Monday, November 24, 2008

banality of evil

Guard handing note written by Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann [1906-1932] to defense attorneys; Eichmann sitting in glass booth surrounded by guards during trial for atrocities committed during WWII. Photograph by Gjon Mili, Jerusalem, 1961.

From Wiki:
The banality of evil is a phrase coined in 1963 by Hannah Arendt [1906-1975] in her work Eichmann in Jerusalem. It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.