Eichmann’s Defense at Trial Will Be Used by The Lockdown Criminals?

(L) Hannah Arendt  (R) Elias Davidson, Photo: Center for Global and Strategic Studies, YouTube

 by Elias Davidsson

The following quotes from Hannah Arendt’s famous essay “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil” have been selected for their contemporary interest. Readers are invited to compare these observations with the current situation, in which large majorities of citizens blindly obey official regulations that violate fundamental human rights. I have added my personal comments to some of the quotes, in brackets.

p. 26-27:  “[The judges in Eichmann’s] case rested on the assumption that the defendant, like all ‘normal persons’, must have been aware of the criminal nature of his acts, and Eichmann was indeed normal insofar as he was ‘no exception within the Nazi regime.’ However, under the conditions of the Third Reich, only ‘exceptions’ could be expected to react ‘normally’. This simple truth of the matter created a dilemma for the judges which they could neither resolve nor escape.”

[In today’s situation, it is those who refuse to wear masks who are reacting “normally” to such infringement of their physical integrity. To accept mask-wearing in daily life is clearly not a “normal” human behaviour. It must be coerced.]

p. 48  “Dimly aware of a defect that must have plagued him [Eichmann] even in school – it a amounted to a mild case of aphasia – he apologized, saying ‘Officialese [Amtssprache] is my only language’. But the point here is that officialese became his language because he was genuinely incapable of uttering a single sentence that was not a cliché.”

[In today’s situation, we encounter everywhere regulations of our lives couched in “officialese” that becomes gradually part of the language and of ideology—such as “social distancing.”]

p. 50 Eichmann: “Whatever I prepared and planned, everything went wrong, my personal affairs as well as my years-long efforts to obtain land and soil for the Jews. I don’t know, everything was as if under an evil spell; whatever I desired and wanted and planned to do, fate prevented it somehow. I was frustrated in everything, no matter what.”

[Such self-pity is typical of powerful men and women who find themselves in the dock.]

p. 51  “Eichmann needed only to recall the past in order to feel assured that he was not lying and that he once had been in perfect harmony. And that German society of eighty million people had been shielded against reality and factuality by exactly the same means, the same self-deception, lies, and stupidity that had now become ingrained in Eichmann’s mentality.”

[The similarity with today’s German society, shielded against reality, needs no comment.]

p. 51   “During the war, the lie most effective with the whole of the German people was the slogan of ‘the battle of destiny for the German people’ [der Schicksalskampf des deutschen Volkes], coined either by Hitler or by Goebbels, which made self-deception easier on three counts: it suggested, first, that the war was no war; second, that it was started by destiny and not by Germany; and, third, that it was a matter of life and death for the Germans, who must annihilate their enemies or be annihilated.”

[The current global “battle” against Covid-19 is based on similar arguments, namely the need for a “total war” against the virus; the claim that it is simply a result of destiny (i.e., the “war” was not planned); and that we need to annihilate the virus before the virus annihilates us.  This is the nature of totalitarian slogans.]

85  “All [official] correspondence referring to the matter [Holocaust] was subject to rigid ‘language rules’, and, except in the reports from the Einsatzgruppen, it is rare to find documents in which such bald words as ‘extermination’, ‘liquidation’, or ‘killing’ occur. The prescribed code names for killing were ‘final solution’, ‘evacuation’ (Aussiedlung), and ‘special treatment’ (Sonderbehandlung); deportation – unless it involved Jews directed to Theresienstadt, the ‘old people’s ghetto’ for privileged Jews, in which case it was called ‘change of residence’ – received the names of ‘resettlement’ (Umsiedlung) and ‘labor in the East’ (Arbeitseinsatz im Osten)… A high official in the Foreign Office once proposed that in all correspondence with the Vatican, the killing of Jews be called the ‘radical solution’. [The language rules] proved of enormous help in the maintenance of order and sanity in the various widely diversified services whose cooperation was essential in this matter. Moreover, the very term ‘language rule’ (Sprachregelung) was itself a code name; it meant what in ordinary language would be called a lie.”

[“Language rules” have become in recent decades an overt and powerful tool to manipulate public opinion, in fact far more sophisticated than was the case in the Third Reich.]

p. 93  “It is important to remember that counsel for the defense, Dr. Servatius, pleaded not superior orders but ‘acts of state’ and asked for acquittal on that ground – a strategy Dr. Servatius had already tried unsuccessfully at Nuremberg.”

[The planners and perpetrators of the Corona restriction measures will undoubtedly claim in their future trial to have acted in their official and legitimate capacity or to have followed superior orders. Will society accept this defense?]

p. 98-99  “In actual fact, the situation was just as simple as it was hopeless: the overwhelming majority of the German people believed in Hitler – even after the attack on Russia and the feared war on two fronts, even after the United States entered the war, indeed even after Stalingrad, the defection of Italy, and the landings in France. Against this solid majority, there stood an indeterminate number of isolated individuals who were completely aware of the national and of the moral catastrophe; they might occasionally know and trust one another, there were friendships among them and an exchange of opinions, but no plan or intention of revolt.”

[While the situations are widely dissimilar — no international wars — the similarity with the current situation is the existence of an overwhelming majority of people who believe in state truths and act on the base of this belief, while only an indeterminate number of isolated individuals are “completely aware of the national and the moral catastrophe” that is being brought upon the world.]

p. 105-106  “What stuck in the minds of these men who had become murderers was simply the notion of being involved in something historic, grandiose, unique (‘a great task that occurs once in two thousand years’), which must therefore be difficult to bear. This was important, because the murderers were not sadists or killers by nature.”

[Is this description applicable to the unelected designers of the Great Reset, who meet in the World Economic Forum at Davos to plan a “historic, grandiose” new future for humanity, based on a total digital environment? Are they aware that their plan – not secret – would make billions of human beings superfluous and the rest of humanity dependent on a handful of IT corporations?  Will they plead guilty to having had a marvelous but wrong vision?]

p, 118   “As Eichmann told it, the most potent factor in the soothing of his own conscience was the simple fact that he could see no one, no one at all, who actually was against the Final Solution.”

[We have not yet reached that situation. Yet political leaders make particular efforts not to acknowledge and see opposition to their decisions – such bad-faith efforts will have to be considered as elements of the crime for which these leaders will have to be judged.]

p. 126   Eichmann “fervently believed in success, the chief standard of ‘good society’ as he knew it. Typical was his last word on the subject of Hitler. Hitler he said, ‘may have been wrong all down the line, but one thing is beyond dispute; the man was able to work his way up from lance corporal in the German Army to Führer of a people of almost eighty million… His success alone proved to me that I should subordinate myself to this man.” His conscience was indeed set at rest when he saw the zeal and eagerness with which ‘good society’ everywhere reacted as he did. He did not need to ‘close his ears to the voice of conscience,’ as the judgment has it, not because he had none, but because his conscience spoke with a ‘respectable voice’, with the voice of respectable society around him.  That there were no voices from the outside to arouse his conscience was one of Eichmann’s points, and it was the task of the prosecution to prove that this was not so, that there were voices he could have listened to, and that, anyhow, he had done the work with a zeal far beyond the call of duty.”

[Eichmann’s perception, seeing everywhere citizens obedient and adoring Hitler, may not be fully applicable to the current situation. Yet, such perception may exist and soothe the conscience of numerous political leaders who isolate themselves from the public and find comfort in the “respectable society” of obedient subjects.]

p. 127    “The sinister Dr. Otto Bradfisch, former member of one of the Einsatzgruppen, who presided over the killing of at least fifteen thousand people, told a German court that he had always been ‘inwardly opposed’ to what he was doing.”

[We will probably hear such voices in the future by all the collaborators of the existing dictatorship.]

p. 135   “So Eichmann’s opportunities for feeling like Pontius Pilatus were many, and as the months and the years went by, he lost the need to feel anything at all. This was the way things were, this was the new law of the land, based on the Führer’s order; whatever he did he did, as far as he could see, as a law-abiding citizen. He did his duty, as he told the police and the court over and over again; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law.”

[We daily encounter people who hide behind the law in enforcing the Corona regulations. Teachers who oblige their pupils to wear masks also hide behind regulations and repress thereby their natural compassion with their pupils. After carrying such regulations for weeks or months, they stop feeling empathy for the victims.]

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