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Eichmann in Jerusalem​, Hannah Arendt

"What he had done was a crime only in retrospect, and he had always been a law-abiding citizen, because Hitler's orders, which had had certainly executed to the best of his ability, had possessed "the force of law" in the Third Reich."


"Thus, the trial never became a play, but the show Ben-Gurion had had in mind to begin with did take place, or, rather, the "lessons" he thought should be taught to Jews and Gentiles, to Israelis and Arabs, in short, to the whole world." p. 9

"When he said in the police examination that he would have sent his own father to his death if that had been required, he did not mean merely to stress the extent to which he was under orders, and ready to obey them; he also meant to show what an "idealist" he had always been. The perfect "idealist," like everybody else, had of course his personal feelings and emotions, but he would never permit them to interfere with his actions if they came into conflict with his "idea."" p. 42

"This "objective" attitude-talking about concentration camps in terms of "administration" and about extermination camps in terms of "economy"-was typical of the S.S. mentality, and something Eichmann, at the trial, was still very proud of." p. 69

"So that instead of saying: What horrible things I did to people!, the murderers would be able to say: What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders!" p. 106

"He did his duty, as he told the police and the court over and over again; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law." p. 135

"Then came Eichmann's last statement: His hopes for justice were disappointed; the court had not believed him, though he had always done his best to tell the truth. The court did not understand him: he had never been a Jew-hater, and he had never willed the murder of human beings. His guilt came from his obedience, and obedience is praised as a virtue." p. 247

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