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Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes and Trial of a Desk Murderer Paperback – 3 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press Inc; New Ed edition (3 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306815397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306815393
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Cesarani meticulously examines Eichmann's path into his role as the as the manager of genocide...' -- Sunday Telegraph

Cesarani wrestles in a sophisticated and well-informed way with these contradictory views of Eichmann's personality... An extremely valuable work -- Evening Standard

In this powerful and revelatory book, David Cesarani shows how Eichmann became actively and directly implicated in genocide -- Independent

[A] gripping, lucid, meticulously researched book… A lesson for our bloody times -- Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'A gripping and sophisticated biography, of the best I have seen of a major Nazi' Evening Standard --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Siriam TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Cesarani succeeds excellently in doing 3 things in his book and in the process revises the whole Eichmann story for the 21st century:

1. Updating the life of Eichmann and his deeds from how it was incorrectly presented in his trial in 1961 both by Eichmann and the Prosecution from all subsequent Holocaust historical research and denoting the key differences.
2. Destroying how others tried to interpret his actions plus apply them to the Cold War era of totalitarianism that existed at the time of his trial. His skewering of Hannah Arendt's poor academic research and biased arguments in her book on the trial, which ironically had a more major impact than the trial itself, is worth the price of entry.
3. Finally and most revealingly, showing how close Israel came to screwing it all up. These range from the farces of his capture (only made possible by West German provided information) and execution, to a politically influenced and ill prepared prosecution team that almost blew the case but was ultimately rescued by the integrity and objectivity of the three trial judges.

The one abiding impression gained is that rather than the plea made at his trial of only obeying orders, Eichmann was very much a product of his times and his actions reflected his exposure to the events and his acceptance of the consequences. His upbringing easily led him to deem it right to serve the Nazi party and its policies both morally and as a career opportunity. His real value was as a super administrator (though not quite as desk bound as some portray him still) without whom many of his superiors' decisions would never have had such drastic impact or results. Fully aware of the killings occurring (having witnessed them at first hand) his actions across the period 1941 to 1945 are shown to prove his personal accountability for all his subsequent deeds.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Cromie on 4 April 2010
Format: Paperback
David Cesarani has managed to cut through the fiction and highly emotive views on Eichmann over the last 60 years. Using accounts from his early life and career, pre and post war testimonies, his trial and his own views whilst on the run, this book tries to outline the fact that Eichmann was a product of his time. Eichmann's early life would not have given any insight or clue as to the role he would eventually play in the Holocaust. He was not born the mass murderer he eventually became. This book outlines the processes and events that eventually produced one of the many cogs in the machinery of death that was the Holocaust. Thought provoking.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DavyA TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 April 2007
Format: Paperback
A very well written book which charts Eichmann's development, life & career, from his earliest days. Analysis of how he developed from a salesman into a conduit for industrialised mass murder & deportation, offers up some interesting & at times quite chilling insights into the mind of this "desk" criminal & the way in which Nazism & the Nazi state operated & indeed influenced & shaped certain individuals.

His involvement in the Holocaust & how he helped to facilitate & make it possible is well explored & provides some chilling snapshots of a comitted Nazi.

The book gives an excellent & detailed account of his flight from Germany, life in & subsequent abduction from, Argentina & his trial in Israel.

As you might expect there are some lessons to be learned from the way in which Eichmann became involved in these heinous crimes & the fascism which spawned them.A thought provoking portrait.
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