The Eichmann Trial

Deborah E. Lipstadt, Author
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Schocken/Nextbook, $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4260-7
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-12739-5
Open Ebook - 132 pages - 978-0-8052-4291-1
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For the Eichmann trial's 50th anniversary, Emory Holocaust studies professor Lipstadt (History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving) trains her gaze on this watershed event in Jewish history. Israeli attorney general Gideon Hausner, a commercial lawyer, lacked criminal or courtroom expertise, but Lipstadt contends that despite a couple of courtroom blunders, Hausner presented overwhelming incriminating evidence to prove that Eichmann's claim that he was just a low-level bureaucrat was a lie. Moreover, Hausner's decision to place victims' testimony center stage gave survivors an iconic authority. Lipstadt discounts critics who say Hausner failed to elicit an admission of guilt from Eichmann, believing it didn't matter because a confession from a brazen liar is worthless. In Eichmann's memoirs, contrary to claims made by Hannah Arendt, Lipstadt finds that he expresses himself as an inveterate Nazi and anti-Semite fully committed to his leaders' goals. Lipstadt also finds Arendt's famous New Yorker reportage on the trial disturbing because Arendt failed to reveal that she was absent for much of the trial, writing from transcripts that cannot convey subtleties of demeanor witnessed in court. This is a penetrating and authoritative dissection of a landmark case and its after effects. (Mar.)
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