Hausner, Gideon

views updated


HAUSNER, GIDEON (1915–1990), Israeli lawyer. Hausner was born in Lvov (Lemberg) where his father Bernard *Hausner was rabbi. He came to Ereẓ Israel in 1927 and after graduating from the Hebrew University in 1941 and from the Law School in 1943 entered private practice. He was lecturer in Commercial Law at the Hebrew University from 1954 to 1960, when he was appointed Attorney General, serving until 1963. In this capacity he served as chief prosecutor in the *Eichmann Trial, about which he wrote Justice in Jerusalem (1966, 19672). Speaking in the name of the Jewish people in a powerful opening statement and telling the story of the Holocaust with the aid of over 100 witnesses and 1,600 documents, Hausner became the voice most clearly identified with the trial and the achievement of a final reckoning with one of the most monstrous figures of the Nazi era. Hausner was a member of the Knesset from 1965 to 1981, representing the Independent Liberal Party and was chairman of its parliamentary group from 1967 to 1974. He was a minister without portfolio in the Israeli cabinet from 1974 to 1977. He was chairman of the Israel Association for Human Rights since 1965 and of the Council of Yad Vashem from 1969.