The Eichmann Trial

The Eichmann Trial

by Deborah E. Lipstadt
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The Eichmann Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt


Part of the Jewish Encounter series

The capture of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina in May of 1960 and his subsequent trial in Jerusalem by an Israeli court electrified the world. The public debate it sparked on where, how, and by whom Nazi war criminals should be brought to justice, and the international media coverage of the trial itself, was a watershed moment in how the civilized world in general and Holocaust survivors in particular found the means to deal with the legacy of genocide on a scale that had never been seen before.
Award-winning historian Deborah E. Lipstadt gives us an overview of the trial and analyzes the dramatic effect that the survivors’ courtroom testimony—which was itself not without controversy—had on a world that had until then regularly commemorated the Holocaust but never fully understood what the millions who died and the hundreds of thousands who managed to survive had actually experienced.
As the world continues to confront the ongoing reality of genocide and ponder the fate of those who survive it, this trial of the century, which has become a touchstone for judicial proceedings throughout the world, offers a legal, moral, and political framework for coming to terms with unfathomable evil. Lipstadt infuses a gripping narrative with historical perspective and contemporary urgency.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805242607
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/15/2011
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 566,453
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (a National Jewish Book Award winner); Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory; and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933–1945. She lives in Atlanta.

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The Eichmann Trial 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
TonyHausner More than 1 year ago
April 11, 2011 is the 50th anniversary of the start of the trial of Adolph Eichmann, the event that brought the full significance of the Holocaust to the world's attention. Historian Deborah Lipstadt has just written a vital account of the trial of Eichmann, the SS officer who managed the logistics of setting up death camps and transporting Jews to them. In "The Eichmann Trial," Lipstadt makes the point that it was the volume of witnesses who testified that finally put a face on the horror of the Final Solution. Even though many who testified were not directly affected by Eichmann's cruelty, their eyewitness accounts of calamity and destruction were riveting. They ensured that the unspeakable tragedy did, in fact, have a voice. In contrast, Lipstadt notes, the Nuremberg trials just after the close of World War II were chiefly examinations of documents. The most poignant moment of those trials was the use of film of emaciated survivors taken by liberators of the concentration camps. The decision by Gideon Hausner to call a multitude of witnesses was a risk. Lipstadt writes that it was a questionable legal strategy and that Eichmann's judges questioned the relevance. But the personal narratives won out. The testimony "would transform the trial from an important war-crimes trial into an event that would have enduring significance," Lipstadt said. "It would give a voice to the victims that they had not had before." The Eichmann trial was one of the first times the world heard that many Jews actively fought German tyranny. Witnesses recalled the Warsaw ghetto uprisings, fierce and brave resistance ultimately crushed by the Nazis who leveled the area with tanks and heavy artillery. This challenged a prevailing view of passivity in the face of the German regime's power. The trial was significant in showing that the Holocaust was unique and was not just another example of anti-Semitism throughout world history. The enormity of the testimony proved the Holocaust "was an unprecedented crime....No one had ever tried to wipe out an entire people and then erase any vestige either of them or the crime," Lipstadt wrote. The trial's location also was key. The Eichmann trial was the first of the Holocaust aftermath to be held in Israel. It became a national obsession, with citizens glued to radios for hours listening to the proceedings. Although Hausner was opposed to the death penalty and later supported the banning of capital punishment from Israeli law, he made an exception in Eichmann's case. Fifty years ago, the Eichmann trial played an essential role in convincing the world of the truth of genocide. Although it strains credulity that deniers continue to exist, the dismissive statements of some world leaders in Iran and elsewhere show that attention must be paid to eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust. "The Eichmann Trial," as well as a video of the trial produced by the Public Broadcasting System in 1997 are needed antidotes to the resilience of misinformation that pollutes truth. See an excellent review in new york times book review section on 420111 and see Times Argus 33011 for a more complete version of my review.
Selvatico More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended overview of how and why Eichmann was located, captured and returned to Israel for trial. Revealing as to why other nations shirked their consciences as far as the monsters in their midst.
Dr-Boyd More than 1 year ago
Lipstadt's central argument is that it was the Eichmann trial that made survivors' testimony a privileged form of discourse about the Holocaust, so it's fitting that this book contains so much of her own personal "testimony" about her own experiences as a Holocaust scholar. But readers should be prepared for reflective and even speculative tangents occasionally, mixed in with top-drawer historical scholarship.
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