned from the post in 1963 and pursued a career in politics. He was elected to the Knesset in 1965 as a member of the Independent Liberals, having previously been active in the Progressive Party (the Independent Liberals were a breakaway group of mostly Progressive Party members following the party's merger into Gahal). He was re-elected in 1969 and 1973, and resigned from the Knesset upon being appointed a Minister without Portfolio in 1974. Re-elected in 1977 as the only member of the party, he lost his seat in the 1981 elections when the party failed to cross the electoral threshold.

He was also the chairman of the council of Yad Vashem.

Bibliography

  • Justice in Jerusalem. New York: Harper & Row. 1966.  
  • (in Hebrew) Holocaust on Trial. Tel Aviv: `Am `oved. 1988. ISBN 965-13-0478-2.  

External links

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