Carson Stenroos, Unit 3 Assignment 1

Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt:

  • Can you do evil and not be evil?
  • Arendt found Eichmann “terrifyingly normal”
  • Eichmann was not an amoral monster.
  • Disengaged from the reality of his evil acts. 
  • He was not inherently evil according to Arendt.
  • She could not connect his evil deeds to deeper roots or motives. 
  • She was criticized for saying Eichmann had no evil intentions.
  • Concentrated more on who Eichmann was than what he did. 

The Origins of Totalitarianism:

  • Written in three essays “Anti Semitism,” “Imperialism,” and “Totalitarianism.”
  • Describes the rise of anti-semitism in Europe in the early-to-mid 1900s.
  • Traces the emergence of racism as an ideology.
  • Totalitarianism in Germany was about terror and consistency. 
  • Totalitarian movements are focused on Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. 
  • The role of propaganda was important.
  • The use of terror was essential to this form of government.
  • Isolation is a precondition for totalitarian domination. 

Adolf Eichmann:

  • One of the major organizers of the Holocaust. 
  • Associated with “the final solution to the Jewish question.”
  • Involved in the mass deportation of Jews into ghettos and extermination camps.
  • Executed by hanging in 1962 for his war crimes. 
  • Made plans for extreme Jewish relocation in southeast Poland and also Madagascar. 
  • Jewish policy changed from emigration to extermination when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. 
  • Eichmann became responsible for Jewish deportations to extermination camps.
  • When he was captured he did not deny his role in the Holocaust, but said he was simply following orders in his totalitarian system. 

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