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Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann: An Eyewitness Account [Hardcover]

Harry Mulisch , Deborah Dwork , Robert Naborn


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Book Description

April 2005 Personal Takes
Under a deceptively simple label, "criminal case 40/61," the trial of Adolf Eichmann began in 1961. Hannah Arendt covered the trial for the New Yorker magazine and recorded her observations in Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of Evil. Harry Mulisch was also assigned to cover the trial for a Dutch news weekly. Arendt would later say in her book's preface that Mulisch was one of the few people who shared her views on the character of Eichmann. At the time, Mulisch was a young and little-known writer. He has since emerged as an author with an international reputation, celebrated for such novels as The Assault and The Discovery of Heaven.

Mulisch modestly called his book on case 40/61 a report, and it is certainly that, as he gives firsthand accounts of the trial and its key players and scenes (the defendant's face strangely asymmetric and riddled by tics, his speech absurdly baroque). Eichmann's character comes out in his incessant bureaucratizing and calculating, as well as in his grandiose visions of himself as a Pontius Pilate-like innocent. As Mulisch intersperses his dispatches from Jerusalem with meditative accounts of a divided and ruined Berlin, an eerily rebuilt Warsaw, and a visit to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann emerges as a disturbing and highly personal essay on the Nazi extermination of European Jews and on the human capacity to commit evil ever more efficiently in an age of technological advancement.

Here presented with a foreword by Debórah Dwork and translated for the first time into English, Criminal Case 40/61 provides the reader with an unsettling portrait not only of Eichmann's character but also of technological precision and expertise. It is a landmark of Holocaust writing.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812238613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812238617
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,330,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"40/61" is the number of the Eichmann case on the roll of the District Court of Jerusalem. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Msterful Inquiry Into Nazi Horror June 12 2010
By Jonathan A. Weiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This descriptive and introspective account of the Eichman trial, Nazi history, and what it means is the best book in the area that I have encounted. If it far better than Arendt. Anyone interested in the trial, in evil, in the Nazis, what it all means should read and reflect on what he has seen to write his reflections and analysis. Not rigorous, not designed to prove or persuade, he suggests by example and by inference a powerful way to comprehend the trial, man, the Nazis, the past which allowed it and the future which could produce it again.

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