Peter Malkin

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This article is about the Israeli secret agent. For the English cricketer, see Peter Malkin (cricketer). For the American real estate investor, see Peter L. Malkin.
Malkin's gloves
Bronze casting of the gloves worn by Peter Zvi Malkin when he captured Adolf Eichmann.

Peter Zvi Malkin (Hebrew: פיטר צבי מלחין‎‎; May 27, 1927 – March 1, 2005), was an Israeli secret agent, an intelligence legend, and member of the Mossad intelligence agency. In his 27 years in the Mossad and the secret service - first as an agent and later as Chief of Operations - he took a lead role in his country's most celebrated intelligence coup and later covert operations. Malkin was part of the team that captured Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960 and brought him to Israel to stand trial.


Malkin was born in Pilgramshain, Lower Silesia, a province of Germany prior to 1945, currently Zolkiewka, Poland, to an observant Jewish family.[1] In 1936, his family fled to Palestine to escape the rising tide of German anti-Semitism; his sister, Fruma, and her three children who remained behind with 150 other relatives, died in the Holocaust. At the age of 12, Malkin was recruited into the Haganah. In 1950, he was invited to join the new Jewish state's fledgling security service as an explosives expert.

Mossad career[edit]

Malkin spent 27 years in the Mossad, first as an agent and later as Chief of Operations. As Chief of Operations he played a major role in the capture of Israel Bar, a Soviet spy who had penetrated the highest levels of Israeli government. He also led an operation against Nazi nuclear rocket scientists who assisted an Egyptian weapons development program after World War II.

Malkin's most famous mission was on May 11, 1960, when he and a team of Mossad agents led by Rafi Eitan captured Adolf Eichmann, a top Nazi official who played a principal role in organizing the Holocaust, in Argentina. "One moment, sir" were the words he uttered in Spanish as he approached Eichmann on the shoulder, before wrestling him to the ground and putting him in the getaway car.

In 1989, Israeli newspaper Maariv cited him as "one of the greatest figures ever in the history of the Mossad." Israeli journalist Uri Dan called him "an extraordinary secret warrior."

He is said to have been involved in the search for Yossele Schumacher in the 1960s.[2]

Later years[edit]

After retiring in 1976, Peter Malkin devoted his time to the artistic pursuits that served as his cover during his years at the Mossad. His paintings at the time of the capture of Eichmann in Argentina through the present have won international acclaim in London, Paris, Brussels and Israel. He has also authored books, and served as a private international consultant on anti-terrorism methods. The movie, "The Man Who Captured Eichmann" (1996) starring Robert Duvall as Adolf Eichmann, was based on his book Eichmann in my Hands: also in the film was Arliss Howard, who played Malkin. More recently, Evan M. Wiener has written a play, Captors, inspired by the book.[3]

Malkin spent his last years in New York City with his wife, Roni, and their three children. He died on March 1, 2005.

Published work[edit]

  • Malkin, Peter Z.; Stein, Harry (1990). Eichmann in My Hands: A Compelling First-Person Account by the Israela Agent Who Captured Hitler's Chief Executioner. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-51418-7. 


  1. ^ Samuel Schafler, Hadassah Magazine October 1990, p. 37, review of Eichmann in My Hands, Peter Malkin and Harry Stein
  2. ^ Black, Ian; Morris, Benny (1991). Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services. Grove Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-8021-3286-3. 
  3. ^ Captors at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia

External links[edit]