A Report Of The Banality Of Evil Essay example

951 Words Nov 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Hannah Arendt is German Jew who emigrated to the United States. Arendt became a reporter for The New Yorker who covered the Eichmann trial in 1961. It was originally her idea to attend the trial and she felt that “she owed it to herself as a social critic, displaced person, witness and survivor” (Arendt xi) to be present for it. The articles that she wrote pertaining to the trial she eventually made into a book.
The thesis of Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report of the Banality of Evil is highlighted in the subtitle of the book, as Amos Elon mentioned; the banality of evil. Arendt, ahead of her time, figures out that Eichmann is incapable of thinking, “thoughtless” even, but he is a diligent worker who follows orders and looks out for his own personal advancement and is efficient at whatever his job is, not a monster or demon that the trial makes him out to be. Arendt understands that ordinary people can commit great acts of evil. Eichmann looks just like everyone else and Arendt notes this say that “the trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal” (Arendt 276). However, he is still responsible for sending millions of Jews to their deaths. Eichmann, on the other hand thinks that he did nothing wrong and finds himself not guilty and with a clear conscious with him having always been “a law-abiding citizen who also acted upon orders” (Arendt…

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