- a Jewish woman who escaped from Nazi Germany
- Philosopher and political theorist
- Wrote about her life experience as a Jewish refugee
- October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975; lived in Germany and fled to Paris, then settled in New York City, USA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Arendt)
- Banality of Evil – “the dilemma between the unspeakable horror of the deeds and the undeniable ludicrousness of the man who perpetrated them.”
- “One man will always be alive to tell the story.” / Oblivion does not exist.
- We live in a shared ethical and political world. Embraced public and private spheres as equally important. (https://hac.bard.edu/about/hannaharendt/)
“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.““There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.“
- Her ideas are present today; real-world horrors like the Rwandan genocide or torture at Abu Ghraib tend to reference Arendt. (http://radioopensource.org/hannah-arendt-and-the-banality-of-evil/)
- Is there something greater that leads to good and evil?
- Denounced due to her “Jewish self-hatred” and being anti-Zionist (https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-why-does-hannah-arendt-s-banality-of-evil-still-anger-israelis-1.7213979)
- Arendt thought to have “intentions” was to reflectively think about one’s own action as a political being in connection with others. (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/hannah-arendt-adolf-eichmann-banality-of-evil)
- Her book (pictured below) analyzes Nazism and Stalinism, the major totalitarian movements of the first half 20th century.
- Mass movements are vital to totalitarianism (https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/arendt-matters-revisiting-origins-totalitarianism/)
- Focus on tyranny and inhumane actions.
- Human dignity must be at the heart of all we do.
- a Nazi operative
- responsible for organizing the transportation of millions of Jews and others to various concentration camps in support of the Nazi’s Final Solution (https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil)
- Nazi Final Solution: referred to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews, bringing an end to policies aimed at encouraging or forcing Jews to leave the German Reich and other parts of Europe. (https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/final-solution-overview)
- Arendt found Eichmann to be an ordinary, bland bureaucrat who was ‘neither perverted nor sadistic’, but ‘terrifyingly normal’. (https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil)
- Eichmann was hanged by the State of Israel for his part of the Holocaust. (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Adolf-Eichmann)
- “Eichmann portrayed himself as an obedient bureaucrat who merely carried out his assigned duties. As for the charges against him, Eichmann maintained that he had not violated any law and that he was ‘the kind of man who cannot tell a lie.’ Denying responsibility for the mass killings, he said, ‘I couldn’t help myself; I had orders, but I had nothing to do with that business.'” (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Adolf-Eichmann)
“I didn’t look inside; I couldn’t. Couldn’t! What I saw and heard was enough. The screaming and…I was much too shaken and so on.”Stated after reflecting back on a gassing van in operation at Chelmno.
- Eichmann’s trail was one of the first to be televised in its entirety
- It gripped millions of people due to its emotional testimony and first-person views of the reality of the Holocaust.
- “At the trial, Eichmann presented the same deceptively normal facade he had kept up in Argentina—an image of a meek bureaucrat who simply followed orders. That image caused political theorist Hannah Arendt to coin the term ‘the banality of evil,’ arguing that Eichmann was not a psychopath, but a normal human.” (https://www.history.com/news/adolf-eichmann-nazi-capture-holocaust-trial-mossad)