Book Portrays Eichmann as Evil, but Not BanalBreaking News
tags: Adolf Eichmann
More than 50 years after its publication, Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem” remains enduringly controversial, racking up a long list of critics who continue to pick apart her depiction of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann as an exemplar of “the banality of evil,” a bloodless, nearly mindless bureaucrat who “never realized what he was doing.”
Bettina Stangneth, the author of “Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer,” published in an English translation this week by Alfred A. Knopf, didn’t aim to join those critics. An independent philosopher based in Hamburg, she was interested in the nature of lies, and set out around 2000 to write a study of Eichmann, the Third Reich’s head of Jewish affairs, who was tried in Israel in 1961, in light of material that has emerged in recent decades.
Then, while reading through the voluminous memoirs and other testimony Eichmann produced while in hiding in Argentina after the war, Ms. Stangneth came across a long note he wrote, dismissing the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant, that flew in the face of Arendt’s notion of Eichmann’s “inability to think.”
“I sat at my desk for three days, thinking about it,” Ms. Stangneth said in a telephone interview from her home. “I was totally shocked. I could not believe this man was able to write something like this.”
comments powered by Disqus
- Should Trump Be Impeached? What Founding Father James Madison Gave as Grounds for Impeachment.
- Long Lost Nordic Village Mysteriously Abandoned in the Middle Ages Rediscovered
- Holocaust Memorial Rebuilt Outside Far-Right Politician's House By German Activists
- Ratko Mladic Is Convicted in 1990s Slaughter of Bosnian Muslims
- Most Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong
- Is This Professor ‘Putin’s American Apologist’?
- Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns on the accuracy of his epic documentary
- OAH historians say events of the past year show they were right to emphasize freedom as the theme of the 2019 annual convention
- Why being a historian is about so much more than producing displays for museums
- Historian Says Textbooks Have Shaped Our Attitudes On Race