Adolf Eichmann

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Eichmann, Adolf

(īkh`män), 1906–62, German National Socialist official. A member of the Austrian Nazi party, he headed the Austrian office for Jewish emigration (1938). His zeal in deporting Jews brought him promotion (1939) to chief of the Gestapo's Jewish section. Eichmann promoted the use of gas chambers for the mass extermination of Jews in concentration camps, and he oversaw the maltreatment, deportation, and murder of millions of Jews in World War II. Arrested by the Allies in 1945, he escaped and settled in Argentina. He was located by Israeli agents in 1960 and abducted to Israel, where he was tried (1961) and hanged for crimes against the Jewish people and against humanity.


See biography by D. Cesarani, Becoming Eichmann (2006); H. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963, rev. ed. 2006); J. Donovan, Eichmann: Mastermind of the Holocaust (1978); P. Rassinier, The Real Eichmann Trial (1980); D. E. Lipstadt, The Eichmann Trial (2011); B. Stangneth, Eichmann before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer (2014).

Eichmann, Adolf


Born Mar. 19, 1906 in Solingen in the Rhineland; died June 1,1962, in Ramleh, Israel. Fascist German war criminal.

Eichmann joined the security service of the SS (Schutzstaffel) in 1934 and subsequently headed the subsection on Jewish affairs. In World War II he helped to draft and implement plans for the physical extermination of the Jewish population in Europe, and he was directly in charge of the shipment of Jews to concentration camps. After the defeat of fascist Germany, Eichmann fled to Argentina. In 1960 he was seized by agents of the Israeli intelligence service. Eichmann was sentenced to death after being tried by a court in Jerusalem and was executed in the prison in the city of Ramleh.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Eichmann trial functioned as what Jeffrey Alexander has called a 'trauma drama' (2009, p.
Felman S, 2000, "Theaters of justice: Arendt in Jerusalem, the Eichmann trial, and the redefinition of legal meaning in the wake of the Holocaust" Theoretical Inquiries in Law 11-43
However, they disagreed on whether The Eichmann Trial accomplishes much more than completeness, with at least one reviewer saying that Lipstadt's conclusions, while valid, are not particularly new.
The lurking, liberal, pseudo-rationalising evasion of reality figures conversely in her writing as a kind of 'sentimentalism' which is a political survival from the pre-totalitarian environment, and that subsequently proved to offer a useful ideological tool for the Israeli state, which staged survivor testimony, in the case of the Eichmann trial, as a kind of negative truth--the pure, suffering victim,--in order to offset Israel's sense of its own belligerent strength.
These two sources can assist us in taking a critical look at opinions about the Eichmann trial voiced in the literature in the last fifteen years.
The Eichmann Trial and the Rule of Law begins and ends, however, with a reflection on the relation of the Eichmann trial to Greek tragedy--a comparison that Arendt decidedly and decisively avoids.
Even today, the testimony from the Eichmann trial sends chills down the spine.
Arendt returns to the Eichmann trial in her last and unfinished work, The Life of the Mind.
But all that changed in the 1960s, starting with the Eichmann trial, but picked up a head of steam after Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 and began the Occupation.
Why should the Eichmann trial in Israel in 1961-62 have had more impact than the Nuremberg Tribunal?
Thus, the link he establishes between the Stalags and the Eichmann trial (in which Israelis first heard testimony in Hebrew from Holocaust survivors), also serves to illuminate the prejudice of early Israeli settlers against those who had survived the concentration camps, it was assumed, by doing terrible things.