Talk:Adolf Eichmann

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Lede is too long[edit]

Surely this can be condensed? The main body should contain the more detailed information. (talk) 09:00, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

I think the lead is fine the way it is. It is almost identical to the version that passed GA review back in 2013. WP:Lead states that "The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview" and "should contain no more than four well-composed paragraphs". It needs to cover all the main points in the article without going into too much detail. Many readers will look at nothing but the lead, so it needs to be comprehensive. — Diannaa (talk) 13:32, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

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Hannah Arendt[edit]

Some time back I added a citation needed to this article. The specific statement I wanted a citation for is this

"(Eichmann was) one of the major organisers of the Holocaust" - my edit was promptly deleted by an editor who claimed that this was thoroughly cited in the article.

After scanning the article and sources, I still can not find a clear source or reason for this statement. The reason why a mid-level Nazi officer is considered a "major organiser" is not clear to me from any of the detailed discussion in the article.

Hannah Arendt's work is notoriously controversial, but it does raise questions. The article mentions "banality of evil" in passing without any further discussion of the implications of the phrase or the tremendous literature and critiscms it has spawned. But given the existence of such a deeply rooted academic controversy related to the issue of Eichmann, the debate over what Arendt meant (was he a cog in the machine, etc.) - is it fair to treat the characterization of Eichmann as a "major organizer" as uncontroversial and not needing citation or further discussion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seraphimsystem (talkcontribs) 02:01, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Hanna Arendt is not very relevant for the sentence in the introduction, so I'll not comment on her. I tend to agree with you that "one of the major organisers of the Holocaust" is not a good summary. Eichmann was one of the key figures in the execution of the Holocaust, in particular due to his leadership of the transportation side of it, but he was not one of the high-level planners. The sentence as now can lead readers to think that he was one of the Nazi inner circle who planned the Holocaust, which is not correct and especially likely to mislead because it is a common misconception. Eichmann was not senior enough to meet Hitler even once. Perhaps "one of the major organisers of the Holocaust" can be replaced by "one of the main figures in carrying out the Holocaust" or something less clunky? I'd appreciate Diannaa's comments. Zerotalk 02:36, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
He was not directly involved in the decision to perpetrate the Holocaust but he organized trains to Auschwitz (including 600,000 Hungarian Jews) in full knowledge of what was happening there. One out of six Jews who died, died at Autschwitz. I think "main organizer" does not over-state what he did, and is appropriate. — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 03:27, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I added a quote from Hannah Arendt in the "trial" section that may also be relevant to this discussion in terms of there are other viewpoints but I don't know if you would consider Hannah Arendt WP:UNDUE here in the lead - since she has been so influential I wonder if maybe it would be ok to give her work some acknowledgement in the article. -Seraphimsystem (talk) 10:29, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
There used to be more about Hannah Arendt in the article, but someone took it out as being undue weight. You might consider looking at the version that passed GA: Previous revision of Adolf Eichmann. Arendt was a reporter, not a historian, and her views need to be balanced against those of actual historians such as Bettina Stangneth. Her name is already mentioned 22 times in the article as it stands right now. — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 12:26, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough. Seraphimsystem (talk) 12:35, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Capture in Argentina - Rafi Eitan and Bascomb[edit]

I flagged this for dispute because the cited source (Bascomb 2009) contradicts Rafi Eitan's account which was published in 2008 in Haaretz. Eitan says that Mossad knowingly allowed Mengele to escape. The article says that capturing Mengele would have risked sabotaging the capture of Eichmann, and that they decided capturing Eichmann was more important. It says the agents believed Mengele's absence from his apartment was only temporary, but did not want to risk discovery after they had captured Eichmann. This seems extremely credible, but contradicts the cited information in the article - I was wondering if anyone could double-check the source or clarify this further? One of these accounts must be factually inaccurate, so I wanted to flag it for review, thank you. Seraphimsystem (talk) 12:30, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

I have found the article online and am adding something. Mengele was already spending most of his time in Paraguay by 1959, well before the Israeli team arrived, but he still occasionally visited Buenos Aires, as his family was living there. He never returned to Argentina after the Eichmann capture and his family moved back to Germany in December 1960. (Levy 2006, p. 272-273). — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 13:07, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up, Haaretz may have editorialized somewhat. Eitan doesn't say Eichmann was "more important" - the article attributes that to the Avner Shalev, the Chairman of Yad Vashem. I don't know if anyone else thinks that is worth adding. It seems more opinion then historical fact. I am satisfied the section is factually accurate with your add. Seraphimsystem (talk) 13:41, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Citation question + Additions to lead[edit]

Someone has asked that I use citations consistent with the articles style - I don't know how to cite a website using sfn, can someone please tell me what citation format I should use to cite a website for this article?

Also, regarding reverted additions, the lead is stronger with Hoss' testimony, which is much more damning then his involvement with the train system, in the sense that it is about his role in organizing the Final Solution specifically at Auschwitz, under Himmler's orders, not Heydrich's. If you guys think the content in the article/lead is complete without that information, or the links to Hoss, Himmler Auschwitz then I must defer to consensus, but I am amazed(?) that Auschwitz is not highlighted in the first paragraph, and is buried somewhere near the end of a lengthy lead - given Eichmann's role in the implementation of the Final Solution. I could not see Auschwitz until I scanned for it. I think it should be changed, but I understand some editors here may disagree. Seraphimsystem (talk) 13:34, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree with Kierzek that the Hoss's testimony does not belong in the lead, and especially does not belong in the opening paragraph of the lead. I have a couple of objections: It's a primary source, and Wikipedia articles should be based primarily on information in secondary sources. I have included the information later in the article, where the mass deportations from Hungary are discussed. But some of Hoss's testimony has been called into question over the years, and some is provably incorrect, so if any editors think the Hoss testimony should be removed altogether I would not object.
It took me half an hour to clean up your edit. Articles that have been promoted to Good Article or Featured Article already meet the standards for compliance with numerous quality criteria, and you need to ensure that your edits are of equivalent quality so that people don't have to clean up after you. There's information on the lead section at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section and specifics on how to use the short-form Harvard citation templates at Template:Harvard citation documentation. I suggest you start learning how to use citation templates by studying the guide at Wikipedia:Citation templates. — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 13:51, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
Are law sources the same as primary sources? Law sources seem to be used frequently, mostly in discussions of Nuremburg, or other law cases. I've seen disputes about the reliability of Hoss' memoirs, but not about this part of the Nuremburg testimony? Is Eichmann's involvement in the Final Solution debated by scholars? I would like to read more about that - I tried to include information that I would want as a reader/researcher, but since this isn't covered in the article, I will do my own research.
Thank you for cleaning up the citation, if it took you half an hour, I probably wouldn't have been able to do it myself. Seraphimsystem (talk) 14:12, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
The policy page is Wikipedia:No original research#Primary, secondary and tertiary sources. Hoss's own testimony at the Nuremberg Trial is considered a primary source, as it is an account by a person who was directly involved. — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 18:26, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Diannaa, Also, it would not be considered "law sources", only court testimony by the individual, who would be considered a primary source. Kierzek (talk) 18:59, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
As someone who knows much less about Holocaust history then either of the editors above, I would find it valuable if the links provided in the paragraph highlighted the main issues and people involved in the body (Final Solution, Himmler, Auschwitz), somewhere in the first paragraph, before Argentina - for me, with my limited knowledge, it was difficult to extract the most significant facts from the body. My intent wasn't to include Hoss' testimony as much as it was to make Eichmann's connection to Himmler, Auschwitz and the Final Solution explicitly clear in the first three sentences. I think it would make the article better, but others have put a lot more work into this article then I have and I will defer to them (and I don't have sources for it in front of me.) Seraphimsystem (talk) 19:27, 28 March 2017 (UTC)


I am going to put up a separate page Adolf Eichmann Trial as part of Wikiproject Law, so I will be taking down the redirect to this page. Seraphim System (talk) 02:06, 10 April 2017 (UTC)