Eichmann in Jerusalem book cover. Arendt’s the human condition arendt pdf famously introduced the phrase “the banality of evil,” which also serves as the final words of the book.
Eichmann’s formulation, the legislator was Hitler. Eichmann’s inability to think for himself was exemplified by his consistent use of “stock phrases and self-invented clichés”. Eichmann was a “joiner” his entire life, in that he constantly joined organizations in order to define himself, and had difficulties thinking for himself without doing so. Despite his claims, Eichmann was not, in fact, very intelligent. Arendt noted that, during both his SS career and Jerusalem trial, Eichmann tried to cover up his lack of skills and education, and even “blushed” when these facts came to light. This parallels his overestimation of his own intelligence and his past value in the organizations in which he had served, as stated above. Humanly speaking, no more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation.
Reich cracked down and decided to do the job itself it found that its own personnel in Denmark had been infected by this and were unable to overcome their human aversion with the appropriate ruthlessness, as their peers in more cooperative areas had. Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a “monster,” but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. Beyond her discussion of Eichmann himself, Arendt discusses several additional aspects of the trial, its context, and the Holocaust. Israel, an illegal act, and that he was tried in Israel even though he was not accused of committing any crimes there. If he had not been found guilty before he appeared in Jerusalem, guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, the Israelis would never have dared, or wanted, to kidnap him in formal violation of Argentine law. Ben-Gurion wanted, for several political reasons, to emphasize not primarily what Eichmann had done, but what the Jews had suffered during the Holocaust.