Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt is a report on the trial of Eichmann, a man involved in the torturous acts of the Holocaust. There are many different opinions and responses to the writing by Arendt. Her tone of voice in this piece can be understood differently by different audiences. But, Aredt’s tone of voice is not as intriguing as what she focuses her writing on. Arendt does not put much focus on the audience in the courtroom that day, but more so on Eichmann himself. It is interesting to ponder why she has such an intense focus on Eichmann, and in taking a deeper look, it can be assumed that Arendt speaks mainly about Eichmann because he can not speak for himself. The audience/jury had their own voices and opinions, but Eichmann seemed to not feel guilty about his actions, or spiteful towards the people in the courtroom, he seemed to feel nothing at all towards the subject. Arendt’s focus on Eichmann is important because he does not himself give much for people to work with when forming their opinion , so this piece is helpful in getting information and in coming up with an opinion of their own about Eichmann and what he has done.
One thought on “Eichmann in Jerusalem”
So, I want to push back a little on your claim that Eichmann can’t speak for himself: Arendt establishes that he actually does get to tell his own story at some length over the course of his trial; he takes the stand, and seems to enjoy talking about himself. But what *doesn’t* he say that Arendt wants to turn our attention to? What is the difference between the story he tells about himself and the story Arendt wants to illuminate about him and the implications of his actions?