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Becoming Eichmann : rethinking the life, crimes, and trial of a "desk murderer"
David Cesarani
Adult Nonfiction DD247.E5 C47 2006

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Summary: In charge of the logistical apparatus of mass deportation and extinction, Adolf Eichmann was at the center of the Nazi genocide against the Jews. He was personally responsible for transporting over two million Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps. This is the first account of Eichmann's life to appear since the aftermath of his famous trial in 1961 and his subsequent execution in Jerusalem a year later. It reveals that the depiction of Eichmann as a loser who drifted into the ranks of the SS is a fabrication that conceals Eichmann's considerable abilities and his early political development. Drawing on recently unearthed documents, David Cesarani shows how Eichmann became the Reich's "expert" on Jewish matters and reveals his initially cordial working relationship with Zionist Jews in Germany, despite his intense anti-Semitism. Cesarani explains how the massive ethnic cleansing Eichmann conducted in Poland in 1939-40 was the crucial bridge to his later role in the mass deportation of the Jews. And Cesarani argues controversially that Eichmann was not necessarily predisposed to mass murder, exploring the remarkable, largely unknown period in Eichmann's early career when he first learned how to become an administrator of genocide. This challenging work deepens our understanding of Adolf Eichmann and offers fresh insights both into the operation of the Final Solution and the making of its most notorious perpetrator.


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