The Thinker and the Specialist (Paperback)
Hannah Arendt and the Eichmann Trial
In 1963, Hanna Arendt published Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. This volume provoked a strong reaction throughout the Jewish community. The accusations that would arise involved Arendt’s portrayal of Eichmann, her analysis of the Jewish Council’s role, as well as her evaluation of the trial, judicial questions, political scopes and ethical aspects. By reconstructing this painful event that involves friendships and affection, the author analyses Arendt’s position with regard to questions of guilt, Law, collective justice and jurisdiction for crimes against humanity. Alongside this, he enquires into the ‘ambiguity’ of an institution like the Jewish Council and other central categories of Arendtian speculation, such as the incapacity to think and the ‘banality’ of evil.