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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Excerpted on author's behalf:

Adolf Eichmann's name has become synonymous with the Holocaust and the horrifying potential of seemingly regular individuals—the quality which Hannah Arendt referred to as the “banality of evil.” Despite never rising above the rank of Obersturmbannführer2 in the Schutzstaffel (SS), he held “more power at his command than any general in the German Army.” Who was Adolf Eichmann? What was his role in the extermination of the Jews? If he truly was just an ordinary man, what caused him to take part in such a terrible atrocity? Numerous historians and sociologists have attempted to answer this question, particularly since Eichmann’s spectacular trial in the early 1960s. How did Eichmann view his own actions, and how should people in the present and future remember the man?

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