Eichmann before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer by Bettina Stangneth (Translated by Ruth Martin) - review by David Cesarani

David Cesarani

The Argentine Connection

Eichmann before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer

By

The Bodley Head 579pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

Adolf Eichmann’s notoriety waxed as his influence waned. During the Nuremberg Trials, a succession of defendants and witnesses fingered him in absentia. It became highly convenient to displace responsibility for the persecution of the Jews onto his shoulders. Contrary to what many historians (including myself) have assumed, in the immediate postwar years Eichmann was targeted by Jewish organisations hunting Nazi criminals and wanted by both the British and the Americans. This was partly why he decided to flee his hideout in northern Germany in 1950 and make for Argentina. 

Bettina Stangneth would like to persuade us that Eichmann was a notorious character as early as 1938. She certainly demonstrates that he was not merely a back-room boy of the SS who shunned publicity. He cultivated an image and used his infamy among German Jews as a tool for manipulating

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter