Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

(1680 words)
  • Ruth Starkman (University of San Francisco)

German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt began her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963) as a journalistic venture for The New Yorker in 1963. Little did she suspect her reports of the trial of Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962), the notorious and self-described “architect of the Final Solution”, were quickly to become a highly controversial book, and to remain indeed her most famous, but not her best understood work. The book's title alone produced mountains of literature. Critics took issue with the phrase “the banality of evil”, and demanded clarification whether Arendt meant the Holocaust was banal, or that Eichmann himself lacked depth or whether she simply thought the …

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Starkman, Ruth. "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 August 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5427, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Holocaust Literature