Eichmann in Jerusalem

by

Hannah Arendt

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Rudolf Kastner Character Analysis

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 Israel, where his work with Nazis led to a public controversy and then a libel trial against his critics, which he lost; he was assassinated in 1957, before the court posthumously overturned its judgment on his trial in 1958.
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Rudolf Kastner Character Timeline in Eichmann in Jerusalem

The timeline below shows where the character Rudolf Kastner appears in Eichmann in Jerusalem. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: An Expert on the Jewish Question
Conscience, Authority, and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Zionism and Nazism Theme Icon
...“idealist” as himself—meaning they would live and die for their ideas. One such Zionist “idealist,” Dr. Rudolf Kastner , later worked with Eichmann to deport hundreds of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz in... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Wannsee Conference, or Pontius Pilate
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
Conscience, Authority, and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Zionism and Nazism Theme Icon
Storytelling and Resistance Theme Icon
...who actually was against the Final Solution.” He was surprised when the Hungarian Jewish leader Dr. Kastner asked him to stop the exterminations—but this was outside his power. For the most part,... (full context)
Chapter 8: Duties of a Law-Abiding Citizen
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
Conscience, Authority, and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Justice and Legal Responsibility Theme Icon
...owners could escape Hungary and take over their assets, and he soon began working with Dr. Kastner to save Jews, each for a fixed price. Eichmann resented this “moderate wing” of S.S.... (full context)
Chapter 12: Deportations from Central Europe—Hungary and Slovakia
Conscience, Authority, and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Zionism and Nazism Theme Icon
...payments unappreciated, it started directly buying Jews’ freedom and forging baptism papers. Zionist leaders like Dr. Kastner began negotiating with Eichmann and the various other German officials in Budapest; they were well-connected... (full context)