Where Arendt Was Right on Eichmann

To understand Eichmann, you have to see not his “banality” but how innovative and utterly committed he was as a bureaucrat.

A copy of Adolf Eichmann’s resume from 1937. Wikipedia.
A copy of Adolf Eichmann’s resume from 1937. Wikipedia.
Response
June 8 2020
About the author

Yaacov Lozowick served as director of archives at Yad Vashem and chief archivist at the Israel State Archives. He now teaches at Bar-Ilan University.


It’s hard to argue with Martin Kramer’s essay on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s capture of Adolf Eichmann. “The Truth of the Capture of Adolf Eichmann” shows how his image has morphed from diabolical Nazi to the charming fellow portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the Hollywood film Operation Finale (2018). And in the course of that telling, Kramer explains how clashes of ego among elderly ex-Mossad memoirists furnished Hollywood with the materials it needed to transform our culture’s shared memory of Eichmann. Sadly, he’s probably right that these quarreling former colleagues are not blameless for mischaracterizations of Eichmann.

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More about: Adolf Eichmann, Holocaust