Unit 3 – In Unit 3, with Professor Tamura, we had a deep focus on the idea of the “banality of evil” The banality of evil, the term coined by Hannah Arendt. This term focuses on the idea that someone who may be committing evil acts, but is not evil. Someone used heavily by Hannah Arendt to explain this was Adolf Eichmann.
Adolf Eichmann was a member of the nazi party, who was responsible for assembly, transportation, and identification of all Jews all throughout Europe until they reached the concentration camps. Eichmann had originally escaped from prison and took refuge into the Middle East, until he was then re arrested by the Israeli secret service near Buenos Aires. He was then transported to Israel to be convicted. He ended up being indicted on 15 criminal charges, those being, being a member of a criminal organization, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes against the Jewish people.
The reason that Eichmann was considered the epitome of the banality of evil was because during his entire trial he made the consistent claim that he was doing nothing besides what he had to do. In order to survive he needed to do this job, and although his job was evil he claimed to not be evil because he had no direct intention and or a harsh opinion towards Jewish people, which meant to himself that he was indeed not evil.