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Eichmann en Jerusalén : Un estudio sobre la banalidad del mal

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  6,190 ratings  ·  467 reviews
A partir del juicio que en 1961 se llevo a cabo contra Adolf Eichmann, uno de los mayores criminales nazis, Hannah Arendt estudia las causas que propiciaron el holocausto, el papel equivoco que jugaron los consejos judios, asi como la naturaleza y la funcion de la justicia, aspecto que la lleva a plantear la necesidad de instituir un tribunal internacional capaz de juzgar ...more
Paperback, 460 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Editorial Lumen (first published May 17th 1963)
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Aug 31, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I and Thou
Shelves: european-history
In order to pronounce judgment on this book, on Arendt, on the idea of "the banality of evil," you can't simply read reviews, summaries, excerpts, chunks, sentences. You have to read the entire book. You have to. Only by reading the entire book will you acclimate yourself to Arendt's tone, her idiosyncratic writing style, the way a word on p. 252 seems like an odd choice until you recall how she used the same word on p. 53.

In the wake of the book came a flood of criticism (in both senses) that c
The horror and enigma surrounding the Holocaust trials is probably best exhibited in Peter Weiss’s play The Investigation. Based on the actual testimonies given during the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials- reading it is an experience that is cold, brutal and almost physical in ways unexpected. Witnesses try to communicate the incommunicable suffering of victims and survivors; Defendants try to deny or extenuate their respective roles in the heinous crimes and Judges try to measure up an appropriate se ...more
What has come to light is neither nihilism nor cynicism, as one might have expected, but a quite extraordinary confusion over elementary questions of morality—as if an instinct in such matters were truly the last thing to be taken for granted in our time.
I've been entertained by my fair share of WWII/Nazi/Holocaust media, a glut in the marketable masses of reality's intersection with fiction the never fails to rear its head every year. Of course, that's the US for you, with its isolation and c
Aug 24, 2013 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
We just saw the movie Hannah Arendt , and it is extremely good - possibly the best thing I've seen this year. Margarethe von Trotta's direction and script are excellent, and Barbara Sukowa is terrific in the title role.

“[T]hese defendants now ask this Tribunal to say they are not guilty of planning, executing, or conspiring to commit this long list of crimes and wrongs. They stand before the record of this Tribunal as bloodstained Gloucester stood by the body of his slain king. He begged of the widow, as they beg of you: ‘Say I slew them not.’ And the Queen replied: “Then say they are not slain. But dead they are…’”
-- from Robert Jackson’s closing argument at the Nuremberg Tribunal.

In my opinion, one of the c
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
Hannah (sometimes) in Jerusalem: a Report on the Banality of a Book

A new group of deportees has arrived at Auschwitz. There they are, men, women and children, all fearful, all apprehensive. A truck drives by, piled high with corpses. The arms of the dead are hanging loose over the sides, waving as if in grim farewell. The people scream. But no sooner has the vehicle turned a corner than the horror has been edited out of their minds. Even on the brink of death there are some things too fantastic
This book is a great mix of investigative journalism and historical analysis. If you don’t have a detailed knowledge of the history of the Holocaust, this is a good place to start. Even though Arendt didn’t want to make it a philosophical or legal treatise, it makes a few bold philosophical and legal claims, the most controversial of which is the banality of evil.

Eichmann was in charge of transporting the Jews, first for forced emigration, and after the implementation of the Final Solution, to t
Objective analysis of ethically devastating periods in history often seems less popular than it should be. Surely this applies to the Holocaust more than any other commonly mentioned, or generally well known genocide. As if there were some sort of a priori understanding that these events were undoubtedly exercised by the minds and wills of evil men. There is much truth to that; people rarely argue that it's possible that these people are anything but evil, or at least devoid of any sort of moral ...more
Justin Evans
It's very hard to see, at this point, what on earth in this book made everyone so angry, and, apparently, still does make everyone so angry. Arendt's argument here (though note that in other places she insists, disingenuously, that she made no argument and just presented the facts) is that ordinary people do evil things ('banality of evil'), that this is best understood in the context of modern bureaucracy, and that the Eichmann trials bear more than a little resemblance to Soviet show trials--w ...more
Dave Russell
The Nazis are this modern age's greatest villains. You can stop debate on any subject just by invoking a comparison ("You know who else was in favor of the public option? Hitler, that's who!") I know, I know, Stalin killed more people than Hitler, yadda yadda yadda, but did you see the last Indiana Jones film? Nazis make much better villains.

And yet what kind of villains were they and what does this tell us about the nature of evil? Were they Shakespearean villains a la Richard III or Iago, men
Note to the Reader

--Eichmann in Jerusalem : A Report on the Banality of Evil

"That such remoteness from reality and such thoughtlessness can wreak more havoc than all the evil instincts taken together which, perhaps, are inherent in man—that was, in fact, the lesson one could learn in Jerusalem."

This book is positively lucid in comparison to the one other book I read by Arendt, Responsibility and Judgment, since this is a journalistic piece, first published in The New Yorker magazine in 1963. Basically the book is merely a report on the trial, which would have to exclude
David Cerruti
A few words about the title, “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” It is concise and accurate in identifying the trial of 1961, but it gives no clue about the insights that lie within. I generally dislike subtitles, but this one, “A Report on the Banality of Evil,” is where the action is.

This phrase, which generated so much controversy, appears only on the title page, and once in the text, in the postscript. Later editions include an excellent introduction by Amos Elon, who used the phrase many times. I had
This book is amazing. In it, Arendt struggles with three major issues: 1) the guilt and evil of the ordinary, bureaucratic, obedient German people (like Eichmann) who contributed to the attempted genocide of the Jewish people, 2) the complicity of some jews in the genocide (through organization, mobilization, passive obedience, and negotiations with the Nazis, 3) the logical absurdity the Eichmann and Nuremberg Trials, etc.

In this book (and the original 'New Yorker' essays it came from) Hannah
Oggi ho letto un bell’articolo di Susanna Nirenstein (da non confondersi con la sorella Fiamma) che ho trovato esprimesse perfettamente il mio pensiero e sentimento su questo libro.
Non è certo la prima, e non sarà l’ultima a dire queste cose: il favore che ha goduto il libro di Hanna Arendt è da tempo messo in discussione, in Europa e oltre oceano.
Ma Nirenstein riesce nell’impresa senza astio o livore, che invece accompagna spesso altri
dead letter office
it's hard not to come away from this book with conflicted feelings. we all take for granted that what the nazis did was evil, but it's not such an easy extension to say that the people these did these things were evil. arendt's central point is that eichmann is not evil so much as he is unremarkable. he is hardworking, efficient, and actually deeply normal. this is tough to swallow, since he was an integral part of the machinery of genocide that the nazis set up during world war II and was execu ...more
I read this in college and it just blew me away. One of the more important books of the 20th century. Her idea that "banality" and thoughtlessness, relying on the routines of bureaucracy lie at the root of evil had a profound impact on my thinking. "It was sheer thoughtlessness that predisposed him to become one of the greatest criminals of the period," she says of Eichmann. One can still see the basic truths of her book operating very day.

The latest method to avoid accountability seems to be to
Alla fine ho affrontato anche questo, dopo averlo lasciato in sospeso per troppo tempo.
La cosa che mi frenava era il timore di trovarmi davanti al proverbiale mattone, per di più scritto in piccolo.
Sì, è scritto in piccolo. No, non è un mattone, anzi: si legge con facilità.
Il saggio sembra anche più obiettivo di quanto mi aspettassi. Eichmann non è l'essenza del male. Personalmente mi è sembrato un pazzo, nel senso clinico del termine, che in un altro tempo e in un'altra società sarebbe forse s
This book, while sometimes a little hard to read, gave me such food for thought that I have re-read it many times just to grasp all that Arendt is trying to accomplish in this book. Her statements about the "banality of evil" and the "thoughtlessness" that creates evil acts without malevolent intent I think have a lot of relevance for Americans, who work in a world without thinking about how our place in society and in a greater machine affects other people - particularly how it affects others n ...more
The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together, for it implied - as had been said at Nuremberg over and over again by the defendants and their counsels - that this new type of criminal, who is in a
May 09, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: cthulhu, being-human
This book disturbed my peace with the universe. I read it while I was working on a death penalty case some years back, mostly on the bus too and from work. It led to me spending no little time starring out the window. Trembling ontologically.
Brilliant in analyses. 'Banality of evil' only occurs once or twice, and it seems to be misinterpreted - the banality of Eichman's thoughts and his blind devotion to fascism, not just the mere 'I was following orders' facade he put up.
Дори никога да не ви остане време да прочетете "Тоталитаризмът", няма как да заобиколите този изключително важен текст на г-жа Аренд. Преди да съм забравил само искам да вмъкна, че "Айхман в Йерусалим" е контекстът през който феновете на Албахари могат да си "прочетат" неговия роман "Гьоц и Майер". От там ще ви стане ясно и централното понятие на Аренд - "баналността на злото". Какво всъщност представлява то? - нищо повече от факта, че един обикновен човек, който не страда от психически проблеми ...more
This book is terrifying, in the sense that I believed, before reading, in the ability of people to commit horrible acts in the name of "just following procedure" and Eichmann in Jerusalem gives convincing evidence of that.

Arendt's most compelling support for the banality of evil comes in the biography of the accused: Eichmann was an ambitious man who enjoyed bragging and who joined the Third Reich because he was bored of being a salesman. He was in charge of coordinating the deportation and eva
Thing Two
Six million Jews were killed as a result of one man's evil vision. That man, Adolf Hitler, committed suicide before he was brought to trial. This left a void. Someone needed to pay, and that became Otto Adolf Eichmann, who stood trial in Israel in 1961 for crimes against humanity. "The prosecution gave substance to the chief argument against the trial, that it was established not in order to satisfy the demands of justice, but to still the victims' desire for and, perhaps, right to vengeance" wr ...more
Un golpe directo a la mandíbula. De más está de decir que estuvo a la altura de las expectativas, pero eso era de esperar. Lo más sorprendente es la pulsional combinación de emociones que despliega. Por un lado lo esperable, realizado con precisión: repaso jurídico sobre el proceso y evaluación de aquellas circunstancias históricas que podrían ayudar a esclarecer el propio proceso contra Adolf Eichmann. Pero además, el análisis de la genial Hannah Arendt (deformada y citada por impresentables re ...more
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Does evil boast its own unique double helix? With great wisdom and no little courage Hannah Arendt unpicks the particular moral and legal (the two, as the Nazi's use of the law to sanction mass murder proves, are unfortunately not inseperable) implications of Eichmann's trial. Her arguments are carefully considered although not entirely dispassionate - perhaps understandably aspects of both the crime and the judicial process fail to evade her irony which is, after all, the intellectual's equival ...more
Douglas Wilson
A sober and perfectly appalling account of "the banality of evil."
This book (along with the Heart of Darkness) is the quintessential example of a book that is regularly referenced by people who haven't read it. It's not about the "Banality of Evil" as such. It's actually much less philosophical that pretty much every other book she's ever written. It's mostly a work of journalism and history, and as that, it's fantastic. It stands as a great introduction to the Holocaust and, of course, she picks a great character in Eichmann.
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
This is an important book that everyone should read. Simple as that. Yes, the author has a brash tone and is too convinced of the rightness of her opinions, but any intelligent reader will be able to read around that. I even found it funny at times, which makes me suspect she herself was well conscious of this while she was writing and did it on purpose, maybe to drive her point(s) home with more emphasis, or just because she didn't care, or both.

Also, the relevance for today is quite shocking.
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  • The Destruction of the European Jews
  • The Drowned and the Saved
  • Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience
  • The Holocaust in American Life
  • Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
  • The Anatomy of Fascism
  • The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering
  • Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory
  • The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945
  • Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial
  • Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Extermination, 1939-1945
  • Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages
  • The Question of German Guilt
  • Shah of Shahs
  • Modernity and the Holocaust
  • The Age of Extremes: A History of the World 1914-1991
  • The Language of the Third Reich: LTI -- Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook
  • Liberty: Incorporating Four Essays on Liberty
Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born into a German-Jewish family, she was forced to leave Germany in 1933 and lived in Paris for the next eight years, working for a number of Jewish refugee organisations. In 1941 she immigrated to the United States and soon became part of a lively intellectual circle in New York. She held a ...more
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“Adolf Eichmann went to the gallows with great dignity. He had asked for a bottle of red wine and had drunk half of it. He refused the help of the Protestant minister the Reverend William Hull who offered to read the Bible with him: he had only two more hours to live and therefore no “time to waste.” He walked the fifty yards from his cell to the execution chamber calm and erect with his hands bound behind him. When the guards tied his ankles and knees he asked them to loosen the bonds so that he could stand straight. “I don’t need that ” he said when the black hood was offered him. He was in complete command of himself nay he was more: he was completely himself. Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words. He began by stating emphatically that he was a Gottgläubiger to express in common Nazi fashion that he was no Christian and did not believe in life after death. He then proceeded: “After a short while gentlemen we shall all meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany long live Argentina long live Austria. I shall not forget them.” In the face of death he had found the cliché used in funeral oratory. Under the gallows his memory played him the last trick he was “elated” and he forgot that this was his own funeral.

It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us-the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”
“For politics is not like the nursery; in politics obedience and support are the same.” 14 likes
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