The Eichmann Trial
By Deborah E. Lipstadt
(Schocken, Hardcover, 9780805242607, 272pp.)
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
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***NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FINALIST (2012)***
Part of the Jewish Encounter series
The capture of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina in May of 1960 and his subsequent trial in Jerusalem by an Israeli court electrified the world. The public debate it sparked on where, how, and by whom Nazi war criminals should be brought to justice, and the international media coverage of the trial itself, was a watershed moment in how the civilized world in general and Holocaust survivors in particular found the means to deal with the legacy of genocide on a scale that had never been seen before.
Award-winning historian Deborah E. Lipstadt gives us an overview of the trial and analyzes the dramatic effect that the survivors’ courtroom testimony—which was itself not without controversy—had on a world that had until then regularly commemorated the Holocaust but never fully understood what the millions who died and the hundreds of thousands who managed to survive had actually experienced.
As the world continues to confront the ongoing reality of genocide and ponder the fate of those who survive it, this trial of the century, which has become a touchstone for judicial proceedings throughout the world, offers a legal, moral, and political framework for coming to terms with unfathomable evil. Lipstadt infuses a gripping narrative with historical perspective and contemporary urgency.
Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (a National Jewish Book Award winner); Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory; and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933–1945. She lives in Atlanta.
“The Eichmann Trial makes an excellent primer on a landmark event. With impressive authority and commendable concision, Lipstadt frames and explores to its known ends the vast universe of moral quandaries thrown open by the Eichmann trial. In so doing, she makes a welcome contribution to our record of the twentieth century’s most horrifying and depressing episode.”
—The Washington Post
“The Eichmann Trial is both riveting and nuanced, and should be required reading for anyone who does not wish to wade through eight volumes of trial transcripts.”
—The Jerusalem Post Magazine
“Scrupulously researched . . . a comprehensive and serious but highly readable report of the trial [that is] nothing less than a page-turner. Beginning with Eichmann’s cloak-and-dagger capture in Argentina, through the events leading up to the trial, to the details of the trial (surprisingly fascinating, even fifty years later), Lipstadt knows how to move a story along. [She is] expert at parsing moments in history that are not easy to understand. . . . A tour-de-force.”
—The Jewish Week
“Lipstadt has done a great service by untethering the [Eichmann] trial from Hannah Arendt’s polarizing presence, recovering the event as a gripping legal drama, as well as a hinge moment in Israel’s history and in the world’s delayed awakening to the magnitude of the Holocaust. . . . Her conclusions about Eichmann in Jerusalem are rendered calmly and with devastating fairness.”
—Franklin Foer, The New York Times Book Review
“A thoughtfully researched and clearly written account of the courtroom proceedings and of the debates spurred by the trial.”
—David Pryce-Jones, The Wall Street Journal
“Contains interesting and informative insights on this historic trial . . . [it is] a valuable contribution to an ever-increasing library of Eichmann books.”
—Washington Independent Review of Books
“An authoritative analysis of the historical and legal issues involved in a trial of international significance. Highly recommended.”
“Having covered the Eichmann trial myself, I can warmly recommend Deborah Lipstadt’s important analysis of its fascinating perspectives.”
“A penetrating and authoritative dissection of a landmark case and its after effects.”
“Just in time for its fiftieth anniversary, renowned historian Deborah Lipstadt has reworked the Eichmann trial. This book is a powerfully written testimony to our ongoing fascination with the proceedings, the resonance of survivor tales, and how both changed our understanding of justice after atrocity.”
—David Gergen, professor, Harvard Kennedy School
“An excellent work of historical and political analysis by an accomplished writer. Compellingly written, it grips the reader from its opening pages. With this book, Deborah Lipstadt consolidates her standing as one of the major figures in the Jewish world today.”
—Anthony Julius, author of Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England