The conference was released on January 20, 1942, with the new movie (there is a 1991 movie called The Conspiracy or The Final Solution) about the famous Wansee conference, which started the final chapter of the extermination of the Jews and was called the “Final Solution”. In theaters (not in Alicante) on Friday. Shot by German director Matti Geschonneck at Villa am Wansee in south Berlin, the film recreates a more than ninety-minute scene of the meeting where they were summoned by Reinhard Heydrich, head of the SS Reich Security Office (RSHA). , Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man, twelve heads of the Nazi regime at various echelons, for a “debate and then breakfast” on the subject one Saturday morning: “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”
First on the list is Adolf Eichmann, SS lieutenant colonel and Reich’s head of Jewish Affairs, who was responsible for presenting the dossier for each of the participants.
As soon as the movie starts, it shows the final explanations of the document Eichmann prepared for the meeting. This is the first hit. A compilation that equates to 11 million Jews in Europe.
The service planned canapes of salmon, cognac and coffee for the leaders.
The only copy of the recording was found in 1947, after the first Nuremberg trial, and was used as evidence in several subsequent trials. It belonged to Martin Luther, undersecretary of the German Foreign Ministry.
The “Final Solution” is not the decision to exterminate the Jews in this way, but its final phase. So, the industrial climax of the genocide began, especially in 1935, when the Nuremberg laws deprived, in Hanna Arendt’s words, of the rights to “destroy” the “concept of being human.” That home tension would be even greater, industrial destruction. Details on the ongoing “deportations” and “transfers” were avoided at the meeting. The message is about the size of the operation: jump in to a more effective genocide with close ranks from the top down, less impact on the morale of the genocidal police and military. Shooting gets old. The existing corpse factories in the countries should be expanded and the number of concentration camps should be increased.
Eichmann’s presence as Reich’s head of Jewish Affairs in the preparation of the meeting points us to an international debate on the chronicles of the Eichmann case in Israel by the German political scientist Hanna Arendt, who refused to be considered a philosopher. 1961, published as a book: Eichmann in Jerusalem. A study on the banality of evil.
As Raul Hilberg writes, Arendt’s inspiration (The Destruction of the Jews of Europe, which, despite having previously submitted a negative report on the manuscript for the publishing house Princeton University Press in 1959, affected several years’ delay in its publication)” (of Arendt’s book) is the auxiliary title, the main It has the strange reputation of being more famous than the title”.
The idea of the banality of evil was the result of an exchange of letters in 1946 between Arendt and the German anti-Nazi philosopher Karl Jaspers, the director of her doctoral thesis in philosophy. Arendt said that Nazi policy had overstepped its bounds. which crime was understood, hence the monstrosity. This, Jaspers said, should mythologize this cruelty, which is to be understood not in terms of demonic greatness, but in terms of “banality and platitudes of nonsense.”
Arendt believed it when she presented Eichmann in court as “a vulgar bureaucrat who carried out orders from his superiors”, mediocre, obedient, unable to think for himself when he sent thousands of Jews to Auschwitz. Arendt applied Jaspers’ nuance of mediocrity to Eichmann, whom she erroneously and clumsily began to describe as a “stupid” bureaucrat.
Eichmann’s own memoirs in Argentina, partially published before the trial, made it clear that the Nazi plan was the extermination of all Jews. And it turns out that the lieutenant colonel was once anti-Semitic.
But the book Before Jerusalem by the German philosopher Bettina Stangneth Eichmann. The Unbearable Life of a Mass Murderer (2011) traces definitive biography in a way that Arendt did not: following in Eichmann’s footsteps in his own historical context. And a different portrait emerges, leaving in little psychology what Arendt wrote from the room where the trial was broadcast.
He was completely wrong in attributing the banality of evil to the bad, very bad, but not banal Eichmann.