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Elie Honig’s short film on the 60th anniversary of the trial of Adolf Eichmann is a contender for Outstanding News Analysis: Editorial and Opinion 

For Rutgers scholar Elie Honig, whose documentary commemorating the 60th anniversary of the trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann is up for an Emmy Award, the project was very much a personal one. 
 
Honig’s short film, 60 Years Ago, We Saw the Face of Evil, which first aired in October 2021 on Amanpour, CNN International's global affairs interview show, has been nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy for Outstanding News Analysis: Editorial and Opinion. 

Murray Honig (left) and his son Elie Honig discuss the significance of the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann.
Murray Honig (left) and his son Elie Honig discuss the significance of the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann.
Courtesy of CNN

Honig, a senior legal analyst at CNN and executive director of the Rutgers Institute for Secure Communities, is a former New Jersey and federal prosecutor and a 1997 Rutgers graduate. In the documentary, Honig shared his family’s history in connection to the Holocaust, the Nazi regime’s mass murder of some 6 million Jewish people.  

He interviewed his father, the son of Holocaust survivors. Early in the documentary, Murray Honig, a Rutgers graduate like his son, showed Elie Honig a photo of his mother in her teens, surrounded by other relatives, before the events of the Holocaust. 

I learned that this trial was a real turning point in our collective reckoning with the Holocaust.

Elie Honig

Rutgers scholar and CNN senior legal analyst

“As you see in the beginning, my dad's showing me that photograph of my grandma when she's a young teenager, maybe 12 or 13 years old,” said Elie Honig. “But virtually everyone else in that photo was killed. So, she lost essentially her entire family.” 

The 1961 trial of Eichmann – called the “architect of the Holocaust” for overseeing the transportation of Jews to concentration and extermination camps – was among the first in history to be televised internationally. 

“You have to understand, now everyone knows the Holocaust with a capital H,” Murray Honig said in the documentary. “When we grew up, this was not a thing. The Holocaust was not a thing. It was a private tragedy. It was a tragedy of the Jewish people.” 

The internationally broadcast trial “was the first time the world was able to grapple with the cold, hard reality of what had been done,” said Elie Honig, whose documentary aired several times on CNN and CNN International. “I learned that this trial was a real turning point in our collective reckoning with the Holocaust.”  

Elie Honig interviewed the late Gabriel Bach, one of the prosecutors of the Eichmann trial and a former justice of the Israeli Supreme Court.
Elie Honig interviewed the late Gabriel Bach, one of the prosecutors in the Adolf Eichmann trial and a former justice of the Israeli Supreme Court.
Courtesy of CNN

Honig also interviewed Gabriel Bach, one of the prosecutors of the Eichmann trial and a former justice of the Israeli Supreme Court, as well as Michael Goldmann-Gilead, a Holocaust survivor who was the lead investigator in the trial.  

“It was surreal to sit with men who had lived through this history,” Honig said. “On the other hand, I felt very connected to both of them because of my family connections.”  

Honig said he particularly bonded with Bach, who died in February at age 94, because “we were prosecutors 50 years apart and an ocean apart ... yet we very much understood a lot of the same things about the job of being a prosecutor.” 

The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick played a crucial role in the creation of the 13-minute, 24-second film, Honig said.  

Elie Honig spoke with Michael Goldmann-Gilead, a Holocaust survivor who was the lead investigator in the Adolf Eichmann trial. 
Elie Honig spoke with Michael Goldmann-Gilead, a Holocaust survivor who was the lead investigator in the Adolf Eichmann trial.
Courtesy of CNN

In 2018, Eagleton’s Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience partnered with the International March of the Living, a Holocaust remembrance and education organization, to host an event in Jerusalem featuring Bach. The center, which invited Honig to the program to interview Bach in front of a live audience, funded his trip. 

“Gabriel Bach is very proud of the work he did as a prosecutor,” said Honig, an alumnus of the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program. “He continually stressed to me, ‘We gave this man a fair trial. We gave him due process. We gave him all the protections that you're familiar with in the United States, because that's the right way to do things.’” 

Honig, the best-selling author of Hatchet Man: How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor’s Code and Corrupted the Justice Department, is preparing to release his second book, Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away With It, as well as the second season of his podcast, Up Against the Mob

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will present the 2022 News and Documentary Emmy Awards for news categories on Wednesday, Sept. 28 and for documentary categories on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. EDT each day at the Palladium Times Square Theater in New York. The events will be streamed