Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann: An Eyewitness Account

Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann: An Eyewitness Account

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University of Pennsylvania Press

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Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann: An Eyewitness Account

The trial of Adolf Eichmann began in 1961 under a deceptively simple label, "criminal case 40/61." Hannah Arendt covered the trial for the New Yorker magazine and recorded her observations in Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of Evil. Harry Mulisch was also assigned to cover the trial for a Dutch news weekly. Arendt would later say in her book's preface that Mulisch was one of the few people who shared her views on the character of Eichmann. At the time, Mulisch was a young and little-known writer; in the years since he has since emerged as an author of major international importance, celebrated for such novels as The Assault and The Discovery of Heaven.

Mulisch modestly called his book on case 40/61 a report, and it is certainly that, as he gives firsthand accounts of the trial and its key players and scenes (the defendant's face strangely asymmetric and riddled by tics, his speech absurdly baroque). Eichmann's character comes out in his incessant bureaucratizing and calculating, as well as in his grandiose visions of himself as a Pontius Pilate-like innocent. As Mulisch intersperses his dispatches from Jerusalem with meditative accounts of a divided and ruined Berlin, an eerily rebuilt Warsaw, and a visit to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann becomes as a disturbing and highly personal essay on the Nazi extermination of European Jews and on the human capacity to commit evil ever more efficiently in an age of technological advancement.

Here presented with a foreword by Debórah Dwork and translated for the first time into English, Criminal Case 40/61 provides the reader with an unsettling portrait not only of Eichmann's character but also of technological precision and expertise. It is a landmark of Holocaust writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812238617
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 04/28/2005
Series: Personal Takes Series
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.78(w) x 8.76(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Debórah Dwork

1. Introduction
2. The Verdict and the Execution
3. The Two Faces of Eichmann
4. Biography of a German
5. Jerusalem Diary I
6. A Ruin in Berlin
7. The Horror and Its Depiction
8. The Horror and Its Origin
9. The Order as Fate
10. The Ideal of Psycho-Technology
11. Jerusalem Diary II
12. On Feelings of Guilt, Guilt, and Reality
13. On Common Sense, Christians, and Thomas Mann
14. A Consideration in Warsaw
15. A Museum in Oswiecim

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