NEW YORK — Ben Kingsley said he didn’t portray Adolf Eichmann out of love or admiration. Rather, he wanted to “nail him to the gates of Auschwitz.”

The Oscar-winning Kingsley, who has tackled historical figures before, including Mahatma Gandhi, Otto Frank and Simon Wiesenthal, said playing Eichmann in “Operation Finale” produced an entirely different feeling in him.

“With Gandhi, I loved him. With Simon, I loved him. With Otto, I loved him. With Itzhak (Stern), I loved him. But him – I’ll nail you to the gates of Auschwitz. I’ll put you up there so everyone can see what you did, what you stood for and who you are,” Kingsley told The Associated Press.

The story takes place 15 years after the end of World War II. A team of Mossad agents travel to Argentina with the dangerous mission of smuggling Eichmann out of the country to bring him to justice in Israel.

Eichmann, wanted for war crimes, was living in the South American country after escaping Germany at the end of the war. He was the main architect of the Final Solution.

“I put him into the camera for you to judge him, for you to see. I’ve let go of him and I dedicated my performance to Elie Wiesel and the millions who lost their lives under his command,” Kingsley said.

“Rather than saying to the man that I portrayed, ‘I am doing this for you,’ because I certainly wasn’t, I used to say to Elie Wiesel, ‘I’m doing this for you,’ because I know that Elie and other survivors said quite rightly that if we forget the 6 million, we are murdering them all over again.”

In the film, the rhetoric spoken by Eichmann bares an eerie similarity to the debates surrounding the immigration issue in the U.S. and across the globe. Kingsley hopes that audiences “will have thoughts after the seeing the film that they did not have before.”

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