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Eichmann and the Holocaust

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  290 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Inspired by the trial of a bureaucrat who helped cause the Holocaust, this radical work on the banality of evil stunned the world with its exploration of a regime's moral blindness and one man's insistence that he be absolved all guilt because he was 'only following orders'.
Paperback, 129 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published August 25th 2005)
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Robert
Jan 24, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing
"Nothing's as hot when you're eating it as when it's cooking." The failure of that piece of conventional wisdom to predict the Holocaust, to predict the way history would unfold, cuts to the awful core of what those average men - bad men, but not monsters rather mediocre, because that lets us all off the hook (terrifying is to speculate that many of them would have been regarded as good men) - acted in form to the way that Eichmann, the cliche-spouter, the bureaucrat, the banal evildoer, does. T ...more
Lysergius
Mar 06, 2014 Lysergius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
For me the most surprising thing to come out of this little volume was the admission that the Jews had cooperated and participated in their own destruction. The the Jewish Councils (Judenrat)registered and selected the victims for deportation and the Jewish police rounded up the reluctant victims.

As for Eichmann himself what can you say that has not already been said?

Hannah Arendt addresses the other issue, namely what sort of crime is this? "Genocide" is the term that was coined at Nürnberg, bu
...more
Ingeborg
Jan 03, 2015 Ingeborg rated it really liked it
A very good and important book, a shorter version of Arend't "Eichmann in Jerusalem". It shows how dangerous non-thinking can be!
Alan
Nov 19, 2015 Alan rated it really liked it
This is the abridged version of Eichmann in Jerusalem. This is a great read offering insight into Eichmann's trial and the philosophical claim on the banality of evil. Having already read up and having reflected on Arendt's philosophical claim before delving in, I can't say I learned much from this book. It was, however, surprising to read about the relationship between Eichmann, the Nazi's and the Jews before the Final Solution was proposed. Still, this is an incredibly important book. Everyone ...more
DilanAc
Apr 10, 2016 DilanAc rated it it was ok
Certainly an important historical document. I am not a history buff though and all of the listing of names and dates was rather boring.

I guess the most shocking part was not the banality of Eichmann (that banality leads to evil seems perfectly true) but rather the depiction of Jewish compliance and their participation in the organized transports to the death camps. It put me on alert to stand up, to protest, to say no, hell no, particularly during the times when it is so much easier just to go a
...more
Connie
Mar 31, 2012 Connie rated it really liked it
Eichmann and the Holocaust is a book based on excerpts from a five-part article Hannah Arendt wrote for "The New Yorker" in 1963. She reported on the trial of the German Nazi, Adolf Eichmann, in Israel. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes, leading to his execution in 1962.

Eichmann was one of the chief organizers of the Holocaust. He was involved first with the forced emigration or expulsion of the Jews from Austria. Later, he organized the deportation of the Jews to Pol
...more
Robert
Nov 04, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
"Eichmann and the Holocaust" is an important read, if only because the book, collected from Arendt's "Reporter at Large: A five-part article commissioned by "The New Yorker" and excerpted from her more comprehensive: "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil" reminds us that we have not in half a century, come to terms with the nature of war crimes, or crimes against humanity.

Arendt offers a combination of reportage and critical analysis of her subject, Adolf Eichmann, and the con
...more
Ugh
Nov 01, 2011 Ugh rated it liked it
I think you need to have a bit more background knowledge of the events of the holocaust and Isreali law (maybe just the law or concepts of justice in general) than I do in order to fully appreciate this. I could easily see myself giving it 4 stars if I did know a bit more about these things, but I think the most useful thing I can do is score it in terms of what I actually felt and thought, not in terms of what I think I could potentially think and feel. Anyway.
It's certainly interesting, it's j
...more
Jack Mundale
Aug 03, 2014 Jack Mundale rated it really liked it
...a very incisive rendering of the facts surrounding the trial of Adolf Eichmann. I wanted to read this book after seeing the 2012 film Hannah Arendt. This is not actually a book but the collection of controversial articles Hannah wrote for the New Yorker after the trial in which Hannah famously coined the term "banality of evil". I think the epilogue should be read by students everywhere as a cautionary to the evils of ideological/dogmatic thinking.
Sunny
Jan 16, 2012 Sunny rated it really liked it
Shelves: war
Interesting book about the trial of adolf eichmann who was responsible for the jettison of Jews from Austria if. Understood correctly and then for qthe mass movement of Jews to concentration camps in the east especially. The book touches on his trail near the end althoug it's a short book. He was hung but claimed to have been following orders at all times. The Most remarkable thIng I learnt was the involvement of higher ranking and common jews in the ghettos and the concentration camps themselve ...more
Mandy E
Jan 29, 2011 Mandy E rated it really liked it
so interesting that arendt says explicitly in her postscript that the book was not "a theoretical treatise on the nature of evil" (112), and yet penguin describes it in the synopsis as a "radical work on the banality of evil," and the full work from which this text is excerpted is titled Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil in fact, most of the work deals with issues of justice and legality.
Adam
Mar 17, 2015 Adam added it
Holy, this was great
Nidhi
Jan 18, 2014 Nidhi rated it it was amazing
an outstanding work of perceptive clarity and erudition.
Jenn
Sep 13, 2015 Jenn rated it really liked it
It was truly fascinating to see the psychological idiosyncrasies of Eichmanns mind. The twisted way in which he tried to explain his role in the Holocaust. Hannah is always wonderful at speaking clearly on this topic and I learned so much I had not known. I hope to read the full version one day.
Stijn
Mar 13, 2016 Stijn rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A sobering, monumental trial report that deconstructs both the concept of evil and those that perpetrate it.
Eric
Jan 14, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A interesting treatise on the banality of evil through the lens of the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.
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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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“El mundo de la política en nada se asemeja a los parvularios; en materia política, la obediencia y el apoyo son una misma cosa. Y del mismo modo que tú apoyaste y cumplimentaste una política de unos hombres que no deseaban compartir la tierra con el pueblo judío ni con otros ciertos pueblos de diversa nación -como si tú y tus superiores tuvierais el derecho de decidir quién puede y quién no puede haber el mundo-, nosotros consideramos que nadie, es decir, ningún miembro de la raza humana puede desear compartir la tierra contigo. Esta es la razón, la única razón, por la que has de ser ahorcado.” 2 likes
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