Unit Three Assignment One

By: Caison Gray

(https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/07/hannah-arendt-the-banality-of-evil/)

  • The book is about the trial of Adolf Eichmann- a chief archaist during the Holocaust
  • Teaches the reader about the concept of wickedness                                                 
  • Evilness is normalized in the banality of evil

(https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil)

  • Eichmann organized the transportation of Jews to concentration camps
  • Arendt found that Eichmann was a bland bureaucrat — he didn’t seem evil
  • Eichmann wasn’t a monster she concluded in her study of the trial called Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil  
  • He performed evil deeds without evil intentions
  • Banality of evil: Eichman not inherently evil, shallow and clueless, a follower, found his purpose through the Nazi’s

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eichmann_in_Jerusalem)

  • Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil was written in 1963 by Hannah Arendt
  • About a Jew who fled Germany during Hitler’s rise to power 
  • “The banality of evil” phrase was introduced in the beginning of the book and also act as the last words in the book
  • Eichmann “had only understood the concept of one man’s actions coinciding with general law. Eichmann attempted to follow the spirit of the laws he carried out, as if the legislator himself would approve.”
  • Eichmann was unable to think for himself
  • Eichmann was a joiner- not because he believed in the ideals of the organizations that he was joining, but because he wanted to be apart of something- he wanted to be a part of the group
  • Eichmann was tested for personality disorders before he was imprisoned- and none were found
  • Arendt believed that even though the Holocaust was such a deadly and terrible event, some of the members of the Nazi party did not hop on board because they believed in the movement, but because they wanted to follow something and be a part of something
  • Arendt’s thesis claims that Eichmann was an average person, and he relied on clichés and the idea of promotion and not ideology in order to advance himself- not his mind

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