Adolf Eichmann organized the logistics of the Holocaust — helped get Jews into trains, helped get the trains to the right concentration camps. When Germany lost the war, he escaped to Argentina and lived under a fake name.
The newly-formed state of Israel hunted him down, and in they kidnapped him and put him on trial in Jerusalem.
The Nuremberg Trials were led by an Allied force that wanted to stress that the Nazis committed crimes against all humanity. Not in the sense of justice not being done everyone agreed Eichmann was guiltybut in the sense of highlighting the horrors of the Holocaust to the world.
I found five particularly interesting: Eichmann was neither a charming psychopath nor a blustering villain. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the whole enterprise, and was also rather hard to sustain, in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused so many millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed. I refuse it; I refuse it for moral reasons.
Since my experience tells me that if one is loyal to his oath, one day he has to take the consequences, I have made up my mind once and for all that no judge in the world or other authority will ever be capable of making me swear an oath, to give sworn testimony. Servatius, instructed him to plead innocent. Eichmann could have taken this advice and tried to save his skin. Or he could have taken the high road and confessed his guilt. He chose to do neither:. To each count Eichmann pleaded: Would he then have pleaded guilty if he had been indicted as an source to murder?
By this he did not mean to say that he regretted anything: More info for the base motives, he was perfectly sure that he was not what he called an innerer Schweinehund, a dirty bastard in the depths of his heart; and as for his conscience, he remembered perfectly well that he would have had a bad conscience only if he had not done what he had been ordered to to — to ship millions of men, women, and children to their death with great zeal and the most meticulous care.
This, admittedly, was hard to take. Go ahead and try to parse all of that into a coherent worldview. Was he just following orders? Whether writing his memoirs in Argentina or in Jerusalem, whether speaking to the police examiner or to the court, what he said was always the same, expressed in the same words.
The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else. No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against the words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such. We usually encourage this sort of thing, but I think the prosocial version involves having a specific larger-than-yourself thing in mind.
Eichmann says Arendt just liked larger-than-himself things in general, and the Nazi vision of eternal struggle for racial supremacy was the biggest thing he could find in the vicinity. When Hitler said to kill all the Jews, he gladly complied; if Hitler had Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb to kill all the Christians, he would have done that too. Not because he was a drone following orders to save his skin, but because he believed.
Not in any of the specifics of Nazi ideology. Just in whatever was going on at the time. But with Hitler dead and the war lost, the grandest gesture Eichmann can think of is to try to become a public martyr to edify future generations. So he tries that too. And he would talk obsessively about his failure to get promoted quickly enough through the Nazi hierarchy, clearly expecting his Israeli audience to sympathize with him:.
I was frustrated in everything, no Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb what. It is altogether, altogether unthinkable. The presence of Captain Less, a Jew from Germany and unlikely in any case to think that members of the S. What should we make of this? For read more, self-absorbed as he was, the story of World War II was the story of him doing a pretty competent job of Jew-killing but not getting the recognition he deserved from his superiors.
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This might explain his pattern of omissions and confessions. He was omitting things that seemed bad to him — tied into his obsessions or made him look like a worse bureaucrat. This reminds me of my theory that some people are just born without certain cogs in their brain, and especially without theory of mind. He expected the Jews he deported to be thankful to him for all the hard work he was putting in!
But see more his last moments on Earth, he died as he Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb — saying some faux-profound stock phrases without realizing how weird he sounded:.
Adolf Eichmann went to the gallows with great dignity…He was in complete command of himself, nay, he was more: Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words.
Such is the fate of all men.
Long live Germany, long live Argentina, long live Austria. I shall not forget them. 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. She discusses the failed First Solution and Second Solution as preludes for the eventual genocide. The First Solution was emigration.
In the early days of the movement, the Nazis seemed to sincerely believe that they could deal with the Jews just by expelling them from Germany and letting other countries take care of them, no killing necessary. But for his first few years in power, he distanced himself from his previous positions and accepted emigration as a practical compromise. When the Nazis first decided to expel the Jews, Eichmann was working as a low-level vacuum salesman in Vienna.
He got his big break when he signed up for a job with the Party trying to get Jews to emigrate. Eichmann displayed some early talent at cutting red tape and figuring out ways to connect Jews who wanted to leave with bureaucrats who wanted click the following article let them, and he rose through the ranks until he was in charge of Jewish emigration from Vienna.
He acquired a smattering of Hebrew, which enabled him to read haltingly a Yiddish newspaper — not a very difficult Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb, since Yiddish, basically an old German dialect written in Hebrew letters, can be understood by any German-speaking person who has mastered a few dozen Hebrew words. Eichmann seemed weirdly in earnest about all of this, but it was also good for his job — he met with Zionist Jews and even went to Palestine once to meet with the Zionist movement there.
He loved to say during his trial that Austrian Jewish immigration to Israel was a win-win — it made the Jews happy because they were going to their homeland, and it made the Nazis happy because the Jews were leaving Austria. When he related his self-perception as a basically decent person, he always stressed that this was his idea, and he was a win-win Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb of person who had been unfairly transferred to the sending-people-in-boxcars-to-concentration-camps department against his will.
When poor Jews without any property showed up to emigrate, Eichmann would shake down the rich Jews and making them pay extra to help their poorer co-religionists.
Finally this turned into outright blackmail, demanding blood money from Jews in the Diaspora, or else. What eventually happened we all Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb too well.
Other countries started closing their doors and refusing to accept Jewish refugees.
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Despite hearing this story a hundred times, the version in Eichmann in Jerusalem was new to me. I had always thought of countries as closing their gates to a few prescient people trying to flee Nazi Germany on their own, or to a few stragglers who managed to escape. The truth is on a much greater scale: When emigration stopped working, the Nazis turned to the Second Solution — resettlement. The send-the-Jews-to-Madagascar plan seemed to be a loose alliance of high-level leadership looking for a cover story while they prepared for genocide, plus very stupid people who liked bad ideas.
No guessing which group Eichmann was in. Actually, Eichmann got super-confused and apparently thought Madagascar was the same place as Uganda, which Herzl had mentioned as a possible Jewish homeland if Israel was unavailable.
He announced the good news to some of his Jewish contacts, who gave him a remedial lesson in African geography.
This had the advantages of the Nazis actually controlling Poland and of rail networks up to the Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb of transporting people over. It failed because some overly enthusiastic Nazis just sent a trainload of thousands of Jews there without informing the Governor of Poland, and he got confused and angry, plus a lot of the Jews escaped.
Then some people briefly tried to turn the Czech city of Theresienstadt into a Jewish territory, but it was really small and eventually it just ended up as a slightly-less-murderous-than-usual concentration camp. Remember that most nations of Central and Eastern Europe were German puppet states during this period.
The Nazis made it clear that deporting their Jews to the concentration camps in Nazi territory was a condition for continued good relations; a serious threat, when bad relations could turn a protectorate-type situation into an outright invasion and occupation. Pride of place goes to Denmark and Bulgaria, both of which resisted all Nazi demands despite the Germans having almost complete victims South Korea English News Paper Police over them.
Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb people have heard the legend of how, when the Germans ordered that all Jews must wear gold stars, the King of Denmark said he would wear one too. Nothing happened untilwhen Himmler became so annoyed continue reading he sent his personal agent Rolf Gunther to clean things up.
Gunther tried hard but found the going impossible. Then the Danish police tipped off Danish Jews not to open their doors to knocks since those might be German police. As a result, only 48 Danish Jews died in the entire Holocaust.
Eichmann sent an agent named Theodor Dannecker to get them moving, but as per Arendt:. For the Nazis, even this turned out to be a great disappointment. Whereupon the Bulgarian government revoked the decree. Under great German pressure, the Bulgarian government finally decided to expel all Jews from Sofia to rural areas, check this out this measure was definitely not what the Germans demanded, since it dispersed the Jews instead of concentrating them.
The Bulgarians continued their policy of vaguely agreeing in principle to Nazi demands and then doing nothing, all the way until the Russians invaded and the time of danger was over. Not a single Bulgarian Jew died in the Holocaust edit: The gentlemen of the Foreign Office could not do much about it, Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb they always met the same subtly veiled resistance, the same promises and the same failures to fulfill them.
The sabotage was all the more infuriating as it was carried out openly, in an almost mocking manner. When Mussolini, under German pressure, introduced anti-Jewish legislation in the late thirties he stipulated the usual exemptions — war veterans, Jews with high decorations, and the like — but he added one more category, namely, former members of the Fascist Party, together with their parents and grandparents, their wives and children and grandchildren.
I know of no statistics Top Book Review Ghostwriter Website Gb to this matter, but the result must have been that the great majority of Italian Jews were exempted. There can hardly have been a Jewish family without at least one member in the Fascist Party, for this happened at a time when Jews, like other Italians, had been flocking for almost twenty years into the Fascist movement, since positions in the Civil Service were open only to members. And the few Jews who had objected to Fascism on principle, Socialists and Communists chiefly, were no longer in the country.
Even convinced Italian anti-Semites seemed unable to take the thing seriously, and Roberto Farinacci, head of the Italian anti-Semitic movement, had a Jewish secretary in his employ….
Less happy is the story of France. The Germans realized that the Vichy French were attached to assimilated French Jews, so they started by demanding only those foreign Jews who had come to France as refugees.
After this had been going on for a while, Eichmann figured that the French were on his side, and asked for permission to take the native French Jews as well.