Eichmann vor JerusalemDas unbehelligte Leben eines Massenmörders review ç 3


10 thoughts on “Eichmann vor JerusalemDas unbehelligte Leben eines Massenmörders

  1. says:

    I read a lot of WW2 history and as is probably going to be the case with most people who tackle this book approached this work being familiar with Hannah Arendt's writing on the subject and in particular the phrase banality of evil Eichmann as a cog in a big machine a faceless bureaucrat shifting around people with the same detachment you'd expect him to ship around any form of cargo Eichmann not driven by hate or dogma Eichmann the civil servant the back office guy keeping his head down and doing his job Evil rendered banalThis excellent book demolishes that It shows that Eichmann was in fact manipulative self serving as ideological as driven by hatred as the men he worked with both during and after the war A man riven by a conflict between his pride his need to cling on to a status earned during the years of the holocaust on one hand and the need to lay low in South America after the war I had always known the story of his abduction by Mossad and his trial in Jerusalem and naturally had assumed that this had been a case of a long manhunt of a man who had taken huge care to cover his tracks a man who stuck to his new identity in order to keep the past at bay It turns out that this wasn't the caseEichmann was at times remarkably open about his true identity Comfortable in his circle of fellow believers a circle which allowed him to cling on to some semblance of prestige of rank the number of people who knew who he really was and what he had done was remarkable His case is an interesting contrast with Mengele who was by comparison obsessive about the need to lay low Mengele lived till 1979 and even then died in an accident whereas Eichmann went to the gallows in 1962The degree to which fugitive Nazis were able to feel comfortable in Argentina is remarkable Even after their protector Peron fell from power this continued These are things we have known for years but Stangneth makes it shockingly clear how lethargic the West German government agencies themselves the post war homes of many men with highly uestionable wartime CVs were both at home and abroad in their pursuit of war criminals Eichmann could have been brought to justice the best part of a decade earlier had there been the slightest inclination amongst those who held the information to do something about itThis is an excellent extremely scholarly book It is amongst the best researched books I have read in a long time I read it on the Kindle and was surprised when the book ended showing I was on 51% the remaining 49% consisting of footnotes and references which gives you an idea of how meticulously researched it wasIf you are thinking about reading it and only have a casual interest in the subject you might want to flick through a copy first An easy read it is not A rewarding one very much soIn so much as we still care about subjects like this in the modern world and we should this is a very important book both for the insight it gives into Eichmann as well as the light it casts on the post war reaction to those who committed such horrible crimes


  2. says:

    Bettina Strangneth new book EICHMANN BEFORE JERUSALEM THE UNEXAMINED LIFE OF A MASS MURDERER offers a major reassessment of how we should interpret the life of the man whose work was integral to the extermination of six million Jews during World War II After his capture by the Israeli Mossad in 1960 Adolf Eichmann tried to convince people that he was a small cog in the Nazi bureaucracy and that he was not a mass murderer He tried to present himself as a man who was always in the background during his Nazi career and was not involved in any major decision making In 1963 following the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem Hannah Arendt published her work EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM A REPORT ON THE BANALITY OF EVIL where she argued that her subject was nothing than a bureaucrat who performed his tasks as best as he could like a good civil servant who wanted to further his career He went to work each day and tried to meet the goals that his job demanded If his work involved “evil” that doesn’t take away from the fact that he was just carrying out what his superiors expected of him Arendt’s line of thinking was very controversial at the time and it went against the generally accepted idea that in fact Eichmann was guilty and was not an ordinary man who was turned into a thoughtless murderer by a totalitarian regime Following his escape after the war Eichmann claims to have been “an empty shell” an apolitical person who tried to enjoy a normal life with his family while before his capture by the Israelis and his trial in Jerusalem In the last few years documents have surfaced in several archives that contain “Eichmann’s own notes made in exile and they can be examined in conjunction with the taped and transcribed conversations known as the Sassen interviews” These materials about 1300 pages reflect that “not once during his escape and exile did Eichmann seek the shadows or try to act in secrecy He wanted to be visible in Argentina and he wanted to be viewed as he once had been as the symbol of a new age” xx Employing this perspective and making excellent use of the Sassen interviews also referred to as the Argentina papers Bettina Strangneth has written a fascinating book that disproves Arendt’s line of thinking and shows without a doubt that Eichmann was a major cog in the Nazi extermination apparatus and the persona he presented in Israel during his trial was nothing than an act to gain sympathy from his captors and as lenient a sentence as possibleStrangneth states from the outset that her goal is to uncover what was the “Eichmann phenomenon” how and why did it develop what people thought of him and when and how he reacted to what people thought and said about him Strangneth succeeds in unmasking Eichmann who throughout his career assumed different roles; as a subordinate a superior officer perpetrator fugitive exile and finally a defendant The only one of his roles that has become well known is that of a defendant at his trial in Jerusalem His intention was obvious to remain alive and justify his actions For Strangneth we must return to the period before Eichmann’s arrival in Jerusalem to see the real Eichmann The author effectively accomplishes her mission by examining a myriad of primary and secondary sources in a number of languages and she uses Eichmann’s own words that were taped and written as part of interviews conducted by Willem Sassen a Dutch Nazi collaborator and member of the SS journalist corps during the war and was the organizer and host for the interviews and discussions with Eichmann in 1957 Once the Argentina papers surfaced and Eichmann was brought to trial it created a number of problems for a West German state that sought a smooth transition to becoming a new nation free of its past In addition to officials in Bonn other Nazi officials who escaped after WWII former Nazis who were free and serving in the West German government and the Vatican prelates all feared what Eichmann might sayThe first section of the book “My Name Became a Symbol” focuses on Eichmann’s argument in Jerusalem that he was not an important figure in the Nazi regime and had little to do with the Holocaust Strangneth methodically refutes Eichmann’s arguments by examining his career from 1934 when he joined the Nazi Party through his successful escape from Europe by boarding the Giovanni C in Genoa’s harbor in June 1948 The author delineates Eichmann’s attempt to accumulate power as he worked his way up through the Nazi hierarchy and his success in making his name known and establishing relationships with key Nazi figures For example Reinhard Heydrich chief of Reich Main Security Office that included the Gestapo and SD and making himself an expert on the Jewish people and their religion The author traces Eichmann’s movements during the prewar period as he set up emigration offices in Berlin Vienna and Prague and the war itself as he employed his emigration transportation and organizational skills to implement the Final Solution Eichmann’s creation of excessive publicity around his own name is in sharp contrast to the “shadow” figure he presents in his jail cell in Israel The author ends the first section by determining the accuracy of the myths surrounding Eichmann’s escape from Europe and details how he arranged his travel and settlement in Buenos AiresIn 1953 he was able to bring his family to Buenos Aires and it was clear there was very little interest in pursuing Eichmann and bringing him to justice At the time Konrad Adenauer the West German Chancellor announced to the Bundestag “In my opinion we should call a halt to trying to sniff out Nazis”146 While in Buenos Aires Eichmann grew angry that many of his accomplices and colleagues used their relationship with him to obtain lighter sentences He wanted to defend his honor On his arrival in Argentina Eichmann had been taken in by the Durer group led by Willem Sasser and Eberhard Fritsch who published right wing magazines As Eichmann’s anger at former cohorts increased he wanted to set down his ideas in a book with the assistance of Sassen and Fritsch 1955 became a watershed year for Eichmann His personal circumstances changed as his wife Vera gave birth to their fourth son and he turned fifty years old In addition the Peron government that had assisted Nazi exiles since the end of the war was overthrown in a coup resulting in an unstable political situation that placed Nazi escapees in the dark as to their futures Other events became public during the course of the year that concerned those who sought a resurgence of National Socialism when Austria signed the Independence Treaty; military occupation of West Germany ended and it was allowed to join NATO and form its own military and represent its own interests abroad With Nazi exiles failing to influence West German elections and with Moscow releasing German POWs any hopes of a Nazi resurgence appeared dim at best Along with these events during 1955 the first major historical works and documentaries began appearing that described in intricate detail the role of “the Grand Inuisitor without magic Adolf Eichmann” 176 The wealth of information and documentation that included Nazi letterhead signatures and other evidence could not be dismissed as Jewish propaganda It began to dawn on many of the doubters in the German community in Argentina that Nazi denials about the Holocaust were lies This community led by Sasser Fritsch and others needed someone with knowledge of what really happened to refute the books articles and other media For them Eichmann was the answer and this project gave birth to the Sassen interviewsStangneth effectively argues that when Eichmann was in Argentina he did not live a solitary life and he talked about his career incessantly Sassen began to record Eichmann sometime around April 1957 as Eichmann wanted to correct the historical record that was being presented in the burgeoning Holocaust literature Eichmann’s writing in Argentina was prodigious and the Sassen transcripts would reach 1000 pages plus another 100 pages that Eichmann had written before the interviews began Strangneth spends a great deal of time analyzing Eichmann’s writing and convoluted logic as he saw himself as a victim of malicious defamation and misrepresentation For Eichmann he was the irrefutable witness as all the other leading Nazis were dead The Durer group obtained all the leading books and articles pertaining to the Final Solution and examined each book with a fine tooth comb This process allowed Eichmann to see what the rest of the world believed and he would use that knowledge to prepare his arguments to refute it This approach was very helpful when he was imprisoned in Israel as he had practiced the major arguments against his position for years Strangneth points out that he “presents us with his irrefutable truth in an accusatory tone with the self assurance of a demagogue” 215The author provides descriptions of the tapes that recorded Eichmann’s views and she speculates about dates and who was in attendance The author provides numerous verbatim comments by Eichmann; ie “The only good enemy of the Reich was a dead onewhen I received an order I always carried out this order with the executioner and I am proud of that to this day If I had not done this they would not have gone to the butcher” 267 Stangneth’s thoroughness is exceptional and through her analysis of the Sassen transcripts she provides insights into Eichmann’s thought process that culminates with his closing remarks where he confesses as to what was his real role in the Final Solution This is a far cry from the Eichmann in Jerusalem who presented himself as the “cautious bureaucrat”The Sassen papers developed a life of their own and Strangneth recounts in detail the road the papers take once Sassen learns of Eichmann’s abduction They seem to travel from Buenos Aires to Eichmann’s half brother Robert in Austria then to be stolen from his office Sassen sells part of the material to ¬Life and Stern magazines who publish excerpts from the material The most complete transcript fell into the hands of Polityka a Polish magazine but when published it did not create much interest The Israeli prosecution team in Jerusalem acuired a great deal of information but most of it was ruled as inadmissible in court because their copies were of such poor uality and the tapes that could have been used to show how disingenuous Eichmann’s testimony was were not in their possessionStrangneth brings her monograph to a close by examining the accuracy of books that were published after the trial that purported to use the Sassen documents and admonishes some for not living up to high academic standards something that she has done throughout her work EICHMANN BEFORE JERUSALEM can be somewhat dry in spots but overall it is an amazing study of a subject that needed clarification and it brings to the fore primary documents that will assist future historians One can only hope that documents that have not been released pertaining to the Sassen papers as well as documents held by the German government will soon be made available for historical research so we can obtain an even accurate picture of what the Nazis perpetrated throughout Europe during WWII


  3. says:

    Eichmann Before Jerusalem For the last 50 years we have looked at Adolf Eichmann through the prism of Hannah Arendt’s reporting for the New Yorker on his trial and later her book Eichmann in Jerusalem A Report on the Banality of Evil This was her examination of Eichmann as someone who was a bored bureaucrat who felt neither guilt or hatred That he was an obedient servant who was ignorant of what was happening to the Jews that he was nothing than a state flunky who operated from a desk unuestioning the regime and submissive to the dehumanisation of the Reich bureaucracy He book was controversial and has had a lasting effect so much so that has only recently been published in Israel for the first timeOne thing that cannot be denied is that Arendt’s book has held a lot of sway for the last 50 years on how we think of Eichmann and the Holocaust Bettina Stangneth’s book Eichmann Before Jerusalem The Unexamined Life Of A Mass Murderer looks to challenge previous misconceptions Stagneth has been able to use recently opened archives as well as the infamous Sassen Interviews which really shows what Eichmann thought and said while he was in ArgentinaBettina Stagneth through her well researched excellent and incisive argument has written a book that challenges the “banality of evil” with new evidence some of which has always been available but ignored; this is a fresh and informed reassessment of the Eichmann historical debate When talking about Eichmann not only will Arendt’s work be used but Stangneth’s work will be reuired reading for the debateBettina Stagneth through her book and her well written argument shows that Eichmann constructs a defence in Jerusalem is a reinvention of his persona something that when your life is on the line it is a throw of the dice Stagneth takes you through Eichmann the person from the beginning to the end and does not fall for the show he put on in Jerusalem to show that he was anything but a boring bureaucrat or technocrat that was just performing his job as ordered by the stateBy reconstructing Eichmann’s history Bettina Stagneth is able to demolish the long health myth that he was just a “small cog” and showing how evil and manipulative he really was That even when he has escaped the clutches of the allies he still held the view that Jews were evil and needed destroying Which is opposed to the picture of Eichmann set in the dock as a cautious bureaucrat and tried to hide his fanatical sideStagneth guides us through Eichmann’s life as the renowned Jewish expert in the SD machine and this was acknowledged in the newspapers in 1937 and 1938 by newspapers in London and Paris They name him and know that before he moved to Berlin he was based in the SD office in Vienna and it was from here that his infamy grew He was one that wanted the oxygen of publicity to feel important to the Reich and the growing power of the GestapoThrough the many documents that are available about Eichmann Bettina Stagneth reconstructs his life through the 1930s his war years and what he was doing again showing that his name was well known by German and Jew alike striking fear in to the Jewish communityWe are taken through his capture and his time as a POW and how he used a different name to hide who he really was and knew he need to escape if he were to survive We are also shown how previous SS colleagues and comrades helped to hide in plain sight under another assumed name even when the newspapers were reporting stories about him How with the aid of the rat runs he was able to a escape to Argentina via Genoa that he never met Bishop Hudal and how he was able to SS contacts to escapeStagneth also shows that with his new name in Argentina as Ricardo Klement he was able to move happily amongst fellow unrepentant Nazis How those unrepentant Nazis were able to help him find work use their contacts to keep his family informed and eventually bring his family to him even while they were under surveillance by those searching for himStagneth also highlights the fact that the West German Intelligence Service knew that Eichmann was in Argentina in 1952 and it was not until 1958 that the CIA found out via the dusty card references What we do know is that German Intelligence Service hand in keeping Eichmann where he was and the moral dilemma behind it until the papers are declassified Eichmann like many leading Nazis believed that history would eventually exonerate him and the Third Reich and went as far as drafting a letter in 1957 to the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer suggesting that he returns to Germany to stand trial so that he would get a light sentence and be able to return home Whether this was encouraged by the former Nazis in place in the German Foreign Affairs Office we will never know until the documents are declassifiedEichmann before Jerusalem is one of the most readable historical accounts of one person’s life and at last breaks down the myths that grew around him Bettina Stagneth shows how he signed pictures of himself for his friends showing his former rank This book is one of the most meticulously researched books that has not been blown off course by what has been written before This book proves the case for Eichmann’s guilt and shows what he did and how he tried to mask it if you have done nothing wrong you do not need to hideBettina Stagneth breaks the Hannah Arendt’s myth on the “banality of evil” and lays out the case to show without doubt that he was guilty as charged Stagneth shows that Eichmann knew exactly what he was doing before during and after the war and he was than a bureaucrat but the author of his own downfall I cannot recommend this book highly enough one of the best history books I have read this year


  4. says:

    Eichmann’s Extraordinary Evil Review of Eichmann Before Jerusalem by Bettina StangnethIn Eichmann Before Jerusalem The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer New York Random House 2014 Bettina Stangneth challenges Hannah Arendt’s hypothesis that Eichmann represents the banality of evil an ordinary man turned mass murder by extraordinary circumstances the war and the rise of Nazi totalitarianism The image of Eichmann that emerges from Stangneth’s book is one of a charming chameleon that deceives others about his intentions and his credentials Without knowing than a few words of Yiddish and having no knowledge of Hebrew Eichmann relied upon the smattering of Jewish culture he got by spying on Jewish leaders to climb the political ladder and obtain an official function as Head of Department of Jewish Affairs in the SD Security Service of the Nazi Party Although most of the time he gave the impression of being calm and reserved he would fly off into an ideological rage—similar to Hitler’s whenever his objectives were frustrated or when it served his purposes such as to intimidate Jewish leaders into complying with his orders As if with the flip of a switch however Eichmann could instantly revert to being courteous and collected for instance when a German woman would step into one of the ideological meeting His emotions like his attachments were shallow Although he remained “loyal” to his wife Veronika Liebl he cheated on her and dominated her At one point he boasted that he tore up the Bible of his highly religious wife though eventually he allowed her to practice Christianity Their dominance bond was uite strong however since Vera patiently and faithfully waited for years while her husband lived in hiding after the war and eventually joined him in Argentina where he managed to escape justice for eleven years The picture that emerges from Stangneth’s book is not that of an ordinary man corrupted by power in a totalitarian regime—as Arendt famously indicates in Eichmann in Jerusalem A report on the banality of evil but that of a psychopath a highly narcissistic man without remorse without conscience and without the capacity for forming deeper human attachments Hungry for power Eichmann unscrupulously adapts himself to the norms of the Nazi regime even anticipating Hitler’s wishes to implement a program of exterminating the Jews after the German invasion of Russia in 1941 War enabled the Nazis to carry out what couldn’t be achieved during peacetime a systematic genocide of unprecedented proportions carried out at least in the Eastern campaign openly and often with the collaboration of the local populations Eichmann became responsible for the mass deportations of nearly 6 million Jews to concentration camps where most victims were sent to the gas chambers Far from merely following orders—as he later stated during his defense in the trial in Jerusalem—Eichmann showed great enthusiasm and initiative for mass murder In 1944 when even Himmler had begun to reverse course and issued an order to stop the Jewish deportations Eichmann went to Hungary to personally oversee the deportation and extermination of the Hungarian Jews With astonishing efficiency in a few months Eichmann managed to send 437000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz where about 80 percent were killed on the spot and most of the rest died afterwards from hunger abuse or disease Only the heroic actions of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg prevented him from sending all of the Jews of Budapest to their deaths Interestingly like most psychopaths Eichmann was a bully only with those in a position of weakness When Wallenberg confronted him face to face and stopped the deportation of hundreds of Jews Eichmann didn’t do anything to stop him Only afterwards behind his back he railed against the Wallenberg calling him “a Jewish dog” and “an interventionist” Turning moral norms upside down Eichmann felt that all those who expedited genocide were courageous heroes and those who fought against it were cowards and weaklings Although highly manipulative and versatile Eichmann remained to the very end a man without conscience After the war he even expressed great pride in his genocidal actions stating that he would “leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction” He may have boasted about his actions but like most psychopaths Eichmann didn’t want to have to pay their conseuences After Germany’s defeat in 1945 he fled to Austria and later in 1950 to Argentina There he joined a community of Nazi expatriates Far from leading a uiet anonymous life this mass murderer longed for his former glory and power In fact Eichmann even planned to write a book based on a series of interviews with Willem Sassen a Dutch collaborator and Nazi journalist also hiding in Argentina that would not only leave his Nazi legacy for posterity but also he hoped instigate a second coming of the Third Reich during his lifetime Perhaps it was this psychopath’s extraordinary hubris that finally did him in Eventually the Mossad Israel’s Intelligence Service caught up with him in 1960 and brought him to Jerusalem to stand trial He was charged among other things with war crimes crimes against humanity and crimes against the Jewish people The jury found Eichmann guilty on all counts He was executed by hanging on May 31 1962 Perhaps no book on the subject can compete in its influence with Eichmann in Jerusalem but in one significant respect I found Bettina Stangneth’s account far accurate than Arendt’s Eichmann’s evil was anything but banal Claudia MoscoviciHolocaust Memory


  5. says:

    There have been many books about Eichmann’s trial and conviction in Israel for the murder of six million Jews And there have been books about Eichmann while he was the architect Nazi genocide But few authors have focused primarily upon Eichmann’s escape from an Allied POW camp his uiet life in Northern Germany and years later his life with his family in Argentina before he was captured by the Mossad To accomplish this author Stangneth must examine thousands of wide ranging documents and anecdotal sources many of which had not yet become available to researchers or the public She extracts and examines evidence from new sources as well including Eichmann’s own words about his culpability in the Nazi genocide This is the essence of Eichmann Before Jerusalem; a profoundly well researched and authoritative work of scholarship It is also surprisingly engaging for a work of erudite purpose Eichmann Before Jerusalem is a powerful and exceptionally well researched dissertation revealing the years in which Eichmann had escaped from Allied confinement and then joined with other like minded Nazis in Argentina where he and his colleagues were protected by the government from extradition One of the key themes of this book is Eichmann’s culpability in the industrial scale extermination of millions of men women and children Stangneth produces ample empirical evidence that Eichmann enjoyed his role as the eradicator of Jews He was proud of it in the “Sassen Tapes” where Eichmann expresses regret for not having had the time to exterminate all nine million European Jews This does not coincide with the “banality of evil” described by Hannah Arendt Here we see that Eichmann is no mild mannered clerk following orders He relishes in improving efficiencies of scale in the industrial process of killing Jews Eichmann’s responsibly was to make all of Europe Judenrein without Jews He might well have been following orders But he also helped create orders and through this book we see that he enjoyed improving the process of murdering Jews rapidly Stangneth proffers a comprehensive and noteworthy level of research on Eichmann’s life as a POW under the Allies in 1945 his escape to a farm in Northern Germany and later to his life in Argentina under the Peron administration where escaped German war criminals were treated as valued guests Willem Sassen an Austrian journalist living in Argentina recorded extensive meetings of Nazi leaders who successfully fled Europe and prosecution including Eichmann who had escaped from the Allies This later became known as “The Sassen Papers” These “Nazis in absentia” desired to revive the creed of Nazi Germany and to build a better world based upon their reactionary political philosophy Within the hundreds of hours of recorded voices and from handwritten notes by Eichmann himself we view their goal – a world without Jews and a fascist state in which these former Nazis could thrive and prosper as well as pass along Nazi “virtues” to their genetically similar progeny Stangneth shows with detailed references that we cannot be fooled into thinking of Eichmann as a simple clerk in the Nazi system following orders from Himmler and Hitler to murder Jews She delivers details from the Sassen papers and beyond that prove Eichmann was not only encouraged by his responsibility but that he had a powerful desire to complete the job worldwide Stangneth’s meticulous research and evocative writing style make this book a masterpiece Her references alone constitute than 150 pages in this 620 page galley proof Yet the book is completely readable by anyone with an interest in Nazi Germany or Eichmann However reading a very detailed and lengthy non fiction book is at times an onerous effort particularly for visual learners The addition of maps pictures diagrams and other visual tools would enhance readability Stangneth’s meticulous research driving purpose and powerful writing enable us to observe the master of genocide as he escapes prosecution and enjoys recording conversations with like minded Nazis in absentia Yet in the end Eichmann’s profound urge to be seen admired and valued as a hero gave him a false confidence in how he would be viewed in a trial and how little time he might have to serve in prison for his nefarious past Anyone with an interest in history WWII Nazis Eichmann the Holocaust genocide or the escape of many powerful Nazis to South America will find this book an amazing collection of old and new details Stangneth has sourced through tens of thousands of documents and countless hours of recordings to produce this empirical book about Eichmann’s escape and his life in Argentina Reviewer Charles S Weinblatt is a retired university administrator and the author of published fiction and non fiction including the popular Holocaust novel Jacob’s Courage


  6. says:

    This book was truly remarkable for me It was a page turner even Great translator great writing The author had unearthed a lot of information that was only recently available and only to be found by someone who knew exactly what to look for Another reader mentioned that it would probably help if the reader was familiar with the Eichmann story beforehand and this is likely true I had read Hannah Arendt's book for which she took so much guff and pain and dismissal and was sincerely hoping that Stangneth was not going to fight her and indeed she did not Hannah could only work with the info she had which was very limited Her philosophy background led her to use pure logic on the Eichmann case which made him out to be an ordinary dullard Anyway if you have an interest in the details I plan to read The House on Giribaldi Street next to learn about Eichmann's capture surrounding the trial this book is very illuminating One thing in the Afterward Stangneth points out how much information Germany has that it will not release for fear ofthe usual So if you think the story is over it still is not


  7. says:

    Incredible insight in the Argentinian years of Eichmann of his character and of how several nazi's got to escape and stay 'hidden' However too many unneccesary details make this book sometimes frustrating and boring to read Half the pages that limit the content to what is vital for your understanding would have made this book a powerful read


  8. says:

    It's a fascinating book in many ways but if it's meant to refute H Arendt's book then it didn't uite achieve its goal Nonetheless it's a meticulous portrait of a truly horrible human being


  9. says:

    I feel bad about giving this book a relatively low rating because in many ways it’s an impressive achievement in Nazi and World War II studies But alas the Goodreads rating system is geared toward personal impressions Simply put Bettina Stangneth’s “Eichmann Before Jerusalem The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer” is not for beginners It presupposes knowledge of Eichmann both what he did and what happened to him Case in point EBJ is essentially a rebuttal to the immensely influential “Eichmann in Jerusalem A Report on the Banality of Evil” 1963 Even the “Unexamined” in the subtitle of Stangneth’s book comes off as a passive aggressive swipe Because of this minutiae is analyzed to a dizzying extent eg Stangneth donates much of the book to the “Sassen interviews” So if you don’t know right offhand what those are that’s a sign that EBJ may be a slog What’s frustrating about all this is that the story of Otto Adolph Eichmann is one of the most fascinating of World War II not to mention satisfying And that’s the thing because Stangneth assumes the reader already knows about Eichmann’s life and times she glosses over the good parts instead focusing on relatively uninteresting topics ad nauseam Of course it’s not all bad The book does yield some interesting information including exactly how Argentina became the de facto retirement community for Third Reichers And EBJ is the product of much thought and research keep in mind that the author’s literally a philosopher yet the target audience for this book is those who have already read extensively about the Nazis like possibly 50 books or


  10. says:

    Review by Jack Fischel for the Jewish Book Council


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Eichmann vor JerusalemDas unbehelligte Leben eines Massenmörders

summary Ö eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Bettina Stangneth

A total and groundbreaking reassessment of the life of Adolf Eichmann a superb work of scholarship that reveals his activities and notoriety among a global network of National Socialists following the collapse of the Third Reich and that permanently challenges Hannah Arendt’s notion of the “banality of evil” Smuggled out of Europe after the collapse of Germany Eichmann managed to live a peaceful and active exile in Argentina for years before his capture by the Mossad Though once widely known by nicknames such as “Manager of the Holocaust” in 1961 he was able to portray himself from the defendant’s box in Jer Eichmann Before Jerusalem For the last 50 years we have looked at Adolf Eichmann through the prism of Hannah Arendt’s reporting for the New Yorker on his trial and later her book Eichmann in Jerusalem A Report on the Banality of Evil This was her examination of Eichmann as someone who was a bored bureaucrat who felt neither guilt or hatred That he was an obedient servant who was ignorant of what was happening to the Jews that he was nothing than a state flunky who operated from a desk unuestioning the regime and submissive to the dehumanisation of the Reich bureaucracy He book was controversial and has had a lasting effect so much so that has only recently been published in Israel for the first timeOne thing that cannot be denied is that Arendt’s book has held a lot of sway for the last 50 years on how we think of Eichmann and the Holocaust Bettina Stangneth’s book Eichmann Before Jerusalem The Unexamined Life Of A Mass Murderer looks to challenge previous misconceptions Stagneth has been able to use recently opened archives as well as the infamous Sassen Interviews which really shows what Eichmann thought and said while he was in ArgentinaBettina Stagneth through her well researched excellent and incisive argument has written a book that challenges the “banality of evil” with new evidence some of which has always been available but ignored; this is a fresh and informed reassessment of the Eichmann historical debate When talking about Eichmann not only will Arendt’s work be used but Stangneth’s work will be reuired reading for the debateBettina Stagneth through her book and her well written argument shows that Eichmann constructs a defence in Jerusalem is a reinvention of his persona something that when your life is on the line it is a throw of the dice Stagneth takes you through Eichmann the person from the beginning to the end and does not fall for the show he put on in Jerusalem to show that he was anything but a boring bureaucrat or technocrat that was just performing his job as ordered by the stateBy reconstructing Eichmann’s history Bettina Stagneth is able to demolish the long health myth that he was just a “small cog” and showing how evil and manipulative he really was That even when he has escaped the clutches of the allies he still held the view that Jews were evil and needed destroying Which is opposed to the picture of Eichmann set in the dock as a cautious bureaucrat and tried to hide his fanatical sideStagneth guides us through Eichmann’s life as the renowned Jewish expert in the SD machine and this was acknowledged in the newspapers in 1937 and 1938 by newspapers in London and Paris They name him and know that before he moved to Berlin he was based in the SD office in Vienna and it was from here that his infamy grew He was one that wanted the oxygen of publicity to feel important to the Reich and the growing power of the GestapoThrough the many documents that are available about Eichmann Bettina Stagneth reconstructs his life through the 1930s his war years and what he was doing again showing that his name was well known by German and Jew alike striking fear in to the Jewish communityWe are taken through his capture and his time as a POW and how he used a different name to hide who he really was and knew he need to escape if he were to survive We are also shown how previous SS colleagues and comrades helped to hide in plain sight under another assumed name even when the newspapers were reporting stories about him How with the aid of the rat runs he was able to a escape to Argentina via Genoa that he never met Bishop Hudal and how he was able to SS contacts to escapeStagneth also shows that with his new name in Argentina

review Eichmann vor JerusalemDas unbehelligte Leben eines Massenmörders

Usalem as an overworked bureaucrat following orders no he said than “just a small cog in Adolf Hitler’s extermination machine” How was this carefully crafted obfuscation possible How did a central architect of the Final Solution manage to disappear And what had he done with his time while in hiding Bettina Stangneth the first to comprehensively analyze than 1300 pages of Eichmann’s own recently discovered written notes as well as seventy three extensive audio reel recordings of a crowded Nazi salon held weekly during the 1950s in a popular district of Buenos Aires draws a chilling portrait not of a reclusive ta This book was truly remarkable for me It was a page turner even Great translator great writing The author had unearthed a lot of information that was only recently available and only to be found by someone who knew exactly what to look for Another reader mentioned that it would probably help if the reader was familiar with the Eichmann story beforehand and this is likely true I had read Hannah Arendt's book for which she took so much guff and pain and dismissal and was sincerely hoping that Stangneth was not going to fight her and indeed she did not Hannah could only work with the info she had which was very limited Her philosophy background led her to use pure logic on the Eichmann case which made him out to be an ordinary dullard Anyway if you have an interest in the details I plan to read The House on Giribaldi Street next to learn about Eichmann's capture surrounding the trial this book is very illuminating One thing in the Afterward Stangneth points out how much information Germany has that it will not release for fear ofthe usual So if you think the story is over it still is not

summary Ö eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Bettina Stangneth

Citurn war criminal on the run but of a highly skilled social manipulator with an inexhaustible ability to reinvent himself  an unrepentant murderer eager for acolytes with whom to discuss past glories while vigorously planning future goals with other like minded fugitives A work that continues to garner immense international attention and acclaim Eichmann Before Jerusalem maps out the astonishing links between innumerable past Nazis from ace Luftwaffe pilots to SS henchmen both in exile and in Germany and reconstructs in detail the postwar life of one of the Holocaust’s principal organizers as no other book has done Incredible insight in the Argentinian years of Eichmann of his character and of how several nazi's got to escape and stay 'hidden' However too many unneccesary details make this book sometimes frustrating and boring to read Half the pages that limit the content to what is vital for your understanding would have made this book a powerful read

  • Hardcover
  • 608
  • Eichmann vor JerusalemDas unbehelligte Leben eines Massenmörders
  • Bettina Stangneth
  • en
  • 02 September 2017
  • 9780307959676