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Eichmann in Jerusalem : a report on the banality of evil

Author: Hannah Arendt
Publisher: New York : Viking Press, 1963.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"While living in Argentina in 1960, Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was kidnapped and smuggled to Israel where he was put on trial for crimes against humanity. The New Yorker magazine sent Hannah Arendt to cover the trial. While covering the technical aspects of the trial, Arendt also explored the wider themes inherent in the trial, such as the nature of justice, the behavior of the Jewish leadership during the Nazi
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Arendt, Hannah.
Eichmann in Jerusalem.
New York, Viking Press [1963]
(OCoLC)561420206
Online version:
Arendt, Hannah.
Eichmann in Jerusalem.
New York, Viking Press [1963]
(OCoLC)607895533
Named Person: Adolf Eichmann; Adolf Eichmann; Adolf Eichmann; Adolf Eichmann
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Hannah Arendt
OCLC Number: 405280
Description: 275 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: The house of justice --
The accused --
An expert on the Jewish question --
The first solution: expulsion --
The second solution: concentration --
The final solution: killing --
The Wannsee conference, or Pontius Pilate --
Duties of a law-abiding citizen --
Deportations from the Reich --
Germany, Austria, and the protectorate --
Deportations from Western Europe --
France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Italy --
Deportations from Balkans --
Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania --
Deportations from Central Europe --
Hungary and Slovakia --
The killing centers in the east --
Evidence and witnesses --
Judgment, appeal, and execution.
Responsibility: by Hannah Arendt.

Abstract:

"While living in Argentina in 1960, Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was kidnapped and smuggled to Israel where he was put on trial for crimes against humanity. The New Yorker magazine sent Hannah Arendt to cover the trial. While covering the technical aspects of the trial, Arendt also explored the wider themes inherent in the trial, such as the nature of justice, the behavior of the Jewish leadership during the Nazi Régime, and, most controversially, the nature of Evil itself. Far from being evil incarnate, as the prosecution painted Eichmann, Arendt maintains that he was an average man, a petty bureaucrat interested only in furthering his career, and the evil he did came from the seductive power of the totalitarian state and an unthinking adherence to the Nazi cause. Indeed, Eichmann's only defense during the trial was "I was just following orders."

Arendt's analysis of the seductive nature of evil is a disturbing one. We would like to think that anyone who would perpetrate such horror on the world is different from us, and that such atrocities are rarities in our world. But the history of groups such as the Jews, Kurds, Bosnians, and Native Americans, to name but a few, seems to suggest that such evil is all too commonplace. In revealing Eichmann as the pedestrian little man that he was, Arendt shows us that the veneer of civilization is a thin one indeed." -- Amazon.com Editorial review, 1994 ed.

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