You are one of those people I count among the great gifts of this world.

Karl Jaspers

There are a few moments in life when the height and depth of the significance of the occasion become too great for utterance, when the thrill of electric sympathy touches the whole generation at once, and brings us to our feet with a spiritual-intellectual shock. Two of these happened in my time: the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the charismatic, vigorous President, the youngest ever elected to office, as he beckoned the country forth to the future, to the „New Frontier”, and its promise of conquest: putting a man on the moon, defeating what Hannah Arendt called totalitarianism, poverty and racial injustice. It was fifty years ago. I was 28, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles. We were sitting in a classroom when Prof. Andrzej Korbonski walked in to announce that the President of the United States had been shot. That act, that shot changed our world. Those of us who were young and ready on that bitterly cold January day in 1961 to hear the Inaugural Address, with its memorable lines and cadences, honed on Greek classics, knew instantly that something significant was taking place. A torch was indeed being passed to a new generation. The excitement was the promise; the legacy is the dream; and now an eternal flame burns on his grave.

Let me say this of my late friend Andrzej Korbonski, who knew and respected Hannah Arendt. Professor Emeritus of the UCLA Department of Political Science, Korbonski, born and raised in Poland, joined the Polish underground army to fight against Nazi Germany. In the New World he became a distinguished Polish- American scholar whose contribution to Communist and post-Communist studies was internationally recognised.

And if I were to write the intellectual history of the twentieth century, not in terms of successive generations, where the historian is faithful to the sequence of ideas and attitudes, but as a biography of a single person, that person would be Hannah Arendt. To enter the haunted and haunting world of Arendt is to encounter, face to face, the political and moral Inferno of the twentieth century. Her life (1906–1975) spanned the blood-stained convulsions of two world wars, the rise of totalitarian regimes, the man-made domain of terror, and the violence and death of some seventy million human beings in Europe and Russia, between the start of the First World War and the end of the Second.

Needing Hell, we have learned and excelled in building and running it efficiently here on earth. What an enchanting wealth in creative imagination, locating Hell above ground, in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia, a turning point in Western civilisation. As Arendt put it.

Even in the darkest of times we have the right to expect some illumination. [This] illumination… may well come less from theories and concepts than from uncertain, flickering, and often weak light that some men and women in their lives and works, will kindle under almost all circumstances and shed over the time span that was given them on earth… Eyes so used to darkness as ours will hardly be able to tell whether their light was the light of a candle or that of a blazing sun. But such objective evaluation seems to me a matter of secondary importance which can be safely left to posterity.1

But even eyes so used to darkness as mine, who grew up in Communist Hungary, were able to tell that the light Arendt kindled, for me and my generation, was more than the light of a candle; it was a blazing sun. The circuit of Arendt’s life and creativity, the horizon in which her work moved, was not actually a circle. Rather, it resembles a triangle whose sides can be accurately labelled: philosophy–freedom–action.

The dual identity of Arendt, German and Jew, marked the terrible inner contradiction and agonies of her generation. No matter how insignificant or remote this identity problem may appear to us in the face of what actually happened later, we cannot ignore it here, for neither Kafka nor Arendt can be understood without it.

When Karl Jaspers asked Arendt whether she was a German or a Jew, she replied:

To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t matter to me in the least on a personal and individual level… I’d put it this way: Politically, I will always speak only in the name of the Jews whenever circumstances force me to give my nationality. That is easier for me than for your wife [a Jew], because I am a further remove from this whole question and because I never felt myself, either spontaneously or at my own insistence, to „be a German”. What remains is the language, and how important that is one learns only when, more nolens than volens, one speaks and writes other languages. Isn’t that enough?2

Although Arendt and Jaspers confronted directly the rise of Hitler and the problem posed by Nazism, she had no sympathy for Jaspers’ Germanness and the great “intellectual tradition” of Germany with which she felt connected from an earlier age. When Jaspers cites her Max Weber as the ideal type of “the German essence”, she minces no words about “German essence” and sharing the same intellectual tradition:

But let me come back to the Jewish question. I recall our disagreement very well. In the course of it, you once said that (or wrote) to me that we were all in the same boat. I can’t remember whether I answered you or only thought to myself that with Hitler as captain (this was before ’33) we Jews would not be in the same boat. That was wrong, too, because under the circumstances you weren’t in the boat much longer either or, if you were, then only as a prisoner. In condition of freedom every individual should be able to decide what he would like to be, German or Jew or whatever. In an a-national republic like the United States, in which nationality and state are not identical, this becomes more or less a question with only social and cultural meaning but not political meaning.3

As an émigrée, Arendt belonged to two worlds: the old world of her origin, Germany, and the new world, the United States. Her search for an ideal definition of politics was influenced by her confrontation with the perverted politics of National Socialist totalitarianism in her native Germany. Answering the question of what constitutes the authentically political, where human dignity and moral ideals are realised, she proudly points to the great republic of her refuge.

The rise of totalitarian regimes is the focus of The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), the magisterial study of those “hidden” elements of modern European history that “crystallised” in Stalin’s Gulag Archipelago and Hitler’s Final Solution. It is in the crematoriums, in the gulags, in the negation of things human that, for Arendt, the “real twentieth century” begins. That century did not kill truth. It discovered the absolute truth. That century gave a new definition of radical evil in its multiform linkages to death – human beings were banished to the man-made hells of Auschwitz and the Gulag. That century achieved the satanic greatness of arrogating to itself the right to annihilate every aspect of human freedom, private as well as public, and give birth to a new world through terror and death.

That century exerted a powerful influence on Arendt’s activities of thinking, willing and judging. The more closely we examine her writings, the more striking it becomes that thinking, thinking as an individual, self-thinking with intellectual courage is a pervasive theme in her entire corpus. As a Jew, she is a pariah, one of the “oppressed people” who, being an outcast, a status thrust upon her by society, takes advantage of this status by defiant assertion of her independence and her freedom.

Nothing illustrates it better than the publication of Arendt’s most discussed and most controversial book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963). Three years after it appeared in print, a civil war erupted among intellectuals in the United States and in Europe. As Arendt told Mary McCarthy, the book was a “cura posterior”, the delayed ease of a pain that weighted upon her as a Jew, and a former German. Ironically this book is Arendt’s most existential and most intensely Jewish work. She identifies herself, morally and intellectually, with the Jewish people.

And yet the great Jewish historian Gershom Scholem blamed Arendt for her total lack of sympathy for Israel and the Jews:

In the Jewish tradition there is a concept, hard to define, and yet concrete enough, which we know as Ahabath Israel: “Love of the Jewish people…” In you, dear Hannah, as in so many intellectuals who came from the German Left, I find little trace of this. A discussion such as is attempted in your book seems to me to require – you will forgive my mode of expression – the most old-fashioned, the most circumspect, the most exacting treatment possible – precisely because of the feeling aroused by this matter, this matter of the destruction of one-third of our people – and I regard you wholly as a daughter of our people, and in no other way. Thus I have little sympathy with that tone – well expressed by the English word “flippancy”– which you employ so often in the course of your book.4

In her reply to Scholem, Arendt identifies herself with the Jews because she is both a Jew and a European:

Let me come to the point: let me begin… with what you call “love of the Jewish people” or Ahabath Israel… You are quite right – I am not moved by any “love” of this sort, and for two reasons: I have never in my life “loved” any people or collective – neither the German people, nor the French, nor the American, not the working class or anything of that sort. … What confuses you is that my arguments and my approach are different from what you are used to; in other words, the trouble is that I am independent. By this I mean, on the one hand, that I do not belong to any organisation and always speak only for myself, and on the other hand, that I have great confidence in Lessing’s selbstdenken for which, I think, no ideology, no public opinion, and no “convictions” can ever be a substitute.5

Even Jaspers questioned her view that the Final Solution of the Jewish question – massacre of European Jews – cannot be comprehended as “crime”.

You say that what the Nazis did cannot be comprehended as “crime” – I’m not altogether comfortable with your view, because a guilt that goes beyond all criminal guilt inevitably takes on a streak of “greatness” – of satanic greatness – which is, for me, as inappropriate for the Nazis as all the talk about the “demonic” element in Hitler and so forth. It seems to me that we have to see these things in their total banality, in their prosaic triviality, because that’s what truly characterises them…Your view is appealing – especially as contrasted with what I see as the inhuman innocence of the victims. But all this would have to be expressed differently. The way you do express it, you’ve almost taken the path of poetry. And a Shakespeare would never be able to give adequate form to this material – his instinctive aesthetic sense would lead to falsification of it – and that’s why he couldn’t attempt it. There is no idea and no essence here.6

I now want to follow this. Let’s imagine then that Shakespeare attended the trial of Eichmann in Jerusalem. The great Shakespeare, who can say everything, everything, everything exactly as it is, could he have portrayed Eichmann as sequel to Iago or Macbeth or Richard III? The answer is No. A character like Eichmann, who carries out the Final Solution of the Jewish question out of duty because it expresses Hitler’s will, such character was unknown to Shakespeare and therefore he could have never given voice to it. For a poet buys this power of words to utter all the grim inner secrets of others at the cost of a little secret he cannot utter, and Shakespeare could not think himself into and grasp the yawning abyss of emptiness in which raged the dark passions of Eichmann.

In Eichmann we see a human type that is not a Shakespearean type. What is it then that Eichmann is supposed to exemplify? For Arendt, he is not a mindless bureaucrat goose stepping to orders. He is an idealist, what, to Arendt, means an ideologue, someone who suspends his own moral convictions to give rise to the Nazi Empire, an empire beyond good and evil. The Nazi movement put Eichmann in the seat of History in the making, a history as grandiose as it was blood-curdling, a history of terrifying self-deception, where destruction meant creation and mass murder was act of generosity and virtue.

Arendt draws a brilliant caricature of Eichmann. His comedy cannot be conveyed in English because it lies in Eichmann’s heroic fight with the German language, which “inevitably defeats him” because he was genuinely incapable of uttering a “single sentence that was not a cliché”. The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his “inability to speak was clearly connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else”. No communication was possible with Eichmann, “not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against the words and of the presence of others, and hence against reality as such”.7

In the language of clichés, Eichmann shielded himself against the reality of an inhuman, criminal, murderous world. Memorised clichés, lies, self-deceptions and stupidity had now become ingrained in Eichmann’s mentality – the moral prerequisite for survival. In his mind, brimming with Nazi slogans, there was no contradiction between “I will jump into my grave laughing”, appropriate for the end of the war, and “I shall gladly hang myself in public as a warning example for all anti-Semites on this earth”. Eichmann’s commitment to the Final Solution is so unprecedented that one needed new categories, new criteria for judging it. There is something chilling in Eichmann’s glorification and transfiguration of the horrific, unspeakable aspects of existence as remedies for existence. He boasts to an interviewer:

I must honestly tell you that had we… killed 10.3 million Jews I would be satisfied and would say, good, we’ve exterminated the enemy… We would have completed the task for our Blut and our Volk and the freedom of nations had we exterminated the most cunning people in the world… I’m also to blame that… the idea of a real, total elimination could not be fulfilled… I was an inadequate man put in a position where, really, I could have and should have done more.8

This thought of extermination exhilarates Eichmann, it makes him a creator. The Nazi law-giver: Eichmann says “thus it shall be!” It is I who determine the wherefore and whither of mankind, and I possess for this task the power of creation, the will to extermination. This thought elevates Eichmann: how could it not be true? Or: This extermination delights me: how should it not be beautiful? Or: The Final Solution enlarges me: how could I not be great? Have there been other law-givers and exterminators? Yes, Hitler. Talk about a Great Leader with God-like power. Consider the famous Nazi slogan, “Fuhrerworte haben Gesetzes Graft” – the Fuhrer’s words have the force of law. Hitler’s orders, whether given orally or in writing, cancelled the law of God and of man. Hitler’s order for the Final Solution was binding law in Nazi Germany.

But where do all the Hitlers and Eichmanns, Stalins and Rákosis come from? This is often put by worried moralists, as “the problem of evil”. When it came to Eichmann, Arendt phrased it memorably:

Under the gallows, his memory plays him the last trick; he was “elated” and he forgot that this was his own funeral. It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us – the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.9

Reading Arendt makes me think more and more that such a thinker is necessarily a truth teller of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Arendt always found herself and had to find herself in contradiction to her today: her enemy has always been the word-and-thought-defying betrayer of humanity. The rise of Hitler made Arendt feel surrounded by an empty space. The burning of the Reichstag in February 1933, the terror and illegal arrests that had followed that episode were turning points for her.

And I have never forgotten that. I left Germany guided by the resolution – a very exaggerated one – that “Never again!” I will never have anything to do with “history of ideas” again. I didn’t, indeed, want to have anything to do with this sort of society again.10

That resolution led to two conclusions: philosophy is inadequate to inspire resistance in times of political crisis, and friendship has political significance in such times. The metaphor she used to characterise her experience is this “peculiar silence” – being “surrounded by an empty space” – is a striking image of creation. The emptying of the public sphere is what happens whenever people, intimidated, no longer speak truth to power. As a naturalised American citizen, Arendt became a fierce advocate of the “reality of the public realm”.

In the Berlin of 1933, Arendt metamorphosed into a pariah. She chose to write political theory from this position, not from that of a professional thinker. She remained a pariah to the end. Nothing illustrates it better than that the Danish government, eight months before her death, awarded her the Sonning Prize for Contribution to European Civilisation. This was a moment of triumph for the first American citizen and the first woman to receive an honour that had been bestowed upon Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Bertrand Russell, Karl Bath, Arthur Koestler and Niels Bohr.

The irony of the honour was of joining such select society of celebrities in the very civilisation in whose name she might have been annihilated in Nazi Germany. Arendt was honoured and recognised for a contribution to European civilisation because, leaving Europe, she became a citizen of the United States, “entirely and consciously voluntarily because the Republic was indeed a government of law and not of men”11.

In receiving the prize, Arendt affirmed her identity as a pariah thinker. She presented herself to her audience as someone who inhabits many worlds without belonging wholly to any. “I am, as you know, a Jew, femini generis as you can see, born and educated in Germany as, no doubt, you can hear, and formed to a certain extent by eight long and rather happy years in France.”12  She says pointedly to Jaspers, “I’m not homesick for my youth either. Wasn’t Nietzsche perhaps right with his ‘Happy the man who has no homeland’?”13  She was quite content with her portable homeland – the life of the mind.

The seemingly endless blood rites of twentieth-century Europe tested Arendt to see whether she was destined for independence, truth and judgement. This is precisely what she means for us. Throughout history, the truth seekers and truth tellers – Socrates, Jesus, Kant and Kierkegaard – have been aware of the risks of their vaunted vocation. As long as they did not interfere with the status quo, they were object of ridicule, but he who forces his fellow citizen to take him seriously by trying to set him free from falsehood or illusion was in danger of his life: Jesus and Socrates. If they could lay hands on such a person, they would kill him, Plato says in The Republic.

No modern thinker shed more light on the question of what injury total power – Hitler and Stalin – is capable of inflicting on truth than Arendt. Totalitarianism was not a bubonic plague that had descended on humanity from some physical source. The Nazi Empire and the Soviet Empire were the outcome of human actions and the processes they set off; part of the story she tells in her books is a classical, near Homeric tale of hubris followed by nemesis, as the fanatical quest for total power leads to destruction.

For Arendt, the rise of totalitarianism and its results admit of no comparison with anything that the world has ever before witnessed. I go back from age to age up to the remotest antiquity, from Athens to Jerusalem and to Rome, but I find no parallel to Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia, or to what I saw and experienced in Communist Hungary. In my native land, what strange simplification and falsification I witnessed and experienced. The light of reason and liberty is extinguished by slogans that obscure everything, by ideology that degrades all truth to meaningless triviality. Here under the iron heel of tyranny the pillars of truth are also the pillars of political order. Here in school we had to memorise the genius of Stalin:

What moves him, moves. What pleases him, pleases. His aesthetic taste is the world’s taste.

The new truth of dictatorship is dearly bought. It is always accompanied by so fearful an atrophy of things human – beauty, truth and freedom, with which we love the world – that we are reduced to silent wordlessness. And wordlessness is always a result of political barbarism. Terror-enforced muteness may well produce sound, but it produces no speech and certainly no dialogue. No dialogue in the market place or at the forum, no politics. The world grown silent and inhuman: Nazi Empire and Soviet Empire. In this connection I cannot gloss over the fact that for many years I considered the only adequate reply to the question, “what were you in Communist Hungary?” to be “A rebel”. That answer alone took into account the reality, the inner defilement of Communists, often lost in the esoteric verities of Marx and Lenin and almost in love with Stalin, a world which demanded love for the Party and the Leader. They had to be loved and nothing else; they demanded it with hardness, with arrogance, with fearful outbursts against those who denied them their love. Flight from such world can always be justified as long as reality is not ignored, but is constantly acknowledged as the thing that must be escaped.

Let’s return to the “banality of evil”. In using the phrase, Arendt refers to a specific quality of mind and character of the doer: Hitler and Eichmann, Stalin and Rákosi. These paragons of animals, these with godlike and angelic faculties of reason and understanding, born and raised in the countries of Beethoven and Goethe, of Chekhov and Tolstoy, of Petőfi and Ady, these paragons of evil forged empires of steel and terror where human sacrifices were performed. A piece of work – no question about it.

Although Arendt brought the phrase “banality of evil” into prominence, her contribution to political thought is, in my view, the category that is firmly fixed in her work as a whole, and one which has gained significance with the end of the twentieth century: “crimes against humanity”. The generative power of evil in “crimes against humanity” was, she insisted, that it named a new kind of act: namely, the act of genocide. It was perpetrated against a people simply because it existed on this planet as this specific kind of people, as exemplifying the worst among the many possible modes of “human diversity”.

Jews had been killed not because they were enemies of the regime, socialist traitors, or spies against the Fuhrer, but because the Fuhrer said the Jews were inferior beings who had no right to be on this earth. In Eichmann in Jerusalem there is a riveting passage:

From a humdrum life without significance and consequence the wind had blown him [Eichmann] into History, as he understood it, namely, into a Movement that always kept moving… and into the marching columns of the Thousand-Year Reich, which lasted exactly twelve years and three months… He had no time and less desire to be properly informed, and did not even know the Party programme, he never read Mein Kampf.14

A leaf in the whirlwind of time, Eichmann, Nazi incarnation of the vita activa, busy with labour, work and action, had no time to read Mein Kampf. I read it, twice. I treasure many passages, in the clotted pages of Mein Kampf, above all others. Hitler admits that the pacifist-human ideals may be quite good when the world has been “thoroughly conquered and remade” by the Nazis. It is worth quoting Hitler’s racial thoughts:

Racial purity is universally valid… Historical experience offers countless proofs of this… The Germanic inhabitants of the American continent, who have remained racially pure and unmixed, rose to be masters of the continent; they will remain the masters as long as they do not fall victim to defilement of the blood. The genius-race [Aryan, German] … requires a special mission to make it shine… The Jew is a parasite in the body of other nations… In the swastika [we see] the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work, which as such always has been and always will be anti-Semitic.15

Creative work “always will be” anti-Semitic! “After such knowledge”, as T. S. Eliot asked in Gerontion, “what forgiveness?” That’s easy. The question of forgiveness does not apply to Hitler. The discoverer of forgiveness in the realm of human affairs was Jesus. The reason for the insistence on a duty to forgive is clearly “for they know not what they do” and it does not apply to the extremity of crime and state-willed evil. The act of forgiveness does not apply to Hitler. He knew and stated in Mein Kampf what he planned to do and he did it. The crimes, the will to evil of Hitler and Stalin are beyond forgiveness. We have no evidence, none, that Hitler or Stalin would be willing to change their minds if they were again trusted with great power.

Arendt’s conclusion on those offenses which, since Kant, we call “radical evil”, is worth quoting:

All we know is that we can neither punish nor forgive such offenses and that they therefore transcend the realm of human affairs and the potentialities of human power, both of which they radically destroy wherever they make their appearance. Here, where the deed itself dispossesses us of all power, we can indeed only repeat with Jesus: “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea.”16

If there is no forgiveness for evil, perhaps there is one for lies. According to Hitler, the “Germanic inhabitants” rose to be “masters” of the American continent! He ignored that E Pluribus Unum, a phrase on the Seal of the United States, which means “Out of Many, One”. The great seal designed by America’s founders conveys their vision to the world and to the future. The founders knew what we know, we are together in the human immensity on planet earth, out of which greatness emerges only in diversity.

Lest we forget: in the great hour Heaven sent the German people a great artist, Hitler. He designed the swastika. Let us also keep one fact clearly in mind: the language of Hitler was not innocent of the horrors of Nazism. Reading Mein Kampf is to descend into those zones of darkness and primeval shrieks which are the infancy of articulate speech, and which come before words have grown mellow and responsive to the touch of the mind. As George Steiner put it, Hitler sensed “in German another music than that of Goethe, Heine, and [Thomas] Mann; a rasping cadence, half nebulous jargon, half obscenity. And instead of turning away in nauseated disbelief, the German people gave massive echo to the man’s bellowing.”17

Everything forgets, but not the language. With Hitler, words lost their original meaning and acquired hellish definition. Jude, Pole, Russe morphed into two-legged lice, “putrid vermin which good Aryans must squash, as a party manual said, ‘like roaches on dirty wall’. ‘Final solution’, endgültige Lösung, came to signify the death of six million beings in gas ovens”.18

Arendt knew from experience that when the master race, the SS-elite marched and conquered, so did the words of Hitler. As a Jew and German, in whose writing the German language leapt to life with supple, luminous elegance, Arendt reacted with revulsion to the language of the thousand-year Reich. She asked in disbelief, can it be that Hitler has polluted the language of Goethe and Nietzsche and Heine. It can, and it did.

More than that, Fascism and Communism have broken the continuity of Western history. The break in our tradition was an accomplished fact for Arendt. The implications in totalitarian domination go far beyond the most radical or most daring ideas of thinkers. The eruption of political barbarism in Europe created new problems and perplexities which our tradition of thought, from Socrates to Marx, was unable to cope with.

The Europe into which Arendt and her generation were born became a graveyard for millions. Yet as she rightly notes, the barbarism which Europe has undergone reflects, at numerous and precise points, the civilisation which it sprang from and decided to desecrate. Art, music, intellectual pursuits, the development of natural sciences, many branches of scholarship thrived in closer spatial, temporal proximity to crematoriums and death camps. It is the mind-boggling structure and meaning of that proximity that Arendt looks at. How are we to explain that the humanistic traditions and intellectual-moral models of conduct prove so fragile a barrier against political barbarism?

It is to Arendt’s credit that, in her analysis of the viability of moral values and culture, she raises an interesting question. Namely, one can’t say in advance how life is, how chance, fate or totalitarianism will deal with people, except by telling the tale. Life is full of tales. What made the tales disappear? With the Final Solution, the Holocaust, the Gulag Archipelago, with seventy million dead in Europe, there seems to be no willed continuity in time, hence, speaking with Arendt, neither past nor future, only sempiternal change of the world and the ever present biological cycle of living creatures in it.

Since the past in Europe has ceased to throw light upon the future, the mind of Arendt searches for light and direction. She finds it in the New World, her new home. It is not surprising that Arendt, who possessed the gift of thinking poetically in dark times, a victim of Hitler, discovered in America a new order of things, a new insight into the science of politics. She had a great affection for the “American republic” which she admired and honoured with her works.

1 Hannah Arendt, Men in Dark Times (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1968), p. ix.

2 Arendt to Karl Jaspers, 17 December 1946, Hannah Arendt Karl Jaspers Correspondence 1926–1969 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992), p. 70.

3 Arendt to Jaspers, 30 June 1947, Correspondence, p. 90.

4 Hannah Arendt, The Jew as Pariah: Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age, edited and with introduction by Ron H. Feldman (New York: Grove Press, 1978), pp. 241–42.

The Jew as Pariah, pp. 246, 251.

6 Jaspers to Arendt, 19 October 1946, Correspondence, p. 62

7 Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (Penguin Books, 2006), pp. 48–49.

8 Quoted in Mark Lilla, “Arendt & Eichmann: The New Truth”, The New York Review of Books (21 November 2013), p. 36.

Eichmann in Jerusalem, p. 252.

10 Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), p. 108.

11 Hannah Arendt, Untitled address upon receipt of the Sonning Prize, 18 April, 1975, The Hannah Arendt Papers at the Library of Congress, 1.

12 Ibid., 2.

13 Arendt to Jaspers, 11 November 1946, Correspondence, p. 66.

14 Eichmann in Jerusalem, p. 33.

15 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translated by Ralph Manheim (Houghton Mifflin, 1971), pp. 305, 496–97.

16 Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1998), p. 241.

17 George Steiner: A Reader (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 211.

18 Ibid., p. 212.

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