Unit 3 Assignment 1-Natalie Zhu (16th Oct)

Adolf Eichmann

  • a Nazi official who helped Germany carry out the mass murder of six million Jews during World War II;
  • both a skilled bureaucrat and a committed anti-Semite;
  • helped the party answer to the “Jewish question,” Nazi terminology for a debate over how European Jews should be treated;
  • attended the Wannsee Conference, the meeting at which a group of high-ranking Nazi officials coordinated the details of what they called the “Final Solution;”
  • helped implement the genocide, coordinating the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews in German-occupied areas;
  • was given aid by Catholic priests and bishops with pro-Nazi sympathies in Italy, and fled to Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1950.
  • https://www.history.com/news/adolf-eichmann-nazi-capture-holocaust-trial-mossad

“Banality of Evil”

  • is a sobering reflection on “the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us—the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil;”
  • made by Hannah Arendt in 1962;
  • is a banality reflected in Eichmann himself, who embodied “the dilemma between the unspeakable horror of the deeds and the undeniable ludicrousness of the man who perpetrated them;”
  • https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/07/hannah-arendt-the-banality-of-evil/

The Origins of Totalitarianism

  • was first published in 1951, and was based on research and writing done during the 1940s;
  • anti-Semitism, imperialism, racism, the post-World War I crises of multinational empires, the displacement of peoples by war and by technological change;
  • a generalized crisis of legitimacy in the 1930s throughout Europe—people feeling dispossessed, disenfranchised, disconnected from dominant social institutions.
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/12/17/how-hannah-arendts-classic-work/

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