Eichmann in Jerusalem


Hannah Arendt

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Eichmann in Jerusalem Characters

Adolf Eichmann

The central figure of Arendt’s book, Eichmann spent 12 years working in the S.S., primarily coordinating European Jews’ deportation to Nazi extermination camps in the Gestapo division of the R.S.H.A. He then went into… (read full character analysis)

Moshe Landau

The presiding judge at Eichmann’s trial, a German Jew who insisted on putting justice above the prosecution’s theatrics, which led him to frequently question the relevance and purpose of Hausner’s witnesses’ testimony. According… (read full character analysis)

Gideon Hausner

The charismatic and loquacious Israeli Attorney General who prosecuted Eichmann and, according to Arendt, worked with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to turn the case into political propaganda for the Israeli government. He spoke frequently to… (read full character analysis)

Robert Servatius

Eichmann’s often incompetent and insensitive attorney, who had previously defended Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg Trials. His motives for taking Eichmann’s case are mysterious—he was underpaid and knew he would face an… (read full character analysis)

David Ben-Gurion

A leader in the Israeli independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Israel, Ben-Gurion orchestrated Eichmann’s kidnapping in Argentina and, according to Arendt, served as the “invisible stage manager” for the “show trial”… (read full character analysis)
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Adolf Hitler

The notorious autocratic leader of the totalitarian Third Reich, who ordered the massacre of millions of people (most notably the majority of Europe’s Jewish population) and started World War Two in his attempt to… (read full character analysis)

Heinrich Himmler

The leader of the S.S. and one of the most powerful officials in the Nazi regime, Himmler primarily but indirectly determined Eichmann’s orders. Himmler was the pioneer of Nazi “language rules” that solved officers’… (read full character analysis)

Heinrich Müller

The chief of the Gestapo and Eichmann’s admired immediate superior. He coordinated Eichmann’s trips to negotiate deportations with the governments and Jewish Councils in various occupied countries. Although he was present for Hitler’s… (read full character analysis)

Reinhardt Heydrich

The head of the S.D. and later R.S.H.A., as well as the central organizer of Kristallnacht, the Wannsee Conference, the Einsatzgruppen, and ultimately the Final Solution, Heydrich was Eichmann’s… (read full character analysis)

Ernst Kaltenbrunner

A Nazi official who helped Eichmann join the S.S. and later took charge of the R.S.H.A. after Reinhardt Heydrich’s assassination. Eichmann and Kaltenbrunner’s fathers were friends, but during their entire relationship Kaltenbrunner looked down… (read full character analysis)

Rudolf Kastner

A Hungarian Jewish community leader who collaborated with Eichmann and other S.S. officials to save prominent Jews—ultimately by paying a price for each head—and secure their passage to Palestine. After the war, Kastner moved to… (read full character analysis)