Avner Werner Less

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Avner Less (3rd from left) in the proceedings to extend A. Eichmann's detention

Avner Werner Less , also Avner W. Less, (born December 18, 1916 in Berlin ; † January 7, 1987 in Zurich ) was an Israeli police officer who conducted the interrogations of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1960/61 as part of the Eichmann trial .

education and profession

Less was the son of Julius Jakob Less, who was drawn into the First World War as a volunteer, and his wife Helene nee Levy. His mother died in 1933. Less attended the higher forest school in Charlottenburg in Berlin , fled to France in 1933 after the transfer of power to the National Socialists and continued his agricultural training there. Less married Vera Gonsiorowski from Hamburg, who had also fled, in France in 1936.

In 1938 Less emigrated to Palestine and worked there on orange plantations for the first few years. From 1941 to 1948 he was a police officer with the Mandate Police in Haifa and price controller for the district there. After Israel was founded in 1948, he entered the Israeli civil service, initially as head of the import-export section in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, then as vice director of the legal department for price control in the Haifa district. From 1951 Less was a police officer in the economic crimes department, from 1954 to 1968 temporarily active in foreign service as attaché and consul in New York City and Paris and as a permanent representative of Israel at the annual conferences of the UN Narcotics Commission (UNFDAC) in Geneva and at Interpol .

In the Eichmann trial

From 1960 to 1961 Less was entrusted with the conduct of the interrogation of Adolf Eichmann and interrogated him himself for 275 hours. Less describes Eichmann, who always addressed him as “Herr Hauptmann!”, As a “born liar who will only tell the truth if it seems useful to him.” Less often had to change his interrogation tactics, as Eichmann usually replied long and evasive . In order to induce Eichmann to make spontaneous statements and to tell the truth, Less read him from documents from time to time.

In court Eichmann tried to convince the judges of the unimportance of his person and played the role of an insignificant official who performed his duty with cadaver obedience . In retrospect, Less stated that it was simply astonishing with how naively many process observers Eichmann “crept on the glue”. After the trial, Less appeared in public as a much-questioned contemporary witness.

Activity in Europe

After Eichmann's conviction, Less moved to France. As the Israeli consul in Paris, he learned of Eichmann's execution. In 1964 he was in Germany as a witness for the prosecution in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial . From 1968 Less took his permanent residence in Switzerland . Until 1971 he was an employee of the Banque de Crédit International Genève . From 1972 he was responsible for internal security matters at Bank Robinson AG in Basel , from 1976 to 1979 employee of the company for bank auditing in Basel and from 1979 internal controller of Neutra Treuhand AG in Zurich. In May 1982 he received German citizenship and became a German-Israeli dual state .

Burial and aftermath

Less was initially buried separately from his wife Vera, who died in 1980, as the Jewish communities criticized the lack of religious affiliation. 27 years later, the couple were buried next to each other in Avner Werner Less's old hometown, Berlin, according to their last will. In the presence of their son Alon Less, both urns were buried on May 23, 2014 at the old cemetery in Berlin-Wannsee , and the ceremony was chaired by Andreas Nachama .

Stepmother Betty Less

On the same day , four stumbling blocks in memory of Avner's father Werner Less and three other family members were laid in front of the family's house in Berlin-Schöneberg , Kleiststrasse 31 .

In the film Eichmann , Avner Less is played by Troy Garity .


  • "Lie! Everything is a lie! ”- Records of the Eichmann interrogator. Reconstructed by Bettina Stangneth . Zurich / Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-7160-2689-2
  • (Ed.): Guilty - The judgment against Adolf Eichmann. With an afterword by Jochen von Lang. Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-610-08432-4
  • with Jochen von Lang : tape recorder. d. Israel. Interrogate . Severin and Siedler, Berlin [West] 1982, with 66 faks. Documents.
  • Adolf Eichmann = Adolf Aikhman 5 . [Sl] Police d'Israel, Quartier général, 6 ème bureau [1961] (Hebrew) (i.e .: interrogation protocols)


Web links

Commons : Avner Werner Less  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. StA Wilmersdorf No. 379/1912
  2. Klaus Urner et al. (Ed.): The archive for contemporary history and its holdings . Zurich 1999, ISBN 3-85823-763-9 , p. 101.
  3. ^ AfZ online archive of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
  4. ^ Jochen von Lang : The Eichmann Protocol . Severin and Siedler, Berlin 1982. ISBN 388-680-036-9 . P. 141.
  5. Avner Werner Less: “Lie! It's all a lie! ” Zurich & Hamburg 2012, p. 194.
  6. Avner Werner Less: “Lie! Everything is a lie! ” . Zurich / Hamburg 2012, pp. 220–222.
  7. a b Berliner Abendschau ( Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg ); Broadcast on May 23, 2014.
  8. orte-der-erinnerung.de The Less couple will be reunited after 27 years . ( Memento from May 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Berliner Morgenpost , May 26, 2014
  9. From the man who Adolf Eichmann interrogated , reformed. , March 27, 2018