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The End of the World – “Eichmann in Jerusalem” – Hannah Arendt

April 27th, 2011 · No Comments · Genocide, History, WW2

What for Hitler, the sole, lonely plotter of the Final Solution (never had a conspiracy, if such it was, needed fewer conspirators and more executors), was among the war’s main objectives, with its implementation given top priority, regardless of economic and military considerations, and what for Eichmann was a job, with its daily routine, its ups and downs, was for the Jews quite literally the end of the world. For hundreds of years, they had been used to understanding their own history, rightly or wrongly, as a long story of suffering, much as the prosecutor described it in his opening speech at the trial; but behind this attitude there had been, for a long time, the triumphant conviction of “Am Yisrael Chai,” the people of Israel shall live; individual Jews, whole Jewish families might die in pogroms, whole communities might be wiped out, but the people would survive. They had never been confronted with genocide.

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