Smuggled out of Europe after the collapse of Germany, Eichmann managed to live a peaceful and active exile in Argentina for years before his capture by the Mossad. Though once widely known by nicknames such as Manager of the Holocaust, in 1961 he was able to portray himself, from the defendant s box in Jerusalem, as an overworked bureaucrat following orders no more, he said, than just a small cog in Adolf Hitler s extermination machine. How was this carefully crafted obfuscation possible? How did a central architect of the Final Solution manage to disappear? And what had he done with his time while in hiding?
Bettina Stangneth, the first to comprehensively analyze more than 1,300 pages of Eichmann s own recently discovered written notes as well as seventy-three extensive audio reel recordings of a crowded Nazi salon held weekly during the 1950s in a popular district of Buenos Aires draws a chilling portrait, not of a reclusive, taciturn war criminal on the run, but of a highly skilled social manipulator with an inexhaustible ability to reinvent himself, an unrepentant murderer eager for acolytes with whom to discuss past glories while vigorously planning future goals with other like-minded fugitives.
A work that continues to garner immense international attention and acclaim, Eichmann Before Jerusalem maps out the astonishing links between innumerable past Nazis from ace Luftwaffe pilots to SS henchmen both in exile and in Germany, and reconstructs in detail the postwar life of one of the Holocaust s principal organizers as no other book has done"
- ISBN-13: 9780307959676
- ISBN-10: 0307959678
- Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
- Publish Date: September 2014
- Page Count: 579
- Dimensions: 1.75 x 7 x 9.75 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.18 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-07-28
- Reviewer: Staff
German philosopher and historian Stangneth provides plenty of evidence to dispel Adolf Eichmann’s cowardly testimony at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem, where he claimed he was simply a “small cog in Adolf Hitler’s extermination machine.” The gossip surrounding Eichmann during WWII and his subsequent escape to Argentina proves otherwise, Stangneth shows, as she maps out Eichmann’s post-war years and his careful management of his own persona. Eichmann had quickly gained the title of the “Czar of the Jews” while working within the Third Reich bureaucracy; his calculated dealings with the Jewish communities in Austria, Poland, and Hungary brought him in contact with many Jewish leaders who spread word of his monstrous actions to their respective communities. Stangneth writes with clarity and determination, allowing the overwhelming evidence to drive her theory that Adolf Eichmann was “clearly someone who was out to ‘create’ a verdict rather than reach one.” Thrilling in its purpose, Stangneth paints a portrait very different from the banality of “Eichmann in Jerusalem” Hannah Arendt reported on in 1961. This work is daunting, but there is no doubt of its importance: Stangneth’s research, full of forgotten papers, lost interviews, and buried evidence, turns the conventional wisdom about Eichmann on its head. (Sept.)