EICHMANN BEFORE JERUSALEMBETTINA STANGNETH Book Number: 87248 Product format: Paperback
In 1962 Adolf Eichmann was convicted and hanged in Jerusalem for crimes against humanity. After his career as a manager of the Holocaust he had escaped to Argentina, but was finally captured and taken to Jerusalem by a team of Israeli Mossad commandos. At his trial Eichmann's defence was that he was obeying orders, and observers commented on the ordinariness of his appearance, leading Hannah Arendt to coin the expression "the banality of evil" in her book about Eichmann. In this groundbreaking study, Bettina Stangneth challenges Arendt and argues that Eichmann knew what he was doing and gloried in it. Stangneth draws on evidence from the taped 1960 interviews with the Nazi journalist William Sassen which only came to light in 1979, together with Eichmann's own diaries and notes on which he worked continuously during his Argentinian exile. Presenting himself as a homely rabbit farmer and lover of country pursuits, Eichmann adopted a mask in which he could claim that his role in the Holocaust had been instrumental. But the nicknames that were bestowed on him in the war and by his colleagues at the Nuremberg trials told a different story: Caligula, Engineer of the Jewish Genocide, the Final Solutionist. Stangneth shows that in Argentina Eichmann was at the centre of a group of expatriate Nazis, among them Ludolf von Alvensleben, no. 147 in the SS and the highest-ranking Nazi in Argentina, who continued to exchange the views that had sustained them in office. The story is brilliantly and readably told. 579pp, paperback.
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