Ian Rolls – Wednesday Post

Banality of Evil – from source 1

  • Report on Eichmann’s trial in Israel, seen as controversial because it did not label him as a murderer, and therefore people thought it made him look less guilty
  • Eichmann had neither killed anyone nor ordered people to be killed (he just directed the transportation of Jewish people to concentration camps)
  • Eichmann was pretty normal because he did not fully understand what he had done, so he was unaware of his own wickedness
  • Murder was impersonal and abstract
  • Eichmann had no personal convictions or hatred towards the Jews because he was simply concerned about his own personal success in the ladder. Lived only for the enhancement of his own career
  • Banal evil is even more dangerous because one would only feel personal guilt if they did not achieve their goal of furthering their career. They would feel no guilt whatsoever for atrocities committed against people

The origins of totalitarianism – from source 2

  • Describes preconditions and the rise of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany
  • Traces the emergence of racism as an ideology
  • Totalitarianism is unique and separate from tyranny and dictatorship. What made Germany totalitarian was that it was about terror and consistency to entire populations, not just adversaries
  • Colonialism and imperialism and the nation-state -> racism

Adolf Eichmann – from source 1

  • Nazi official who organized the transportation methods of Jewish people to ghettos and concentration camps
  • High ranking Nazi member who fled to Argentina after the war ended
  • Israeli covert operations used to extract Eichmann out of Argentina 
  • Hung in May 1962 after a trial in Israel for war crimes against the Jewish people
  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/493684?seq=2#metadata_info_tab_contents
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Origins_of_Totalitarianism

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