Commonplace 12

At the trial, he never gave an inch when it came to this part of the story, although he agreed that today, when “times have changed so much,” the Jews might not be too happy to recall this “pulling together and he did not want “to hurt their feelings.” (Arendt 48)

 

Hannah Arendt in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem narrates the trial of Adolf Eichmann one of the most prominent figure of Nazism in WW2. He was the Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführe, he planned many of the atrocities and human rights violations the Nazi regime perpetrated in their 12 year Reich. Hannah Arendt was highly criticized due to the tone and the rhetoric used in this book.  Arendt spoke without any slant toward the Nazi official, she was highly impartial and did not portray the man as a monster. She was in pursuit of a more noble cause, explore the banality of evil. This exert caught my attention due to its irony. In this part of the book Arendt is describing the plan Eichmann tried to develop of granting a sovereign state to the Jewish populous far away from mutterland. Eichmann approved mass deportations and even affirmed it was good for the economy to take control over jewish businesses this way. So it results quite ironic that after committing those atrocities he would not talk about it to prevent “hurting the feelings” of the Jewish population. In this passage Arendt incorporates three quotes from Eichmann in his trial; is imperative to remark how the author skillfully constructs the sentence. Quoting those precise words of Eichmann enriches her argument and makes a strong point. I added a link of a fragment of Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.

 

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