Adolf Eichmann (1906–1962) was one of the principal architects of the Nazi Holocaust, in which six million Jews were systematically murdered. His task was to maintain the killing capacity of the concentration camps by providing a steady flow of victims. Following his capture in Argentina in 1960, he was tried as a war criminal in 1961 in a Jerusalem Court, found guilty, and sentenced to death.1 After the trial, the Rev. William L. Hull, who spent 27 years in Israel as a Christian missionary, was appointed spiritual adviser to the condemned man by the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Interviewing a murderer

Over a period of 50 days in 1962, Hull had 14 interviews, mostly lasting one hour, with Eichmann in the death cell at Ramleh Prison from 11 April until the day of Eichmann’s execution there, 31 May. On the first of these, Hull gave Eichmann a German Bible, and subsequent meetings took the form of discussion of verses selected by Hull, which Eichmann agreed to read between meetings. Many of these were on the subject of God’s judgment of all men, such as Luke 12:4–5; Psalm 9:17; Hebrews 9:27; Romans 1:16–32, and gospel passages such as John chapter 3, John 14:6. Hull used over 70 Bible passages.

The Struggle for a Soul is Hull’s record of what transpired at these meetings.2 In the foreword, Hull gives one reason for his writing: “The world is entitled to know, if it may be found out, how a living human being could yield himself to be used as such an awful instrument of destruction. … that it may be warned against itself, for it was the world that produced an Adolf Eichmann” (p. xii). Hull goes on to say that “ … Eichmann died denying any faith in Jesus Christ, any need of a mediator” and points out that his “almost public rejection of Jesus Christ completely disassociated him and his evil deeds from Christianity” (p. xiii)….

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