Asher Ben-Natan
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Asher Ben-Natan
Asher Ben-Natan

Asher Ben-Natan (February 15, 1921 - June 17, 2014) was an Israeli diplomat and a key figure in the country's defense and diplomacy fields. Ben-Natan led the search for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who was captured in 1960.[1] He became the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense from 1959 until 1965.[1] Ben-Natan then served as the first Israeli Ambassador to Germany (then West Germany) from August 1965 until 1970.[2][1] Ben-Natan was then appointed as Israel's Ambassador to France from 1970 until his retirement in 1974.[1]

Asher Ben-Natan was born Arthur Piernikartz in Vienna, Austria, on February 15, 1921.[1] His father, Natan Piernikartz, operated a clothing business in the Austrian capital.[1] He attended a Hebrew High School and was a member of the Young Macabbi.[1] His father bought five-acres of land in Mandatory Palestine in 1934 in response to the emergence of Nazi Germany and the growth of Antisemitism.[1] The family drew up plans to flee to Palestine in 1938 following the Anschluss of Austria. Asher Ben-Natan fled Austria first. He boarded a Panamanian-registered ship in Piraeus, Greece, from which he sailed to Palestine.[1] The ship dropped the passengers off at Tantura, where he swam to the beach.[1] He found work at a kibbutz and changed his name to Asher Ben-Natan, honor of his father.[1] His parents and sister arrived in Palestine from Austria a few months after his own arrival. Asher Ben-Natan married his wife, Erika, 1940.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Asher Ben-Natan obituary: Asher Ben-Natan was an Israeli diplomat who led the hunt for Adolf Eichmann and built bridges with post-war Germany". The Daily Telegraph. 2014-07-13. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (2014-06-19). "Israel's first envoy to Germany dies at 93". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved .

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