Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil is a book by political theorist Hannah Arendt, originally published in the origins of totalitarianism hannah arendt pdf. Arendt’s subtitle famously introduced the phrase “the banality of evil,” which also serves as the final words of the book.

Eichmann’s inability to think for himself was exemplified by his consistent use of “stock phrases and self-invented clichés”. Sprachregelung that made implementation of Hitler’s policies “somehow palatable. Eichmann was a “joiner” his entire life, in that he constantly joined organizations in order to define himself, and had difficulties thinking for himself without doing so. As a youth, he belonged to the YMCA, the Wandervogel, and the Jungfrontkämpferverband.

Despite his claims, Eichmann was not, in fact, very intelligent. Upon seeing members of “respectable society” endorsing mass murder, and enthusiastically participating in the planning of the solution, Eichmann felt that his moral responsibility was relaxed, as if he were “Pontius Pilate”. During his imprisonment before his trial, the Israeli government sent no fewer than six psychologists to examine Eichmann. These psychologists found no trace of mental illness, including personality disorder. Arendt suggests that this most strikingly discredits the idea that the Nazi criminals were manifestly psychopathic and different from “normal” people.

Final Solution was proposed is that “it could happen” in most places but it did not happen everywhere. Humanly speaking, no more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation. One is tempted to recommend the story as required reading in political science for all students who wish to learn something about the enormous power potential inherent in non-violent action and in resistance to an opponent possessing vastly superior means of violence. Reich cracked down and decided to do the job itself it found that its own personnel in Denmark had been infected by this and were unable to overcome their human aversion with the appropriate ruthlessness, as their peers in more cooperative areas had.

Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a “monster,” but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. Beyond her discussion of Eichmann himself, Arendt discusses several additional aspects of the trial, its context, and the Holocaust. She points out that Eichmann was kidnapped by Israeli agents in Argentina and transported to Israel, an illegal act, and that he was tried in Israel even though he was not accused of committing any crimes there. She describes his trial as a show trial arranged and managed by Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, and says that Ben-Gurion wanted, for several political reasons, to emphasize not primarily what Eichmann had done, but what the Jews had suffered during the Holocaust. She questions Israel’s right to try Eichmann. Israel was a signatory to the 1950 UN Genocide Convention, which rejected universal jurisdiction and required that defendants be tried ‘in the territory of which the act was committed’ or by an international tribunal. The court in Jerusalem did not pursue either option.

Eichmann’s deeds were not crimes under German law as at that time. In the eyes of the Third Reich, he was a law-abiding citizen. He was tried for ‘crimes in retrospect’. It is not an individual nor the Nazi regime on trial, but Antisemitism throughout history,’ was the tone set by the prosecutor. This suggested that Eichmann was no criminal, but the ‘innocent executor of some foreordained destiny. Arendt’s book introduced the expression and concept “the banality of evil”. Arendt sparked controversy with Eichmann in Jerusalem upon its publishing and the years since.

Arendt has long been accused of “blaming the victim” in the book. Jacob Robinson published And the Crooked Shall be Made Straight, the first full-length rebuttal of her book. Robinson presented himself as an expert in international law, not saying that he was an assistant to the prosecutor in the case. In his 2006 book, Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes and Trial of a “Desk Murderer”, Holocaust researcher David Cesarani questioned Arendt’s portrait of Eichmann on several grounds. According to his findings, Arendt attended only part of the trial, witnessing Eichmann’s testimony for “at most four days” and basing her writings mostly on recordings and the trial transcript.

Cesarani suggests that Arendt’s own prejudices influenced the opinions she expressed during the trial. Eichmann in Jerusalem, according to Hugh Trevor-Roper, is deeply indebted to Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews, so much so that Hilberg himself spoke of plagiarism. Arendt also received criticism in the form of responses to her article, also published in the New Yorker. One instance of this came mere weeks after the publication of her articles in the form of an article entitled “Man With an Unspotted Conscience”. This work was written by witness for the defense, Michael A. Arendt relied heavily on the book by H.

Allgemeine Zeitung der Juden in Deutschland. In more recent years, Arendt has received further criticism from authors Bettina Stangneth and Deborah Lipstadt. Stangneth argues in her work, Eichmann Before Jerusalem, that Eichmann was, in fact, an insidious antisemite. Between Nuremberg and Jerusalem: Hannah Arendt’s Tikkun Olam”. A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies.