Unit 3 Assignment 1 by Grace Gardella

Hannah Arendt

Born 1906 in Germany, died 1944 in New York

Political scientist and philosopher

Born in Germany, moved to Paris, fled to the United States


The Origins of Totalitarianism

Written by Arendt (published 1951)

Analyzes Nazi/Stalinist regimes and works to understand the causes of totalitarianism


Totalitarianism definition: a form of government that limits individual freedoms and gives power/authority to the state


Arendt’s definition of totalitarianism: the “outcome of disintegration of the traditional nation-state”


“Banality of Evil”

Can be understood as “insight into the commonplace motives of perpetrators of evil”

Revolutionary idea: individual humans responsible for acts of evil are “mundane”, not “demonic”

However, Arendt is not trying to understate the tragedy of the Holocaust


Eichmann in Jerusalem

Report published in 1963 by Arendt

1961- attends trial of Eichman as a reporter working for The New Yorker https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/

Critics thought that Arendt’s report on Eichmann was too lenient


Adolf Eichmann

Nazi war criminal

Organized/led deportation of Jews to be killed at concentration camps

Trial was in Israel. Found guilty in 1961.

Hanged in 1962


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