The Eichmann case – Hannah Arendt and the legal controversies about the trial

Kristina Anshelm, Duvor, 2004.


Excerpts selected by the author of the newly released book

In what follows I will seek to address some of the legal issues raised by the judgment that remain poignant, relevant, and current. The starting point is always Hannah Arendt's reflections and her discussions with some of her chosen interlocutors, such as Karl Jaspers and Yosal Rogat, but also unplanned ones, such as Jacob Robinson, who acted as one of the three assistants of the prosecution and wrote a long book contrasting point by point Eichmann in Jerusalem.

In addition, I will make frequent use of court documents, prioritizing the transcripts of the trial sessions and also Eichmann's testimony to the Israeli police officer, given over several months before the start of the trial. I will also recurrently use Hannah Arendt's correspondence, unpublished or published, with various interlocutors.

I will prioritize discussions on: jurisdiction issues; the typification of the criminal and the crime; the notion of humanity involved in the “crime against humanity”; the controversy surrounding proper punishment and specifically the death penalty; the impact and legacy of the trial; the challenge of personal responsibility in a criminal system. I will often problematize Hannah Arendt's positions, but always inspired by her conviction that “if you say to yourself in such matters: who am I to judge? – you are already lost”.[I]

A show trial? A historic trial?

A decisive theme for Hannah Arendt's perception of the entire trial, even before it began, were her suspicions about Ben Gurion's intentions and about his presumed interventions in the conduct of the trial through the actions of attorney general Gideon Hausner. Yosal Rogat observed that Ben Gurion did not even seem to understand what was implied by the repeated question of why Eichmann should not be tried by an international court when he replied that “only anti-Semites or Jews with an inferiority complex could suggest that Israel needs the moral protection of a international court”.[ii]

Although Hannah Arendt understood and shared Rogat's criticism, she also considered that, for Israel, it was first of all unprecedented and even revolutionary that for the first time since the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70. C., the Jews could judge criminals who attacked their people.[iii] For Ben Gurion, it was still important to denounce anti-Semitism to the world and show the young people of Israel what happened – “the most tragic facts in our history, the most tragic facts in world history”: “I don't care if they want to know them ; they have to know them. They must learn the lesson that the Jews are not sheep to be slaughtered, but a people who can fight back, as the Jews did in the War of Independence.”[iv] For Hannah Arendt, there was no doubt that these positions defined the conception and purposes of the trial under the direct intervention of Ben Gurion.

In preparation for the trial, the question arose whether the whole story of the Final Solution would be told or just the parts in which Eichmann played a key role. An expanded conception of the trial ended up predominating, without any real concern with presenting Eichmann's direct responsibility for a good part of the reported events in the foreground. The aim was to give political, moral and international significance to the trial.[v]

Although this corresponded to the expectations of the survivors of the extermination and clearly to those of Gideon Hausner, it was something contested by the defense and not embraced by the 06 Bureau, the police investigation section specially assembled to prepare the documents for the trial, made up of experienced police officers, all of German origin and some survivors of the camps – the section rejected a dramatic and sentimental approach even when documenting the extermination of around one million and middle of children.[vi]

Another decisive issue, once the scope of the trial was defined, was the role of witnesses and the definition of who would be called to testify. At Nuremberg, virtually the entire process was conducted on the basis of documents, with scarce, often indirect, testimony.[vii] In Jerusalem, 111 witnesses were summoned, who reported in the first person their tribulations in countries, ghettos and camps, most of the reports without clear connection with specific actions by Eichmann. The fact is that, at Nuremberg, the victims did not have a voice, they were not given the opportunity to narrate their torments from their own perspective.[viii]

The interpretation, contrary to Hannah Arendt's indication that there had been a court of the victors in Jerusalem, was widely circulating that, if in Nuremberg the victors judged, now it was the victims who judged.[ix] It was precisely with regard to the role of witnesses that the difference in approach between the 06 Bureau and the prosecution became more evident. The police had reservations about giving live testimony at the trial, maintaining that testimony should be supported by documents and that documents carry greater probative weight than testimony.

The prosecution, in turn, centered its focus on the testimonies of the witnesses, who were selected for factors such as: “a good story to tell; representative of Holocaust survivors; coming from a specific location; or good verbal ability. There were some who were selected through personal, political or public pressure, while the choice of others was purely coincidental.”[X]

Hannah Arendt dedicated a brief chapter of Eichmann in Jerusalem, “Evidence and witnesses”, to these issues, and drew attention to the problematic nature of the selection of witnesses and the very conduct of the depositions, many of which without any relation that could be established with Eichmann's actions. She also emphasized the difficulty precisely of “telling a story”, also due to eventual confusions between imagined memories and events, due to their magnitude and the significant time elapsed from their occurrences.

She made fun of the testimony of the writer K-Zetnik – artistic name that designated as slang the concentration camp inmate –, author of books about the camps who started to connect Auschwitz with astrology and who would have fainted during the testimony “in response” to interruptions from District Attorney Hausner and Judge Landau. However, Hannah Arendt herself recognizes that, in addition to the legal problem of testimonies with no direct connection to the case, there were deeply revealing moments, such as the one mentioned by Anton Schmidt, a sergeant in the German army who was arrested and executed for helping Jewish guerrillas. Or the testimony of Zindel Grynszpan, a Polish Jew who had lived in Germany for 27 years and was expelled in 1938, having less than a day to return to Poland, with his life at risk, without being able to take anything of his own.[xi]

Hannah Arendt was able to follow Grynszpan's testimony live and had already been impressed by his “brilliant honesty”. In a letter to her husband Heinrich Blücher, she noted the following: “an old man, with a devout skullcap, very frank and direct. No gesticulation. Very impressive. I said to myself: even if the only result was that a simple person, who otherwise would never have had such an opportunity, had the chance to say what happened, publicly, in ten sentences and without pathos, then it would all have been worth it. pity".[xii]

In a letter to Mary McCarthy, already in the context of the controversy surrounding Eichmann in Jerusalem, she mentioned that one of the three points she would have changed her mind about Origins of totalitarianism it was precisely about the designation of the death camps as “wells of oblivion” (the other points would be the notion of radical evil and the role of ideology)[xiii], certainly because of the profound impact that some of the testimonies in Jerusalem had on her. And this is “a redemptive narrative, redeeming the memory of the dead, the defeated and the vanquished, making present to us once again their failed hopes, their untrodden paths and unfulfilled dreams”[xiv].

Em Eichmann in Jerusalem, taking into account precisely the parade of testimonies, she concluded that “the wells of oblivion do not exist. Nothing human is so perfect, and there are simply too many people in the world for forgetting to be possible. There is always someone left to tell the story.”[xv]. Jacob Robinson, who directly assisted in the choice of witnesses, operated under the premise that the function of testimony was rather to give life to events, “to support concepts that had gone through a process of trivialization and fossilization”[xvi].

Hausner's conception of judgment prevailed so decisively that the image bequeathed to posterity ended up merging with his own. Ben Gurion was initially apprehensive that Gideon Hausner was Attorney General and came to suspect that he was not up to the challenge. Hausner's opinion of himself was quite different: “Hausner considered himself the spokesman for the victims of destruction. He was so convinced of the historical nature of his role that, consciously or unconsciously, he appropriated the judgment. Extensive documentation proves this 'appropriation'. [In effect,] in his eyes, this was the judgment of the Holocaust, and he was the anointed spokesman for its victims, first self-appointed and then publicly appointed”[xvii]. Her appointment as spokesperson by the public was largely achieved by her repeated exposure on local radio and newspapers, but also on international television services.

Ben Gurion's initial reservations turned into close cooperation. Arendt could only suspect that he was the “stage director of the process”[xviii], but today there is abundant evidence that he personally revised Hausner's impactful opening speech and took care, for example, that the relations he sought to strengthen with Adenauer's Germany were not harmed by the identification of the Germany of the time with that of the period Nazi or by exposing the Nazi activities of Hans Globke, Adenauer's right-hand man. He also intervened to prevent mention of the circumstances of the annihilation of the Jews in Hungary, both with regard to the cooperation of the local Jewish leadership and the failure of the leadership in Palestine to forward the Nazi proposal to exchange goods for people.

This that Hannah Arendt could only hint at Eichmann in Jerusalem[xx], even in an emphatic tone, is now properly documented. In addition to Ben Gurion, Pinchas Rosen, a minister of justice known to Arendt who would later act directly in the campaign against Ben Gurion, also intervened directly in the trial. Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Golda Meir, then Minister of Foreign Affairs and later Prime Minister (she intervened specifically to assuage any negative implications for Allied nations and to emphasize Nazi ties with Arabs).[xx]

Hannah Arendt dedicated the first chapter of Eichmann in Jerusalem describing the court in which Eichmann was tried. With the title “The House of Justice”, which, in her analysis, acquires ironic connotations, she described what she considered a pathetic spectacle, carefully planned to achieve objectives other than that of judging whether the accused was guilty or innocent of what he told her. it was imputed. Already on the first page of the book, she complained about the quality of the simultaneous translation, which would be excellent in French, but “a comedy in German”, something that, according to her, could only be attributed to some illicit personal favoritism, considering the number of born in Germany living in Israel and the quality of the preparations for the trial.

This would be Hannah Arendt's tone throughout her account, sparing only the judges, whom she praised precisely for their conduct devoid of "theatrical trait"[xxx]. This would not apply to prosecutor Gideon Hausner, who, although he intended to be the victims' spokesman, was for Arendt more a puppet of Ben Gurion.

The spectacle character of the trial would exceed Gideon Hausner's conduct, in any case, but not Israel's conception of the trial. In the opening session of the trial there were more than 700 of the most distinguished journalists from the main press vehicles of numerous nations of the world. Several sensationalist biographies of Eichmann have been published[xxiii] and some of the news coverage had the same tone. In Jerusalem, the necessary arrangements were made for the event to have a worldwide reach, as intended by Ben Gurion.

As no court in Israel could handle the intended media coverage, a cultural center whose construction was being finalized was chosen for the trial. After indicating that whoever chose the venue for the trial “had in mind a complete theater, with its orchestra pit and its gallery, with proscenium and stage, and side doors for the actors to enter”, Hannah Arendt observes that it was certainly a suitable place “to the spectacle that David Ben Gurion had in mind”, “the stage director of the trial”, who “in court speaks for the voice of Gideon Hausner”, who “does what he can to obey his master”.[xxiii]

Hannah Arendt paid tribute to Gideon Hausner all the worst aspects that she recognized in the trial: the spectacular character; the exploitation of victims' suffering for “educational” purposes; the indefinite prolongation of all procedures with a view to reconstructing the suffering of the Jews; the insistence on exploring facts that had no direct connection with the actions of the accused; the incomprehension of the criminal for his conception as someone monstrous; the misunderstanding of the new crime against humanity due to its assimilation to aggressions and pogroms against the Jewish people who would refer to Pharaoh in Egypt[xxv] etc. While the judges would be at the service of justice – which “requires isolation, admits sadness more than anger, and asks for the most cautious abstinence from all the pleasures of being in the spotlight” – Hausner would be at the service of the spectacle of Ben Gurion's power, which allowed him to give interviews and appear on television profusely, publicly simulate indignation at the accused's lies, in addition to casting glances at the audience and displaying "the theatricality of a greater than normal vanity"[xxiv].

It was “the horrifying weight of the atrocities” that broke down the theatrical aspect of the trial: “a show trial (show trial), even more than a common judgment, needs a limited and well-defined script of what was done and how it was done. At the center of a judgment can only be the one who has done something – in this sense he is comparable to the hero of a play – and if he suffers, he must suffer for what he has done, not for what others have suffered.”[xxv].

David Cesarani agrees with Hannah Arendt: “The trial format was not the best way to establish a complex narrative. The relentless stream of gruesome testimonies was mind-numbing. Paradoxically, the judges' (and the prosecution's) efforts to maintain decorum and avoid expressions of emotion did not make the evidence easier to digest, but tended to level it: 'things were discussed that are not debatable'. The court format was inevitably alienating and boring. Although Hausner rejected the predominantly document-based approach used at Nuremberg, procedures in Jerusalem were overloaded and delayed by the volume of paper evidence. Testimony was routinely interspersed with documentary material designed to supplement the eyewitness accounts. In fact, as few witnesses had anything to say about Eichmann, it was essential to bring documents that, on the contrary, spoke of his crimes. As a result, however, reporters and members of the public lost patience with the process and walked away.”[xxviii]

There was much discussion about whether the trial should be screened beyond the courtroom space, but presumably based on the principle that “no publicity, no justice”.[xxviii], the decision to televise the trial prevailed, with the objection of Servatius, Eichmann's defender, who thought that the filming would compromise the trial by inducing a prior conviction of the accused. It was arranged to install cameras as hidden as possible and a transmission contract was signed with an American TV company, as there was not enough technology for the task in Israel. The recorded tapes were shipped daily to New York via Lod Airport.

As a result, although Israelis followed the trial mainly on radio and newspapers[xxix], in the USA, due to the time difference, was shown on television at almost the same time as it had been filmed in Israel eight hours earlier[xxx]. The record was the first television documentary of global reach, being broadcast almost simultaneously in several countries, including Germany. In addition to the closed-circuit TV broadcast of the trial with simultaneous translation so journalists could follow along, there were daily transcripts translated into three languages ​​for broadcast the following morning. This gave wide publicity and engagement to the trial, especially at its beginning, and made it welcome frequent interruptions in the transmission for real estate advertising – “always business!”, noted Hannah Arendt.[xxxii]

An uneasy spectacular streak haunted the whole story surrounding Eichmann, not just the trial. The publication in the magazine Life from the edited version of Eichmann's interviews in Argentina with the Dutch Nazi journalist Willem Sassen and the initial publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem in five parts in the magazine The New Yorker were no exceptions. Both magazines had in their pages an exorbitant amount of advertising for superfluous and luxury products that often made one read terrible stories alongside frightfully frivolous advertisements – also from here one could say: “always business!”.

On the other hand, the ever-renewed interest in the character of Eichmann has fueled the production of documentary and fiction films of varying quality, as well as literary works of the most varied hues. A qualified example of the renewed interest in the theme “Eichmann” was precisely the fictional film The Eichmann Show, produced by the BBC in 2015, which had its original title in English significantly maintained in the Brazilian version. The film portrays the backstage of the audiovisual record and the interference of the television approach, accentuating the already markedly terrifying and dramatic trait of the trial.

The BBC also produced a short half-hour documentary debating the meaning of the trial and examining issues raised by the fictional film itself. Recently, the publication of a documentary based on the interviews that Eichmann gave to Sassen in Argentina, whose content has been known for decades, received attention, generally sensational, in newspapers around the world.

David Cesarani agreed with Hannah Arendt when he stated that “the judges who were appointed to hear the case were determined to prevent it from degenerating into a spectacular history lesson. Ultimately, they failed, though they still managed to ensure the trial was fair.”[xxxi]. To "conduct the proceedings within the standards of a normal trial court", "Judge Landau was making an almost desperate effort"[xxxii]. Arendt complained that Servatius almost never protested the trial's degeneration into a "bloody spectacle".[xxxv], but in the first session he presented scathing objections that cut right to the heart of the deleterious consequences of media exposure and political interference for the correction of the trial.

The audience, in the case before us, is the world. The Court confirmed this in its earlier decision on the approval of television broadcasts for worldwide audiences. Well-known personalities in world public affairs raised doubts. They suggested creating a neutral court, an international court or a mixed court. This should have been done. The fear of prejudice also arises from the following issues. This is not a regular criminal procedure in which acts committed with an individual criminal inclination must be considered. We are talking about considering participation in processes that were political processes. These are acts in which the State of Israel and the Jewish people have a political interest. To this must be added the influence of the world political press, which has already condemned the accused: without listening to him. This political interest, which is the motivating cause of this trial, is capable of having a substantial influence on the judges.[xxxiv]

For Hannah Arendt, the prosecution's effort to make the sessions interminable was part of the spectacle. As she said in a letter to Jaspers after attending only the first four sessions of the preliminary round of the trial, "the thing is arranged in such a way that, barring a miracle, it may last until Judgment Day."[xxxiv]. Right after these sessions, Gideon Hausner's keynote address begins, which would take three sessions. At the end of the fifth section, the first of his speech, he related in the book he wrote after the trial that an experienced civil servant, who was his friend, addressed him with concern saying that while the defense attorney was concise in his speeches , the answers given to him were too long, which could give the impression that his rebuttals were too strong.

Furthermore, the official expressed concern that journalists would be short-stayed and that they would end up not seeing the trial due to the lengthy and tedious initial legal debate. For Hausner, this was precisely what proved that the conduct was correct: “there was a lot of truth in this, as the headlines the next day proved, both at home and abroad. But this was a trial, not a show; it couldn't be avoided”[xxxviii].

For Hanna Yablonka, highly publicized trials of the XNUMXth century can be classified into “criminal trials”, “show trials” or “historical trials”, with only the first type being a strictly legal definition, not a social or cultural one. Clearly, for her, the Eichmann trial was not strictly criminal, but neither was it a show trial, in the sense of being strictly staged to strengthen a regime, the results of which are already known in advance.

Although these aspects were present to some extent, the conduct of the trial, mainly by the judges – by basing Eichmann’s conviction on documentary evidence and basing it on the law on which he was accused –, distanced it from being a mere spectacle. or just an act of revenge. Yablonka considered that the Eichmann case in Jerusalem was rather a historic trial, “in the sense that it told the story of an event, thanks to the choice of witnesses”[xxxviii]. It claimed to be unique in relation to Nuremberg precisely because it had the extermination of the Jews at its center, not being so, as Arendt suggested.[xxxix], just another of the Nuremberg succession trials.

Furthermore, the 1950 Punishment of Nazis and Their Collaborators Act was not a law of the victors or of a state asserting its sovereignty, rather it was passed with the inclusion of the typification of "crimes against Jews" as a specific type. of crimes against humanity, under pressure from parliament, whose members were largely survivors.[xl]

In their sentence, the judges made it clear that even a historic judgment is a kind of extrapolation of the legal process, which would jeopardize justice itself by trying to provide, in the specific case, a comprehensive historical description of the Nazis' attempt to exterminate the Jews. For them, court proceedings were not a suitable platform for educational purposes beyond the presumed educational value of the trial itself. Educational elements and historical conclusions could only be unintended side effects of the trial.[xi].

This was also clearly the position of Hannah Arendt, for whom the trial should deal with the deeds of the accused, “not the suffering of the Jews, not the German people, not humanity, not even anti-Semitism and racism”, because “the The purpose of a trial is to do justice, and nothing else; even the noblest of ulterior aims (...) can only misrepresent the main purpose of the law: to weigh the charges against the defendant, to pass judgment and to determine the due punishment”.[xliii]

Furthermore, if it were indeed the case to establish the facts, the question of collaboration on the part of the Jewish leadership should be faced, as well as the ubiquitous involvement of a large part of the Germans, many of them occupying prominent positions in Adenauer's Germany - precisely that Hausner did not admit, exhibiting the risks of a “historic” judgment conducted by a State.

Shortly before the start of the trial, in a communication to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Golda Meir, he noted: “what I am going to say here… really must remain between us and these four walls and must not be quoted, as the first rights [to what I am about to say] on these matters belong exclusively to the court. Anyone involved in advertising knows that it's not so much what happens, but how it's depicted. And this judgment, which is the first opportunity the Jewish nation has had to bring [its] persecutors to justice, is of the utmost importance in regard to how things will be described and understood, and whether anything will be learned from them... This is a judgment against the Nazi regime and against the sector that was directed against the people of Israel. It is not a judgment of Jews against Gentiles…nor would it be politically wise to describe it as such, and it will not be presented as such. And in our propaganda, let's not put too much emphasis on the evil world that has remained silent. This will be a conclusion we can reach… such accounting will be done historically. The time is not ripe for that. It's easy to fail. I'm warning you. The fact that Great Britain did not give us [immigration] certificates when it was still possible to save Jews, the fact that Radio London sabotaged the negotiations to rescue the Jews from Hungary by announcing them immediately, all constitute the long historic settlement of our nation. These things will surface in time... the place [for them] is not here. Nor is this the place to settle Jewish internal scores. There were Jews who, under the terrible impact of Nazi persecution, lost their Jewishness and humanity. Some were collaborators; there was a Jewish police force in the ghettos… [but] … there were also resisters. But… let's not allow the judgment against the destroyer to become a [place to] clarify how the victims should have resisted. And I would ask you not to get into that chapter.”[xiii]

If the judgment was decisive in making the catastrophe of the extermination of the Jews a matter for everyone, its role in the self-understanding of Israelis had effects that were not always desirable in the management of external conflicts, as Yablonka highlighted, and its legacy for international law remained ambiguous. Arendt's insistence that the sole task of the trial would be to hold Eichmann personally accountable for his deeds and the application of the prescribed penalty was also far from uncontroversial. While the focus on Eichmann has had the effect of broadening the understanding of catastrophe beyond the image of monstrous perpetrators, the strict focus on individual responsibility could serve as an alibi for the general population to evade responsibility. Furthermore, it is difficult to imagine how the personal responsibility of someone like Eichmann can be established without an adequate historical reconstruction of the system in which he operated.

In the summary with which he began the chapter “Between impunity and show trials”, from his book The politics of international law (2011), Martti Koskenniemi observed: “I have been concerned about the enthusiasm with which international lawyers, in the last two decades, have thrown themselves into the “fight against impunity”. This chapter examines the dark sides of this project, in particular the weakness of the criminal law vocabulary in justifiably “dealing with the past”. Attention will be especially focused on how criminal law will always sustain the hegemony of some contested narratives over others and the political power of those who rely on that narrative to justify what they do or have done”.[xiv]

Indeed, the court's capacity to establish the truth, as the judges in Jerusalem well observed, was always limited: "the broader the context in which individual guilt must be understood, and the more such an understanding is subject to the contingencies of historical interpretation, the more evident will be the limits of the criminal procedure to reach the 'truth'”[xlv].

The historical-pedagogical, nationalist and geopolitical pretensions associated with the Eichmann case ended up putting at risk precisely one of the virtuous aspects of the judgment: the individualization of responsibilities even in a system that was structured to annul them. The question that remains open is whether a trial like this one, and this specific one in which the victims of the death camps spoke for the first time, could or should have been different[xlv].

In a review of the vicar, de Hochhuth, Susan Sontag, for example, agreed with Arendt that several testimonies had no direct bearing on the Eichmann deeds that were on trial, but ponders that “the trial was an attempt to make the incomprehensible comprehensible. To this end, as Eichmann sat impassively with his spectacles in his bulletproof glass cage (…) a great collective dirge was staged in the courtroom (…). The function of judgment was like that of tragic drama: above and beyond judgment and punishment, catharsis.”[xlv]

Adriano Correa Silva He is a professor of philosophy at the Federal University of Goiás. Author, among other books, of Hannah Arendt (Zahar).


Adriano CorreiaSilva. The Eichmann case: Hannah Arendt and the legal controversies about the trial. São Paulo, Editions 70, 2023, 196 pages (


[I] Excerpt from notes for a lecture in January 1962, less than a month after the verdict and sentence were announced and before the writing of Eichmann in Jerusalem. Quoted by Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For the Love of the World, P. 303 (

[ii] Ben Gurion, “The Eichmann Case as Seen by Ben Gurion” (18/12/1960), p. 7. See Rogat, The Eichmann trial and the rule of law, P. 16 ( and Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 295 (

[iii] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 294.

[iv] Ben Gurion, “The Eichmann Case as Seen by Ben Gurion” (18/12/1960), p. 62.

[v] Yablonka, “Preparing the Eichmann Trial: who really did the job?”, p. 7.

[vi] Ibid., P. 4.

[vii] Bilsky, “Between justice and politics: the competition of storytellers in the Eichmann Trial”, p. 249ff.

[viii] Id., “The Eichmann Trial: was it the Jewish Nuremberg?”, p. 307.

[ix] Lipstadt, The Eichmann Trial, P. xii. Cf. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 297.

[X] Yablonka, “Preparing the Eichmann Trial: who really did the job?”, p. 11. “Surprisingly, various sources show that several potential Jewish witnesses who met with Bureau 06 investigators in connection with Eichmann's pre-war activities refused to testify. That's because their testimony would have helped Eichmann. According to them, at the time they met Eichmann, his behavior was quite regular and decent. Furthermore, witnesses whose own wartime behavior might have been questioned during the trial were not called to testify at the trial, as Dr. Marmülstein, the last boss of the judenrat in Theresienstadt; nor did the prosecution call Nazi witnesses such as Kurt Becher, who had been Kastner's negotiating partner in Budapest regarding the deportation of Hungarian Jews” (Ibid., p. 12).

[xi] See Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, pp. 245-251.

[xii] Arendt; blucher, Within four walls, P. 359 (25/04/1961), emphasis mine (

[xiii] Arendt; McCarthy, Between friends, P. 154 (20/09/1963) (

[xiv] Benhabib, “Hannah Arendt and the redemptive power of narrative”, p. 196

[xv] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 254.

[xvi] Yablonka, “Preparing the Eichmann Trial: who really did the job?”, p. 13.

[xvii] Ibid., P. 17.

[xviii] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 15.

[xx] Ibid., P. 29.

[xx] Yablonka, “Preparing the Eichmann Trial: who really did the job?”, pp. 20-22.

[xxx] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 14.

[xxiii] Caesarani, Becoming Eichmann, pp. 2-3 (

[xxiii] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 15. Yosal Rogat had anticipated this impression in other terms: “the trial took place in a room that was literally a theater; the staging was that of an avant-garde play. Not just the moral issues, but the scenarios were completely black and white. They contrasted the somber, heavy garments of judges and Orthodox Jews, shrouding individual frailty with solemnity and tradition, with the unreal modernity of Eichmann's glass case, completely exposing" (Rogat, The Eichmann trial and the rule of law, P. 14, note 9).

[xxv] See Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 30.

[xxiv] Ibid., p. 16. For a critical position on Arendt, who would assume a conservative conception of jurisprudence, see Felman, “Theaters of justice: Arendt in Jerusalem, the Eichmann Trial, and the redefinition of legal meaning in the wake of the holocaust”, p. 222ss.

[xxv] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 19.

[xxviii] Caesarani, Becoming Eichmann, P. 338.

[xxviii] Ibid., P. 254.

[xxix] “People were found listening attentively to the proceedings (parts were broadcast on the radio), with their ears glued to radios in the street and at work places – so much so that the government had to issue a circular ordering public servants not to listen during office hours. office hours. People organized their schedules according to the broadcast and, in particular, followed the daily recap after the seven o'clock news” (Robinson, And the crooked shall well ade straight, P. 137).

[xxx] Caesarani, Becoming Eichmann, P. 254.

[xxxii] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 16.

[xxxi] Caesarani, Becoming Eichmann, P. 254.

[xxxii] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, P. 251.

[xxxv] Ibid., P. 19.

[xxxiv] “Trial, Minutes of sessions, English, Nos. 1-5”, p. 18 [F1].

[xxxiv] Arendt; Jaspers, Briefwechsel – 1926-1969, P. 471 (13/04/1961).

[xxxviii] Hausner, Justice in Jerusalem, P. 312, emphasis mine.

[xxxviii] Yablonka, The state of Israel vs. Adolf Eichmann, P. 241.

[xxxix] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, pp. 285-286.

[xl] Yablonka, The state of Israel vs. Adolf Eichmann, P. 243.

[xi] Ibid., P. 248.

[xliii] Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, pp. 15 and 275.

[xiii] Quoted in Yablonka, The state of Israel vs. Adolf Eichmann, pp. 244-245, italics in the original ( Telford Taylor's observation about the Nuremberg trial is worth mentioning here: "on these matters, the Court was engaging in half-truths, if there are such things" (Taylor, The anatomy of Nuremberg Trials – a personal memoir, P. 555) (

[xiv] Koskenniemi, The politics of international law, P. 171 (

[xlv] Ibid., P. 179.

[xlv] For Leora Bilsky, the protagonism of the victims was decisive not only for the historical record, but for the very determination of criminal guilt. Cf. Bilsky, “The Eichmann Trial: towards a jurisprudence of eyewitness testimony of atrocities”, p. 13ss.

[xlv] Sontag, Against interpretation and other essays, P. 126 (

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  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table