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Hitler's Bureaucrats

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Hitler's Bureaucrats

The Nazi Security Police and the Banality of Evil



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Hitler's Bureaucrats: The Nazi Security Police and the Banality of Evil by Yaacov Lozowick
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For many the name of Adolf Eichmann is synonymous with the Nazi murder of six million Jews. Alongside Adolf Hitler and Henrich Himmler, he is probably the most infamous of the Nazi murderers; unlike them, the aura linked to his name is that of the ultimate evil that may lurk in each and every one of us. This understanding can be attributed above all to Hannah Arendt, and her seminal book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the Banality of Evil, in which she suggested that Eichmann and many bureaucrats like him never actually realized what they were doing: they were thoughtless rather then consciously evil. By taking this position, Arendt rejected the biblical story of genesis, which sets the ability to distinguish between right and wrong at the very core of being human. Instead, she implied that Eichmann represented a potential face of the future. This book claims that she was wrong. It describes the facts as they appear in the documentation created by Eichmann and his colleagues, and suggests that they fully understood what they were doing. The primary motivating force for their actions was a well-developed acceptance of the tenets of Nazi ideology, of which anti-Semitism was a central component. As far as one is able to determine, after the war not a single one of them ever expressed regret for their actions against the Jews, unless it was regret for having to pay the consequences. These were no run-of-the-mill bureaucrats who merely 'followed orders'.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. From Theory to Practice: 1933-1938; 2. Documents in the Bureaucratic System; 3. Toward the Final Solution; 4. Executing the Final Solution in Germany; 5. Holland; 6. France; 7. Hungary; 8. Conclusion: Listening to the Screams

Author Biography

Yaacov Lozowick is the Director of the Archives at Yad Vashem, Israel's National Authority for commemoration of the Holocaust.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 2005
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Revised edition
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
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