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Eichmann in Jerusalem : a report on the banality of evil (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1963
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The book approaches Eichmann as a competent but morally vacant burueacrat who sinks into the 'banality of evil' not out of a malicious hatred of the Jews but rather out of a perverted sense of duty and respect for authority. He perverts the Kantian categorical imperative to read - you have the duty to do what society instructs of you - instead of - you have the duty to act in yourself as you would expect society to act towards you. Some reviewers have misread this moral emphasis of Arendt as a defence of Eichmann This is completely false and a basic misunderstanding of her moral argument.
Her brave mentioning of the fact that the Eichmann Trial was probable not in truth a trial but a show to justify retribution as well as the illegality of his kidnapping deserves praise. The fact that Eichmanns council never used this in his defence as well as the fact that technically Eichmann contravened no law in Germany whilst exercising his duties ,gave me the idea that if there was someone in Israel that could saved him from the gallows it would have been Hannah Arendt. Ironic as I have not read a better condemnation of the man from any other author.Then again she also paints the picture of a man making no real effort to avoid his fate but being without the moral fibre to actively seek it out made no effort to hide his identity from anyone. Eichmann wanted to get caught and seeked in his trial and sentence final recognition for his contorted sense of remorse Although the sincerity of his remorse is not doubted it is the nature of his remorse that remains highly questionable. And that is Hannah Arendts exclamation mark behind the banality of this mans' evil.
Her synopsis of the fate of the Jews in various countries during the holocaust is also very valuable to casual students of the Shoah.
In this book, Arendt, a female Jew and Holocaust survivor, gets inside Adolf Eichmann's head. She begins speaking like him, losing her normally depressed and indignant tone (see Imperialism in _The Origins of Totalitarianism_ for classic examples) for a colder tone, Eichmann's tone, that doesn't feel affected, as one might suspect that it would.
When Eichmann's sentencing comes around, Arendt herself seems to struggle a bit to regain her normal tone and condemn him to death herself. It feels as thought Arendt's empathy has led her to pity this man, rather than hate him. How can you kill someone you pity?
This same dilemma, it seems, arises in her relationship with Heidegger, only she resolves it in the opposite direction.
Far from "defending" Eichmann, Arendt portrays him as a willing participant in mass murder, and, in her Epilogue, she strongly agrees with the death sentence that he received. The myth of Arendt's "defense" of Eichmann is a result of her belief that Eichmann was motivated more by immersion in the totalitarian "system" of Nazi Germany than by hatred of Jews. In no way does she excuse him or the Germans, and, indeed, she argues that complicity in the Holocaust was ubiquitous in Germany. Her thesis is certainly open to debate, but to suggest that this brave and decent thinker sought for a moment to defend Eichmann or the Nazis is outrageous. Her book remains one of the most thought-provoking studies of the perpetrators of the Holocaust ever written.
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Unfortunately, this excellent book was marred by many errors (missing full stops and quotation marks, fragmentary text, etc.) in the Kindle version.Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2013 von RH
This book contained an incredible mix of philosophy, journalism, sociology and psychology. How many writers would have had the skill, let alone the knowledge to pull off a work... Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 1. Dezember 1999 von Blake Johnson
Arendt explores the man who superficially seems to be the mastermind of the death of countless Jews and other undesireables. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 17. Oktober 1999 von Ricardo Enriquez
I am not sure what the other reviewers below are complaining about. Amazon's review seems a correct and fair assessment of Arendt's depiction of Eichmann. Lesen Sie weiter...Am 5. Mai 1999 veröffentlicht
I have to agree with the storm of criticism your
reviewer has received. I read Eichman in
order to understand how a civilized society
could descend in barbarism... Lesen Sie weiter...
Arendt provides an in-depth examination of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and leads one to believe that although he is responsible for the death of millions of jews during World War... Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 11. Februar 1998 von email@example.com
Arendt EXCUSING Eichmann?! That did not occur in the version of this book I read. Shocking misrepresentation by our otherwise gracious host.Am 6. November 1997 veröffentlicht