Becoming Eichmann

Publié le par David Cesarini

In charge of the logistical apparatus of mass deportation and extinction, Adolf Eichmann was at the center of the Nazi genocide against the Jews. He was personally responsible for transporting over two million Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps. This is the first account of Eichmann's life to appear since the aftermath of his famous trial in 1961 and his subsequent execution in Jerusalem a year later. It reveals that the depiction of Eichmann as a loser who drifted into the ranks of the SS is a fabrication that conceals Eichmann's considerable abilities and his early political development. Drawing on recently unearthed documents, David Cesarani shows how Eichmann became the Reich's "expert" on Jewish matters and reveals his initially cordial working relationship with Zionist Jews in Germany, despite his intense anti-Semitism.

Cesarani explains how the massive ethnic cleansing Eichmann conducted in Poland in 1939-40 was the crucial bridge to his later role in the mass deportation of the Jews. And Cesarani argues controversially that Eichmann was not necessarily predisposed to mass murder, exploring the remarkable, largely unknown period in Eichmann's early career when he first learned how to become an administrator of genocide. This challenging work deepens our understanding of Adolf Eichmann and offers fresh insights both into the operation of the Final Solution and the making of its most notorious perpetrator.

Becoming Eichmann by David Cesarini
Becoming Eichmann by David Cesarini

Becoming Eichmann by David Cesarini

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  • Title : Becoming Eichmann
  • ISBN-13 : 9780306814761
  • Author : David Cesarini
  • Publisher : Da Capo Press
  • Publication date : 04/28/2006

Editorial Reviews- Publishers Weekly

To the Israeli prosecutor who interrogated him in 1961, Adolf Eichmann was a fanatical anti-Semite and a central figure in the annihilation of the Jews. To Hannah Arendt, he was a dim-witted bureaucrat, a cog in the machinery of destruction that was the Holocaust. British historian Cesarani, author of numerous books on the Holocaust and Jewish history, offers a more complex and nuanced portrait. Based on research into sources that were unavailable in the 1960s and on the most recent scholarly work on the Holocaust, Cesarani corrects the historical record on numerous issues. Contrary to popular myth, he says, Eichmann had a normal childhood and a socially and professionally successful young adulthood.

Eichmann joined the SS not because he was a misfit but because, like so many German and Austrian middle-class men, he found the Third Reich a great engine of social mobility. Cesarani's biography is convincing on many counts. But in the end, the broad outlines of Arendt's portrait in her brilliant Eichmann in Jerusalem remain standing. Eichmann may have been more intelligent and skilled than she concluded, but he was the perfect expression of the highly bureaucratized and systematic killing process that the Nazis perfected. 8 pages of b&w photos, 2 maps. (May 15) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Meet the Author

David Cesarini, one of Britain’s leading historians, is Research Professor in History at Royal Holloway, London University. He has published widely on Anglo-Jewish history and the history of Zionism.

Publié dans Bibliothèque

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