Eichmann in Jerusalem


Hannah Arendt

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Eichmann in Jerusalem Terms


The movement to create a state for the Jewish people, which now more generally refers to supporters of Israel. Although Zionism is Israel’s founding ideology, Arendt soon reveals that Eichmann was something of a Zionist… read analysis of Zionism

Third Reich

The Third Reich (meaning the “Third Realm”) refers to the Nazi government that ruled much of Europe from 1933-1945, and also the geographical territory that it formally ruled. At its greatest extent, this included much… read analysis of Third Reich


The “Schutzstaffel” or S.S. (“Protective Echelon”) was the enormous force of German “political soldiers” under Heinrich Himmler, tasked with enforcing racial policies, the surveillance of Germans and potential enemies to the Nazis, managing concentration… read analysis of S.S.


The “Sicherheitsdienst” or S.D. was the “Security Service” within the S.S., run by Reinhardt Heydrich and specifically responsible for gathering intelligence on the Nazis’ enemies (including possible opponents within the Party). Eichmann joined the… read analysis of S.D.


In 1939, Heinrich Himmler created the S.S.’s Head Reich Office for Reich Security, one of its 12 primary branches, by combining the S.D. with the state Security Police (which itself included the Gestapo and… read analysis of R.S.H.A.
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S.S. “task forces” or execution squads that massacred roughly two million civilians during World War Two, particularly in Poland. read analysis of Einsatzgruppen


An abbreviation for the “Geheime Staatspolizei,” or Secret State Police within the S.S.. The Gestapo employed Eichmann after 1939, when it was combined into the R.S.H.A. with the S.D., its sister organization. Led… read analysis of Gestapo

German Foreign Office

The Third Reich’s diplomatic arm, which negotiated with occupied countries throughout Europe to push the deportation of Jews to extermination camps. read analysis of German Foreign Office

Nuremberg Trials

The 1945-46 trials of 24 high-ranking Nazi criminals by the Allies’ International Military Tribune. At the time, Eichmann was detained in an American camp but still anonymous; his name arose frequently at Nuremberg (this was… read analysis of Nuremberg Trials

Nuremberg Laws

The 1935 Nazi legislation that deprived Jews (and, later, also Romani and Black people) of citizenship and intermarriage rights in Germany. Unrelated to the Nuremberg Trials. read analysis of Nuremberg Laws


A major 1938 pogrom against German Jews, named after the broken glass that covered streets across the country after the windows of Jewish establishments were shattered on the night of November 9. It was nominally… read analysis of Kristallnacht

Wannsee Conference

The 1942 meeting, led by Reinhardt Heydrich, at which Nazi ministers planned the Final Solution. Eichmann was the conference’s secretary and lowest-ranking participant; to Heydrich’s surprise, no one had any qualms about or… read analysis of Wannsee Conference

The Final Solution

Short for “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” the Nazi code word for the plan to systematically murder European Jews, originally formulated at the 1942 Wannsee Conference. read analysis of The Final Solution


German for “clean of Jews.” read analysis of Judenrein

Vichy France

A puppet regime, loyal to Germany and led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, that governed the unoccupied Southern portion of France from 1940-1944. read analysis of Vichy France


A concentration camp, the only one run by Eichmann, located in what is now the northwestern Czech Republic. Originally proposed as a homeland for German Jews, the small town instead came to house “privileged”… read analysis of Theresienstadt


The largest and deadliest system of Nazi concentration and extermination camps, located in what is now southern Poland. read analysis of Auschwitz


A contested term with various definitions, but generally referring to governments that concentrate all political power in the hands of their leaders (usually a dictator) and try to control every aspect of their people’s lives… read analysis of Totalitarianism