Stamps Are Helping To Find Criminals

Many times philately was helping to find criminals. These cases are widely described in many newspapers, magazines, and books. However, it is difficult to imagine more high-profile case, than the capturing of one of the biggest criminals of the German Nazi.

An important role in the search for the war criminals was played by the Austrian engineer Simon Wiesenthal. In 1948, he left his job in the profession, and devoted himself entirely to the decades of collecting materials, for the investigation and exposure of the war criminals. In Linz, with his own money he created an office for that. Working with the intelligence agencies of several countries in search of data by all means, Wiesenthal was helping in exposure and prosecution of hundreds of criminals.


Deep inside, Wiesenthal was still hoping that he will carry out on the trail one of the closest assistants of Himmler - Adolf Eichmann, who headed the subdivision in the imperial administration of security since 1937. In the Nazi machine Eichmann was responsible for the mechanisms of "the final solution for the Jewish problem". Available information about his post-war life was extremely poor: some say, that he managed to escape from Germany through Italy to Spain.

Wiesenthal, who past horrors of Mauthausen, who worked in the postwar years with a lot of stress, had seriously damaged his health. The doctors advised him in his spare time to "switch" to something entertaining. The choice of Wiesenthal fell on the philately. Gradually, Wiesenthal became interested in stamps. They really helped him to relax after work with documents, each page of which was that "Claes ashes," which tapped into the heart, tearing him with cries of the innocent victims ...

Getting involved in philately with growing enthusiasm, he corresponded with the philatelists all over the world, exchanging stamps, neatly answering his correspondents. In autumn 1953, he learned that a well-known philatelist, an Austrian baron, who lives in the Tyrol, was selling part of his solid collection of stamps. Wiesenthal visited him and spent the evening at the villa of baron - not far from Innsbruck. When the host and the guest had talked enough on the topic of their common passion, the conversation naturally turned to the other areas. They talked about Nazism. Wiesenthal spoke of his experiences in Mauthausen, the death of his family. Baron was extremely excited with this story, he himself, as he said, was a monarchist and a Catholic, for that, too, he was persecuted by the Nazi, even though these experiences, he said, are not comparable with the torments of those, who were kept in prisons and concentration camps. Then baron opened a drawer of his desk and handed the letter to his counterpart, he said that the letter continues the theme of their conversation. It came from Buenos Aires, from another owner of the large villa and philatelist. The correspondent of baron answered the question, whether he met any old friends in Argentina, literally, the following was written: "Imagine who I've seen here twice already, and one of my friends even spoke to him: this is the bastard Eichmann, who led the anti-Jewish action. He lives in Buenos Aires and works in a water firm. "

This information deserved an unconditional trust. It was only left to verify it and to find the criminal. This case was undertaken by Israeli intelligence, that was notified by Wiesenthal. Two agents of Mossad were able to track Eichmann in Buenos Aires and to monitor his every move. But it was required to obtain a conclusive evidence that an employee of one of the small firms, who lives under the name of Ricardo Klement - very cautious person, who did not make any unnecessary acquaintances - and Eichmann - are the same person. By collecting information about him, the agents found out that for Eichmann's wife's birthday he always, under any circumstances, was presenting her a bouquet of roses. When it was her next birthday, the agents did not take their eyes from their suspect. On the way to the firm, he went to the florist and ordered a bouquet of roses, saying that he will pick it up, returning home from work. This episode was the last link in the chain of evidence.
Further details can be omitted. Many newspapers all over the world in 1960, were righting about the capturing of Eichmann - he was taken to a secluded villa, and then transferred to Israel.