Avner W. Less

Berlin, Germany
Death 7 Jan 1987 (aged 70)
Zürich, Switzerland
Burial Wannsee, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany
Memorial ID 137449142 View Source

Avner W. Less is best known for interrogating SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann after he was captured by the Israeli Mossad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and brought to Israel to stand trial. In 2007, a film entitled "Eichmann" was released, with the role of Avner Less played by Troy Garity.

Avner attended the Upper Forest School in Charlottenburg, Germany. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, he emigrated to France and continued his agricultural studies.

In 1938, he emigrated to British-controlled Palestine, and during his first years there, worked on orange plantations. From 1941 to 1948, he was a police officer in Haifa and price checker for the local district. After Israeli independence in 1948, he became head of the Import-Export Section of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and was Deputy-Director of the Legal Department for price control in the Haifa district. In 1951, he joined the Israeli Police, working in the Department of Economic Crimes. From 1954 to 1958, he served in the Israeli foreign service as an attaché in New York City and Paris, as permanent representative of Israel to the annual conference of the UN Drug Commission in Geneva, and as a representative of Israel at Interpol.

In 1968, he moved to Switzerland, and until 1971 was a member of the Banque de Crédit International Genève. In 1972, he became head of internal security for Bank Robinson AG in Basel. From 1976 to 1979, he worked at the Company for Bank Revisions in Basel, and in 1979, he was employed by Neutra Treuhand AG as internal controller.

When Avner passed in 1987, he had been cremated. His wife Vera had passed 7 years earlier and had also been cremated. Although it was a violation of Jewish burial customs, Vera’s ashes were interred in the Jewish cemetery in her native Hamburg (Germany). Avner’s wish was to be interred with his wife in the same cemetery, but the cemetery refused to allow another exception to be made. Avner was interred in Switzerland. After 25 years, the lease on his Swiss burial plot expired. The family again attempted to have Avner's cremains reburied in Hamburg, but the cemetery again refused. Ultimately, both Avner and Vera were reburied in Avner’s father's native Berlin.

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