Wednesday, 18 March 2009

From "Eichmann in Jerusalem"

By Hannah Arendt.

The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were and still are terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together, for it implied – as had been said at Nuremburg over and over again by the defendants and their counsels – that this new type of criminal, who in fact is hostis generis humani, commits his crimes under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or feel that he is doing wrong.

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