Talk:Adolf Eichmann

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In the name of the father...[edit]

The name of Eichmann's father is variously given as "Karl Adolf" and "Adolf Karl". As far as I know, the form "Karl Adolf" originated with Hannah Arendt. It is interesting that Stangneth uses it too, but I don't think that is a stronger secondary source than Cesarani, who devotes a large amount of space to Eichmann's family and says it was "Adolf Karl". One could only use Stangneth to displace Cesarani if Stangneth mentions the problem and explains why she chooses as she does. @PlasticOnoMemory: please report on that. In addition, we have a rather strong primary source: Eichmann's police interrogation in Israel: Interrogator: "Vielleicht gehen wir jetzt einen Moment zurueck, wie ist der Name Ihres Vaters?" Eichmann: "Mein Vater hiesst Adolf Karl Eichmann, meine Mutter: Maria Eichmann, geb. Schefferling."[1] Eichmann's statement (what motive was there to lie?) was accepted by the Israeli court.[2][3] You can hear the Israeli judge asking him if he is the son of "Adolf Karl Eichmann" at 1:30 of Part 2 in this video. Incidentally, quite a few mentions of "Karl Adolf Eichmann" in the literature are incorrect references to Otto Adolf (even in US wartime archives). Zerotalk 09:28, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Amusing but irrelevant: The Hebrew wiki article says "Adolf Karl" but Google translate reports it as "Karl Adolf". Seems even Google want to weigh into this problem ;). Zerotalk 10:18, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Cesarani told me in email that he believes "Adolf Karl" is definite. Zerotalk 15:11, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

I find Cesarani's book to be an excellent resource and agree that we should go with "Adolf Karl". -- Diannaa (talk) 19:15, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Eichmann's last words[edit]

Eichmann's last words are incorrect. The last page of Chapter XV of Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem accounts his execution where he explicitly states that he was a gottgläubiger (someone who was not a Christian and did not believe in life after death). He went on to say : "After a short while, gentlemen, we shall all meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany. long live Argentina. long live Austria. I shall not forget them.”

121.217.221.57 (talk) 12:32, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Hanna Arendt was not present and there is no reason to prefer her version over Cesarani's. There can be some differences of translation, too. Zerotalk 23:32, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
I very recently came upon this. http://www.timesofisrael.com/eichmanns-final-barb-i-hope-that-all-of-you-will-follow-me/

This is certainly first hand testimony, from Eitan. The whole article gives some fascinating insights. It is not sufficient for any inclusion in mainspace however. Irondome (talk) 02:27, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I think it doesn't contradict Cesarani's version. One was a prepared statement (that I think Cesarani took from the book of cleric William Hull who was present; I can check that), the other was something Eichmann allegedly muttered the moment before he died. Both can be true. But also, I can't see Rafi Eitan as a reliable witness; deception has been part of his job description for most of his life. Zerotalk 23:24, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I think both are probably true. Cesarani's account has the ring of the last statements of the Nuremberg condemned. I do not see what Eitan has to gain really at this late stage. It seems a bit late for deception, and what would be the point? In any event, it has not the weight to be included in mainspace. Irondome (talk) 23:37, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
After looking into this a bit more, I think that Eitan's "I hope that all of you will follow me" is just a report of the sentence that Cesarani has as "We'll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men." There are multiple language translations here: Eitan's version that we have is an English translation of a Hebrew translation of what Eichmann said in German. Incidentally, here is a comparison of Cesarani's version with Hull's version. Cesarani cites Hull as well as the report of a German journalist who was one of the four journalists present.
Cesarani (p321): "Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family and my friends. I am ready. We'll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men. I die believing in God."
Hull (p159): "Eichmann called out in German: 'Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family and my friends. I had to obey the laws of war and my flag. I am ready.' Later: 'Gentlemen, we shall meet again soon, so is the fate of all men. I have believed in God all my life and I die believing in God.' "
Zerotalk 09:34, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I think the multiple translation issue is the main factor here. Thanks for digging further User:Zero0000. Irondome (talk) 01:10, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

born in sarona in templar colony[edit]

in the trial testimony it is stated that he was born in the templar colony in sarona — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.167.29.125 (talkcontribs) 06:32, November 21, 2014 (UTC)

That is incorrect. What is recorded in the trial testimony is a witness reporting Eichmann claiming to have been born in Sarona while interrogating some Jews. (see here). Eichmann occasionally made this claim but it was a fantasy—he was born in Solingen and grew up near Linz. See here. —  Cliftonian (talk)  16:18, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Eichmann Before Jerusalem[edit]

"[Bettina Stangneth's] new portrait of Eichmann is very different from Arendt's..She reveals a skilled social manipulator with a pronounced ability to reinvent himself, an ideological warrior unrepentant about the past and eager to continue the racial war against the Jews.", Saul David, Review, The Daily Telegraph, 29 Nov 2014. It may be worth someone's while to read this book and cite it. Budhen (talk) 18:02, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. I'm about 1/2 through reading it. Zerotalk 19:05, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Would you recommend it User:Zero0000? It may not be too late to ask my significant other to get it for me as a new year present. She is aware of my rather bleak reading preferences. She is more of the A bear called paddington literary school. She may have her priorities right. Cheers! Irondome (talk) 01:21, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
It is a fascinating book that I definitely recommend. A large part of the book is an account of the Sassen "interviews" which in fact were no such thing. Sassen hosted a long series of group discussions in his house, attended by Eichmann as well as by a lot of other fugitive Nazis and sympathisers, using their real names. They discussed everything to do with the holocaust, including working through books about it page by page. It wasn't always cordial, either. The discussions were recorded and typed up; over 1000 pages survive as well as many of the tapes. Eichmann also wrote a large amount himself, most never published. Zerotalk 04:36, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Appreciated. Do you have the ISBN? Regards Irondome (talk) 05:08, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
9781847923233 or 9781847923257 . It was earlier published in German and there is a second German edition too. Zerotalk 06:46, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Trial videotaped[edit]

A minor, non-controversial technical point. I came across a reference many years ago mentioning that the actual trial footage was shot entirely in video format. I am wracking my battered brain attempting to remember the original source. It is notable as an early usage of videotaping in creating a visual historical record. I believe "film", the former wording to be imprecise. I dont have the C source to hand so I cannot say what the wording actually is. However C may have just used "film" as shorthand, or he was just using the conventional (still) terminology of the early 1960s for all visual media. VT was not really a widely understood concept until the late 70s or arguably the early 80s to the general public. A minor point, I know, but of some technical note. Thoughts or anyone with additional knowledge of this? Happy to discuss as always. Irondome (talk) 01:23, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Cesarani says film (page 254), but his source While America Watches : Televising the Holocaust says videotape, from the snippets I can see on Google preview. I will order it in on inter-library loan to confirm. -- Diannaa (talk) 02:51, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Excellent Diannaa. Sounds the best possible cite to use also as it is the direct source that Cesarani used. Thanks as ever. Irondome (talk) 03:04, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
The film can be seen at USHMM. The long list of technical details includes 'Original Format: 2" Quad'. I'm no expert but I think that refers to an early type of videotape recorder, see Quadruplex videotape. Zerotalk 07:34, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I just noticed that the same source says "Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation recorded the proceedings of the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961. The original recording was made on two-inch format videotape." and there is more information about what happened to the original tapes. I think we can consider that source wiki-reliable. Zerotalk 07:46, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
User:Zero0000 the additional info is much appreciated. I have a hunch this was probably the most ambitious and lengthy usage of the relatively new Video technology in this time frame. As such it has some technical and historical notability. Thanks to you and User:Diannaa for being so helpful. Cheers all! Irondome (talk) 22:18, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Eichmann's nationality[edit]

It lists his nationality as having been of Nazi Germany, which makes sense, but he wasn't actually born there between 1933 and 1945, so it wouldn't have actually been such at the time of his birth, but would have been of the German Empire. It wasn't "Nazi Germany" at the time of his death, either. Perhaps there is a better way to represent Eichmann's nationality? Maybe just an unlinked "Germany"? I can't really think of anything else, so I am open to any ideas. Dustin (talk) 00:48, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Nazi Germany isn't a nationality. It's a description. I don't believe it was even officially called that, since "Nazi" refers to a political party (and the word Nazi wasnt used in Germany, but never mind that). His nationality should just be German and perhaps his country of birth changed to German Empire. freshacconci talk to me 00:55, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
An interesting point. I would suggest an additional "Allegiance" line, with Nazi Germany as the flag. But I would argue that his nationality covers his political and ideological alignment very acutely at the moment. He was operating as an official of Nazi Germany, and he embraced its perverted doctrines to an extreme degree. Your suggestions I would say are far too convoluted for article clarity in their present form. Nazi Germany is many times referred to as National Socialist Germany by many leading Nazi figures in speeches and writings. Its official status as N.S.Germany seems to have been widely accepted in Germany. The party and state morphed into one in German consciousness, especially among the young. Some foreign descriptions use this term, as I believe can be dug out as sources, especially dating from the early years. Irondome (talk) 01:12, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Saying he was German isn't convoluted. It's actually the simplest solution. And as Dustin V.S. says, he wasn't part of Nazi Germany his whole life, so that's just confusing. Actually, the simplest thing would be to see what other articles do. I looked at Himmler's and Goering's articles and they seem to bypass it altogether by not stating a nationality, just birthplace and place of death, plus party allegiance. freshacconci talk to me 01:38, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I like those examples. I would support a change to fall in line with those articles. His early life is in mainspace anyway. People should read the article, not infoboxes :) Irondome (talk) 01:43, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
According to Template:Infobox person, the |nationality= parameter should not be used when it is already made clear by the place of birth what the person's nationality is. I completely removed the parameter. Dustin (talk) 02:50, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Good edit. Looks better. Irondome (talk) 03:03, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Arendt[edit]

Since Arendt's "banality of evil" is mentioned (unavoidably) it seems logical to also explain that her credibility has been fundamentally questioned - not being present for most of the trial, etc etc. I don't think it's off-topic, particularly. Not mentioning the criticism gives the impression that her 'analysis' is accepted as uncontroversial, or reasonable, when it isn't. zzz (talk) 05:58, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

The fact that she wasn't present should be mentioned, at least (how can she claim to know his character from the trial when she chose not to be present? As many writers have commented.) This is the source I was using, which completely destroys her credibility. I think the criticisms are unavoidable. Google "banality of evil" and it's all criticism, more or less. I don't have a book about Eichmann now, but when I did, it criticised Arendt - for leaving the trial, and for her publicly declared aversion to Jews(!). zzz (talk) 06:05, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Date of death[edit]

Sometime in 2013 I changed the date of death from 31 May to 1 June with this explanation:

This has been brought up before (see Archive 1) but not adequately addressed. As far as I know, sources based on eye-witness accounts say that Eichmann was hanged after midnight, i.e. on June 1. For example the chaplain Hull (who was present and gives a minute by minute timeline) states 12:02am. The book of Cesarani, while not stating an actual time of death, says that it was scheduled for midnight but there was a technical problem with the apparatus that caused a delay. What sources of similar quality exist for May 31?

The date was soon changed back to May 31 by some anon without explanation. I don't see any reason for not now changing it back, so I will. Zerotalk 08:17, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

It was probably removed because Worldcat has the book labelled as fiction. Can you confirm that it's a non-fiction work? -- Diannaa (talk) 15:24, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Definitely not fiction, that's a mistake. Also note that Cesarani cites this book repeatedly and describes Hull's role starting on page 316. Stangneth cites the German edition of it too. Zerotalk 00:40, 19 December 2014 (UTC)