Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Postby admin » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:44 pm

directed by Margarethe von Trotta
© 2012 Heimatfilm GmbH + Co KG, Amour Fou Luxembourg SARL, Mact Productions SA, Metro Communications Ltd.
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And I hope that thinking gives people the strength to prevent catastrophes in these rare moments when the chips are down.
-- Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta
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Re: Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:45 am



[Transcribed from the movie by Tara Carreon]



Hannah Arendt: Barbara Sukowa
Heinrich Blucher: Axel Milberg
Mary McCarthy: Janet McTeer
Lotte Kohler: Julia Jentsch
Hans Jonas: Ulrich Noethen
Kurt Blumenfeld: Michael Degen
William Shawn: Nicholas Woodeson
Lore Jonas: Sascha Ley
Charlotte Beradt: Victoria Trauttmansdorff
Martin Heidegger: Klaus Pohl
Frances Wells: Megan Gay
Siegfried Moses: Germain Wagner


Directed by: Margarethe von Trotta
Screenplay by: Pamela Katz & Margarethe von Trotta
Produced by: Bettina Brokemper & Johannes Rexin
Co-Producers: Bady Minck, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Antoine De Clemont-Tonerre, Sophie Dulac, Michel Zana and David Silber
Cinematographer: Caroline Campetier
Make-Up & Hair: Astrid Weber
Costume Design: Frauke Firl
Production Design: Volker Schaefer
Sound Design: Greg Vittore
Original Music: Andre Mergenthaler
Editor: Bettina Bohler

This supplementary booklet for Zeitgeist Films' DVD and Blu-Ray editions of Margarethe von Trotta's Hannah Arendt was produced with support from the Irving and Gloria Schlossberg Family Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, New York. Biographies and timeline compiled with the assistance of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College.



"The light that comes from a person's works enters directly into the world and remains after the person dies. Whether it is large or small, transitory or enduring depends upon the world and its ways. Posterity will judge. The light that comes from a person's life -- spoken words, gestures, friendships -- survives only in memories. If it is to enter into the world, it must find a new form. A story must be made from many memories and stories." -- Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, author of Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World

The light that Hannah Arendt's work brought into the world still shines. And because her work is invoked by an ever-increasing number of people, it becomes brighter every day. In a time when most felt obligated to adhere to a specific ideology, Arendt was a shining example of someone who remained true to her unique perspective on the world.

In 1983 I wanted to make a film about Rosa Luxemburg, because I was convinced that she was the most important woman and thinker of the last century. I was eager to understand the woman behind this fighter and revolutionary. But as we begin the 21st century, Arendt is an even more important figure. Her foresight and wisdom are only just beginning to be fully understood and addressed. When she first formulated the concept of the "banality of evil" -- a term she coined in her report on the Eichmann trial -- she was sharply criticized and attacked as if she were an enemy of the Jewish people. Today, this concept has become an essential component of any discussion that seeks to judge the crimes of the Nazis.

Once again, I was interested in finding the woman behind this great and independent thinker. She was born in Germany and died in New York. What brought her there?

As a Jew, she certainly hadn't left Germany voluntarily, and for this reason, her story raises a question I have asked in many of my other films: How does a person behave in the face of historical and social events that he or she cannot influence or change? Like many other Jews, Arendt could have been a victim of National Socialism. But she was quick to recognize the danger and fled from Germany to Paris. When France was invaded, she left Marseilles and made her way through Spain and Portugal, and finally to New York. As she fled, she thought bitterly of the many friends who had chosen to remain behind and support the Nazis. She was deeply disappointed to see how quickly they adapted to the "new era," and described this phenomenon in an interview as "zu Hitler fiel ihnen was ein." This means that in order to justify their decision, "they made up ideas about Hitler."

Exile was her "second awakening." The first transformation in her life came when she studied philosophy with Martin Heidegger. At that time, she was certain that her life's vocation would be the pursuit of pure thought. But after her forced exile, she had no choice but to engage with the vents of the real world. By 1960, when she finally settled in America, she was ready to take on one of the most tragic chapters of the 20th century. She would look directly into the face of the man whose name evoked the murder of millions of Jews: Adolf Eichmann.

Our film concentrates on the four turbulent years when the lives of Arendt and Eichmann crossed. This focus offered the opportunity to tell a story that would lead to a profound understanding of both the historical and highly emotional impact of this explosive confrontation. When the uncompromising and unconventional thinker faced the submissive and dutiful bureaucrat, both Arendt and the discourse on the Holocaust changed forever. In Eichmann, she saw a man whose fatal mixture of obedience and an inability to think for himself (Gedankenlosigkeit) was what enabled him to transport millions of people to the gas chambers.

Portraying Arendt almost exclusively during the period which begins with Eichmann's capture and ends shortly after the publication of her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, made it possible not only to investigate her groundbreaking work, but also to reveal her character and personality. We get to know her as a woman, as a lover -- and most important to her character -- as a friend. There are only few flashbacks that take us back to the 1920s and then the 1950s -- showing the youthful Hannah's passionate love affair with Heidegger, as well as their reunion years after the war ended. She never managed to let go of her connection to Heidegger, despite the fact that he joined the National Socialist Party in 1933. These flashbacks are important to understanding Arendt's past, but the film is primarily concerned with her life and relationships in New York: with her husband Heinrich Blucher (who she had met in exile in Paris); with her German and American friends, especially the author Mary McCarthy; and with her oldest friend, the German-Jewish philosopher Hans Jonas.

This is a film that shows Arendt as a person caught between her thoughts and her emotions -- one who often has to disentangle her intellect from her feelings. We see her as a passionate thinker and professor; as a woman capable of lifelong friendship -- she was hailed as a woman who was a "genius at friendship" -- but also as a fighter who courageously defended her ideas and never shied away from any confrontation. But her goal was always to understand. Her signature declaration, "I want to understand," is the phrase that best describes her.

It is precisely in her quest to understand people and the world that made me feel overwhelmingly drawn to her. Like Arendt, I never want to judge, but only to understand. In this film, for example, I want to understand what she thought about totalitarianism and moral collapse in the last century; about self-determination and freedom of choice; and finally, what she managed to illuminate about evil and about love. And I hope that the audience will come to comprehend, just as I did, why it is important to remember this great thinker.

The key to understanding her life is in Arendt's wish to sustain what she called amor mundi, or the "love of eh world." Although her forced exile caused her to experience both vulnerability and dire alienation, she continued to believe in the power of the individual to withstand the cruel force of history. Her refusal to be overwhelmed by despair and hopelessness makes her, in my eyes, an extraordinary woman whose "light still shines today." A woman who can love and be loved. And a woman who can, as she put it, "think without banisters." That is, to be an independent thinker.

In order to offer an authentic vision of Arendt as a human being, we ultimately had to move beyond the mountain of written and archival audiovisual sources. Therefore, after a long period of traditional research, we conducted extensive interviews with contemporaries who had been a part of Hannah Arendt's life and work for many years.


Born in Berlin, Margarethe von Trotta is one of the leaders of the New German Cinema movement, as well as one of the world's most prominent feminist filmmakers. In the early 1960s she pursued acting, working closely with both R.W. Fassbinder and former husband Volker Schlondorff. With Schlondorff she co-directed The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975) before going solo with The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (1978). She has since directed many acclaimed films -- often starring Barbara Sukowa -- including Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness (1979); Marianne and Juliane (1981); Rosa Luxemburg (1986); Rosenstrasse (2003); Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2010); and Hannah Arendt. Von Trotta is also a Professor of Film at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.


Hannah Arendt was a philosopher who warned against the political dangers of philosophy. She fiercely defended the importance of the public sphere, but she was intensely private. Embraced by liberals and conservatives, she also enraged and engaged interlocutors from all political persuasions. She fearlessly raised unpopular questions about the thoughtless embrace of science, insisted that human rights were counterproductive, and courageously questioned the forced integration of schools even as she strongly defended the rights to interracial marriage and civil disobedience. In the pantheon of great thinkers, Arendt articulated the richest and most compelling vision of the human need for a public and political life. For all these reasons she has arguably become one of the most influential and studied political thinkers of the 20th century.

Arendt was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1906. Her father died when she was seven; her mother, Martha Cohn Arendt, raised her. At the University of Marburg, she studied philosophy with Martin Heidegger, with whom she also had a youthful affair; she later completed her doctoral dissertation "Love and Saint Augustine" at the University of Heidelberg under the supervision of Karl Jaspers.

In 1929 she published her dissertation and married Gunther Stern, who wrote under the name of Gunther Anders. They divorced in 1937. In 1933, Arendt was working for the German Federation of Zionists, led by Kurt Blumenfeld, when the political police arrested her. She fled to Paris, where she completed her biography of the brilliant 18th-century German-Jewish socialite Rahel Varnhagen, which remained unpublished until 1958.

While in France, she worked for the Youth Aliyah organization, which rescued Jewish youth. There she met the man who would become her second husband, Heinrich Blucher. Arendt was imprisoned in a detention camp in Gurs in southwest France. After escaping, she and Blucher fled Nazi Europe, coming to New York in 1941. Through the 1940s, Arendt wrote essays on anti-Semitism, refugees, and the need for a Jewish army for Aufbau and other German emigre journals. She worked as an editor for Schocken Books and served as Executive Director of The Jewish Cultural Reconstruction organization. She and Blucher lived on Riverside Drive in New York, and in Kingsotn, New York, near Bard College, where Blucher taught for 17 years.

The 1950s saw the publication of Arendt's major works: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), her insightful study of the intellectual and historical foundations of the Nazi and Stalinist regimes; and The Human Condition (1958), her account of the retreat of public life in the modern age. On Revolution (1963), her third major book, explored the genius of the American tradition of constitutional democracy and political freedom. Arendt wrote intellectual history not as a historian but as a thinker, building upon events and exemplary actions to reach original and pregnant insights about the modern predisposition to totalitarianism and threats to human freedom posed by both scientific abstraction and bourgeois morality.

Fiercely independent, Arendt never accepted a tenure-track teaching job. She was nevertheless the first woman to be named a full professor at Princeton, and also taught at the University of Chicago, University of California Berkeley, Wesleyan University, and The New School for Social Research. Living as a public intellectual, Arendt was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, Commonweal, Dissent, and The New Yorker. She published three major anthologies in her lifetime: Between Past and Future, Men in Dark Times, and Crises of the Republic. Her unfinished last book (completed by her great friend Mary McCarthy) was posthumously published as Life of the Mind, and her numerous posthumous collections include Responsibility and Judgment, The Jewish Writings, and The Promise of Politics. Arendt died in 1975 in New York, and is buried alongside Blucher in the Bard College Cemetery.

In 1961, Arendt jumped at the chance to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann, responsible for the detention and transportation of Jews to concentration camps. It would be her last opportunity, she wrote, to see a Nazi official in the flesh. Her essays on the trial appeared in The New Yorker and became the book Eichmann in Jerusalem. Widely misread, Arendt's writings on the subject unleashed a storm of controversy.

Arendt argues that Eichmann was not a monster. She was struck both by the immensity of Eichmann's crimes and the ordinariness of the man. It is one thing to kill out of malice. But how could a man responsible for transporting millions of Jews to their deaths insist he was a Zionist and seek understanding from his Jewish interrogators in Israel? Arendt saw that Eichmann became a mass murderer not simply from hatred -- he initially resisted the physical killing of Jews -- but from his fervent dedication to the Nazi movement. He was a joiner. In his own words, Eichmann feared "to live a leaderless and difficult individual life," in which "I would receive no directives from anybody." A bourgeois salesman down on his luck, Eichmann found in the Nazi movement a sense of importance. That desire to prove himself meaningful, combined with his use of cliches and bureaucratic role morality, rendered him unable to think clearly about what he was doing. This is what Arendt means by her famous and famously misunderstood dictum of the "fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil."

On 2 October 1937, the liner Romania arrived in Haifa with two German journalists aboard. Herbert Hagen and his junior colleague, Eichmann, disembarked. They met their agent, Reichert, and later that day Feivel Polkes, who showed them Haifa from Mount Carmel and took them to visit a kibbutz. Years later, when he was in hiding in Argentina, Eichmann taped the story of his experiences and looked back at his brief stay in Palestine with fond nostalgia:

I did see enough to be very impressed by the way the Jewish colonists were building up their land. I admired their desperate will to live, the more so since I was myself an idealist. In the years that followed I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine being anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable.

-- Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal, by Lenni Brenner

Arendt neither defends Eichmann nor denies he is evil. She recognizes he was an anti-Semite and she insists that he be hung for his evil deeds. But she also sees that his overriding motivations were neither monstrous nor sadistic. Eichmann participated in the greatest act of evil in world history because of his inability to think critically about his fidelity to a Nazi ideology that he clung to as a source of significance in a lonely and alienating world. Such thoughtless ideological zealotry is, Arendt concludes, the face of evil in the modern world.

The other part of Arendt's report on the Eichmann trial that provoked ire is her argument that the cooperation of Jewish leaders with the Nazis was a moral catastrophe. That the leaders did cooperate was true and had been reported by others before her. But her critics were livid that Arendt would judge the leaders for what they did. Arendt's point is not to condemn the Jewish leaders for the Holocaust -- she does not blame the victim. But she does force herself and others to confront the way in which the Jewish leaders sacrificed what she understood to be the first principle of morality -- the imperative that it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong. For her, cooperation with the Nazis meant the disintegration of Jewish morality. Thus she wrote: "To a Jew this role of the Jewish leaders in the destruction of their own people is undoubtedly the darkest chapter of the whole dark story." Here Arendt does not blame Jews for their physical destruction; but she does mourn the fact that horrific events led them to compromise their morality.

Arendt never developed a coherent theory of politics, but sought instead to think, to understand the world as it is. As bad as things were, she took solace from the fact that no government could extinguish human freedom. And yet she saw clearly that modern society fears the disorderly life of democratic freedoms and embraces the comfortable security of administrative bureaucracy. In the face of such threats to public freedom, Arendt calls us to act in ways that surprise and to inaugurate new paths in history. Arendt's lasting gift is the vital power of her defense of freedom in an increasingly un-free age.

-- Roger Berkowitz

'Seeking its own National Idealism in the Nazi Spirit'

The Jewish public knew nothing about von Mildenstein's journey to Palestine in the company of a member of the Zionist Executive, nor about Rosenbluth and Lichtheim’s trip to London; nor did they know about the memorandum, nor the request to call off the Zionist Congress. However, they could not miss what was appearing in the Rundschau, where assimilationalist German Jewry was roundly attacked. The CV complained bitterly of Zionist 'siegesfanfaren' as the Rundschau rushed to condemn the guilty Jews. The editor, Robert Weltsch, took the occasion of the 1 April boycott to assail the Jews of Germany in an editorial: 'Wear the Yellow Badge with Pride’:

At times of crisis throughout its history, the Jewish people has faced the question of its own guilt. Our most important prayer says, 'We were expelled from our country because of our sins'… Jewry bears a great guilt because it failed to heed Theodor Herzl's call… Because the Jews did not display their Jewishness with pride, because they wanted to shirk the Jewish question, they must share the blame for the degradation of Jewry.

-- Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal, by Lenni Brenner


Roger Berkowitz is associate professor of political studies and human rights, and academic director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College,



HEINRICH BLUCHER (1899-1970) was Hannah Arendt's second husband, and one of her most consistent interlocutors. Born in Berlin, Blucher was in his youth an active member of Rosa Luxemburg's Spartacus League and the German Communist Party. He later left the party, but his communist ties compelled him to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 for Paris, where he met Arendt in 1936. Shortly after their marriage in 1940, they were interned in separate French detention camps, and were reunited for safe passage to the U.S. in 1941. He was a lecturer at the New School, and in 1952 began teaching at Bard College as a professor of philosophy. He is buried on the campus, with Arendt. In one of his last lectures he anonymously invokes his relationship with her: "What counts now is the mutual insight of two personalities who recognize and respect each other as such; who in effect can say to each other, 'I guarantee you the development of your personality and you guarantee me the development of mine.' This is the basis of all real community thinking."

MARY McCARTHY (1912-1989) was a prominent writer, editor, critic, and Arendt's closest American friend. She published a total of 28 books, the most famous of which is the novel The Group (1963). McCarthy helped revive the literary journal Partisan Review, in which Arendt published essays including 1944's "Franz Kafka: A Re-evaluation." The two met in 1944, but did not get along until Arendt offered a truce on a New York subway platform in 1950 -- which began a close friendship that lasted until Arendt's death. Always one of Arendt's fiercest advocates, McCarthy showed particularly vocal support for Eichmann in Jerusalem during the controversy it incited. A volume of their letters, Between Friends: The Correspondence 1949-1975, achieved worldwide acclaim upon publication.

MARTIN HEIDEGGER (1889-1976) became, before age 30, one of Germany's most eminent philosophers. Arendt met Heidegger in 1924 at the University of Marburg, where he became her mentor and, briefly, lover. In 1933, Heidegger was elected rector of Freiburg and formally joined the Nazi Party. He quit the rectorship nine months later, but he never left the Party. Arendt was highly critical of Heidegger in the 1940s, and though they reconciled in 1950, she never forgave him. Heidegger was both an inspiration for Arendt's insistence on the political importance of thinking and an example of the perils of philosophy, in which an excessive faith in abstract thinking allows the rationalization of unethical or even evil deeds.

HANS JONAS (1903-1993) was an influential German-Jewish philosopher. He became close friends with Arendt while they were studying under Martin Heidegger, whom Jonas later repudiated. After they both fled Nazi Europe, they resumed their friendship in New York, where he taught at the New School from 1955-1976. Eichmann in Jerusalem angered him greatly; the two did not speak for two years. They reconciled, with the help of his wife Lore, on the condition never to discuss the topic. Jonas gave one of three eulogies at Arendt's memorial service.

LOTTE KOHLER (1920-2011) was a German scholar and writer who moved to New York in 1955, where she taught at Brooklyn College. Kohler was initially Arendt's assistant during the publication of Rahel Varnhagen (1958), and became one of her closest friends. A co-executor of Arendt's literary estate with Mary McCarthy, Kohler became sole executor after McCarthy's death, helping to preserve Arendt's most important documents and works during the 1990s.

CHARLOTTE BERADT (1907-1986) was a German-Jewish writer and longtime friend of Arendt and her husband Heinrich Blucher. It was known, including by Arendt, that Blucher and Beradt were lovers during their marriage. In the 1950's, she translated five of Arendt's English-language essays into German.

WILLIAM SHAWN (1907-1992) was editor-in-chief of The New Yorker from 1951-1985, succeeding the magazine's found editor Harold Ross. He was known for his shy manner, meticulousness and strong will. In 1964, he led the publication of Arendt's report on the Eichmann trial in the magazine, and defended her work throughout the intense public debate it provoked.


KURT BLUMENFELD (1884-1963) was a prominent Zionist leader in Germany. He met Arendt in 1926, and their friendship lasted nearly forty years. He served as Arendt's host, guide and intellectual aide when she came to Jerusalem to cover the Eichmann trial. Her report, however, outraged him beyond reconciliation; Blumenfeld did not forgive her even when she made an emergency visit to Jerusalem to see him on his deathbed.

GERSHOM SCHOLEM (1897-1982) was a leading European Zionist whose scholarship -- particularly his seminal work Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941) -- greatly advanced Jewish studies. He and Arendt were close friends, corresponding for decades. Scholem decried Eichmann in Jerusalem, accusing her of having no love for the Jewish people. She replied that "I have never in my life 'loved' any people or collective -- neither the German people, nor the French, nor the American, nor the working class or anything of that sort. I indeed love 'only' my friends," an exchange that in the film takes place between Arendt and Blumenfeld.

SIEGFRIED MOSES (1887-1974) was a leading German Zionist and an early emigre to Israel, where he was the spokesman for the Council of Jews from Germany. He and Arendt worked together on Zionist campaigns in Europe in the 1920s and '30s along with Blumenfeld, and remained friends. In early 1963, Moses met Arendt in Switzerland and asked her to halt publication of the Eichmann report as a book, but she refused to do so.

GIDEON HAUSNER (1915-1990) was a Hungarian-born Israeli jurist and lawyer who served as chief prosecutor for the Eichmann trial; he was also Israel's Attorney General from 1960-1963. His strategy intentionally situated Eichmann's individual acts within the broader horror of the Holocaust, in part by presenting testimonies of Nazi acts other than those Eichmann was directly responsible for. Arendt criticized Hausner's approach as favoring demagogy over justice.

ADOLF EICHMANN (1906-1962) was born into the German Empire's growing business class. He dropped out of high school and became a mechanic, then a white-collar worker. He joined the Nazi Party at age 26, and rose quickly through the ranks of its paramilitary arm, the SS. Eichmann was eventually assigned to the SS's "Central Office for Jewish Emigration" division, where he was first a sergeant (and then a captain) in charge of the deportation of Jews. In 1941, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed head of the Section IV B4 of the SS, responsible for the forced expulsion of Jews from the German Reich. In 1942, he played an integral role in the notorious Wannsee Conference, in which Hitler's pursuit of genocide and the Final Solution was formally organized. Eichmann was made transportation administrator, tasked with determining transit logistics for the Holocaust -- a position he held until the war's end. After escaping Allied custody, Eichmann eventually fled to Argentina, where he lived and worked until his capture by Israeli Mossad agents in 1960. His trial drew worldwide attention, and Arendt's writing on it became one of her most controversial and important works. Eichmann was executed by hanging on May 31, 1962. To avoid burying his remains on Israeli soil, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Mediterranean.

[Transcribed from the movie by Tara Carreon]


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[Hannah Arendt] [Remembering]
[Man] [Gets off bus and walks along road a few steps]
[Another truck pulls up and someone jumps out and kidnaps him]
[Man screaming]

















[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] But, Hannah, how can you defend him?

[Hannah Arendt] [German Accent] But I'm not defending him.
You can hardly forget that your husband is my friend because of you.
And I don't throw my friends away so quickly.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] No matter what happens, even if Jim were killed in an airplane crash,
I would never, ever go back to Bowden.

[Hannah Arendt] That's clear.
And poor Bowden knows absolutely that he cannot prevent you from loving another man.
He is not stupid.

[Phone ringing]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Then why is he trying to prevent our divorce?

[Hannah Arendt] Because, under such circumstances, it's only natural ...
that people imagine -- or at least hope --
to have some possibility of power.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [In German] Hans Jonas is on the phone.

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] Not now, later. I'll call him back.
Oh, Mary, they are beautiful. Thank you.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Slapping irritatedly at the flowers] [Sighs]
I don't know how you can believe anything he says these days.

[Phone rings]

[Hannah Arendt] Well, you trusted him enough to be married with him for 15 years.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] I never trusted him.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] It's Professor Miller calling from Connecticut. He said it's urgent.
He has some questions about your syllabus.

[Hannah Arendt] Phone appointment --
tomorrow, please.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [To Lotte Kohler] And unplug that phone.

[Hannah Arendt] Look, Mary, either you are willing to take men as they are, or you must live alone.
You won't change Jim either.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] I don't want to change Jim. He's perfect.

[Hannah Arendt] Perfect? [German] Liar.
The men in your novels are not perfect.
Why do you expect the real ones to be any better?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] That was Heinrich.

[Hannah Arendt] [Gasps] Oh, no.
That's the one phone call I would have taken.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] He said not to disturb you when your darling Mary is here.

[Hannah Arendt] When will he be home?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] He's spending the night up there.
He has to meet a student early in the morning.

[Hannah Arendt] [Sighs]
[In German] Thanks, Lotte.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] No student meets early in the morning.

[Hannah Arendt] Mary, don't start.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] I would be far too jealous for your charming Heinrich.

[Hannah Arendt] It's fine.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Well, I suppose we can't all be wild Berliners like you.

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughs]

[Phone rings]

[Hannah Arendt] Wild because we don't marry all our lovers?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, I didn't marry all of them.

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughs]
But almost.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Chuckles]

[Hannah Arendt] [Chuckles]


[Dog barking]

[Siren wailing in distance]

[THE NEW YORK TIMES: ISRAEL SEIZES NAZI CHIEF: Secret Agents Seized Killer Nazi Abroad and Took Him to Israel]

[Door opens]

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] I couldn't sleep at all last night.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] We don't have to talk about it right away.

[Hannah Arendt] Haven't you read the newspaper?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] From beginning to end, Frau Professor.

[Hannah Arendt] They want his trial to be in Jerusalem!

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Why else would the Mossad have kidnapped him?

[Hannah Arendt] You think that's right?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] They should have shot him on the spot in Buenos Aires.

[Hannah Arendt] But then of course ...

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [In English] You forgot to say hello.
[Kisses Hannah]

[Hannah Arendt] Hello.


[News Speaker] The investigation has revealed ...
that Adolf Eichmann's escape from Germany to South America ...
was made possible with a Red Cross passport that the Vatican helped him obtain.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] No! The pope would never help a Nazi escape.

[Hannah Arendt] [Chuckles]
No, he helped him because he was such a good Catholic.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] But God didn't let him get away.

[Hannah Arendt] God didn't. But the Germans did.
You'll see. They won't try to extradite him.

[News Speaker] The former SS officer ...
followed what was secretly known in espionage circles as the ratline.
Eichmann received his forged identification and passport in Genoa,
and then he boarded an Italian ship to Buenos Aires.


[Hannah Arendt] [Reading to Lotte Kohler] "You will perhaps understand why I want to attend Eichmann's trial.
I left Germany in 1933, and I missed Nuremberg.
I never saw a Nazi" --
Um -- Oh, wait.
"I never these 'these people' in the flesh"?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] "People in the flesh."
[In German] I think that's better.

[Hannah Arendt] Better, yes.


[Jonathan Schell] Isn't it incredible that the Hannah Arendt is offering to report for us?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] It would be a privilege to have a German-Jewish emigre of such high standing cover the trial.
There's no doubt about that.

[Frances Wells] Who is she to be offering?
She should be begging to write for the New Yorker, like everyone else.

[Jonathan Schell] Frances, she wrote The Origins of Totalitarianism.

[Frances Wells] [Harrumph] Catchy title.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] One of the most important books of the 20th century.
Read it.

[Frances Wells] Uh-oh.
She's not one of those European philosophers, is she?

[Jonathan Schell] She was the first person to write about the Third Reich in the context of Western civilization.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] It was brilliant, but abstract.
I understand why she wants to go.

[Frances Wells] Philosophers don't make deadlines.

[Jonathan Schell] Call now.
Do it.


[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [In German] Do you really have to do this?
You remember how shocked we were
when we heard the awful news from Europe ...
How destroyed you were?

[Knife clinks]

[Hannah Arendt] I'd never forgive myself if I didn't take this opportunity.
You told everyone how smart and brave I was to escape from Gurs.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] And so you were, my love.

[Hannah Arendt] Many women stayed for fear their husbands wouldn't find them
if they left the camp.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] I'd have found you anywhere.

[Hannah Arendt] Maybe not.
While it was still summer and warm ...
we hoped it would soon be over.
But then ...
The waiting ...
More and more women let themselves go, stopped combing their hair ...
Stopped washing themselves.
Just lay there on their straw sacks.
I tried to encourage them.
Sometimes I was strict, sometimes friendly.
But then, one evening ...
it had rained all day and the straw sacks were falling apart.
I suddenly lost my courage.
I was so tired.
So tired ...
that I wanted to leave
the world
that I so loved.
And in that instant ...
I saw you in front of me.
How you'd look for me, and ...
not find me.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Now do you understand why I don't want you to go?


[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Summis cum gratulationibus.

[In German] Hannah ... great! You asked them?
And they just said yes?

[Hannah Arendt] Yes. Simple as that.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Everything's simple for a genius.

[Hannah Arendt] Don't exaggerate.

[Student Enrico] [In English] I hope you're still teaching next term.

[Hannah Arendt] You will hear all about that when the tribe comes over.
[To Hans Jonas] [In German] You know,
I almost dread this trip.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] I wish I could accompany you.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh Hans, that would be so nice.


[Students] [Chattering outside THE NEW SCHOOL]

[Student] Need a light, Mrs. Arendt?

[Hannah Arendt] Oh. Thank you.

[Student] You're very welcome]

[Students] [Chattering]

[Siren wailing in distance]


[Partygoers] [Chattering]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Nixon's usually an unrepentant bulldog, but he's lost his nerve.
He's like a frightened schoolboy wanting to be liked.
He's even trying to get Kennedy's approval.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Nixon is a liar. It's a strategy. He only cares about his career.

[Professor Thomas Miller] That's why he's going to win.

[Hannah Arendt] No. Nixon calculates.
But Kennedy is young and handsome and inspiring,
and that is what matters when the ships are down.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] "Chips." Hannah, "chips," not "ships."

[Doorbell rings]

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, that must be Hans and Lore.
[In German] All right then: "chips."

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Chuckles]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] English can only be a second-rate fiddle for us.
If you want to hear Hannah play her Stradivarius, you should learn German.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] She asked me to correct her.

[Hannah Arendt] Ah, at last!

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Impossible. Must have been someone else.

[Lore Jonas] [In German] Our train was late.

[Hannah Arendt] Of course.
We know that excuse.
Coasts off. Everyone's here.
Great that you made it.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Making eyes at Hannah about Charlotte's sitting next to Heinrich]

[Hannah Arendt] Meet the latest member of the tribe. Professor Miller, Hans and Lore Jonas.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Such a pleasure to finally meet you.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Professor Miller, it's an honor.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Hannah tells me you're her oldest and dearest friend.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] The oldest for sure, but not the dearest.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Oh, Heinrich is much older than me.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] And much better looking.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Did you already know each other back in Germany?

[Hannah Arendt] Thomas, I said "old friend." In Europe that means we met more than 10 minutes ago.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] They met in the '20s as students of Heidegger, the Hosenmatz philosopher.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] [In German] Don't say my name in the same breath as that Nazi.

[Lore Jonas] Not here, Hans!

[Professor Thomas Miller] So, you were all students of the confounding Martin Heidegger.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Oh, I didn't even finish high school.

[Professor Thomas Miller] But aren't you a professor at Bard?

[Hannah Arendt] Original thinkers don't need degrees, Professor Miller.

[Professor Thomas Miller] [Chuckles]

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] To Hannah,
in honor of her trip to Jerusalem.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, thank you, Hans.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [In German] It's not a vacation, Hans.

[Hannah Arendt] Lotte, champagne.

[Professor Thomas Miller] [To somebody] So I heard so much about you.


[Professor Thomas Miller] I am honored that a colleague from my university ...
has this great opportunity to be an eyewitness to history.

[Student Laureen] We'll miss you.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, thank you.

[Boy Student] Yes, really.

[Hannah Arendt] Thank you.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] It is just wonderful, Hannah, that you,
one of us, will be present for this great trial.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] This is not a grand trial. It's illegal.
The kidnapping by the Israeli secret service was illegal!

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Israel has a sacred right to try a Nazi for crimes against the Jewish people.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Sacred right? Hans, you're meshugga.

[Hannah Arendt] But most of the survivors live there.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Precisely.
And they want to see this criminal face to face.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Face to face!

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Shakes her head and throws up her hand]
[To Hannah Arendt] Excuse me.

Face to face -- my lovely foe
Mouth to mouth -- raining heavens' blows

Hand on heart -- tic tac toe
Under the stars -- naked as we flow

Cheek to cheek -- the bitter sweet
Commit your crime in your deadly time
It's too divine -- I want to bend
I want this bliss but something says I must resist

Another life -- another time
We're Siamese twins writhing intertwined
Face to face -- no telling lies
The masks they slide -- to reveal a new disguise
You never can win -- it's the state I'm in
This danger thrills and my conflict kills
They say follow your heart -- follow it through
But how can you -- when you're split in two?

And you'll never know
You'll never know

One more kiss -- before we die
Face to face -- and dream of flying
Who are you? -- who am I?
Wind in wings -- two angels falling
To die like this -- with a last kiss
It's falsehood's flame -- it's a crying shame
Face to face -- the passions breathe
I hate to stay but then I hate to leave

And you'll never know
You'll never know

-- Face To Face, by Danny Elfman and Siouxsie & the Banshees

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] They'll all be dragged into court!
They'll be witnesses.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] It'll take years.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] This trial ...

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Waving her hands around] So much smoke! [Groans]

[Professor Thomas Miller] Do you understand anything?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] I thought you were the German speaker.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Well, I can read it perfectly, but they're speaking so fast.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] The State of Israel didn't even exist back then.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Unfortunately.
Or they'd have declared war on Hitler like England and France.
But nevertheless, we were there!
We did our duty and volunteered for the British Army to fight the Nazis.
We were in the Jewish Brigade in '44.
Me and many brave men from Israel.

[Lore Jonas] They know that.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Heinrich doesn't know what it means
to take up arms to defend his convictions.

[Charlotte Beradt] He had to emigrate because of them!

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] So did many others. Doesn't mean much.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] No one doubts your bravery, Hans.
Hannah always says she admired you as a soldier.

[Hannah Arendt] Not just as a soldier.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Lotte! [Gestures her to come here]

[Hannah Arendt] Eichmann should have been tried in Nuremberg, but he escaped.
That makes him an outlaw, a pirate.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [To Lotte] Tell us what they're saying.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] I'm sure you'd prefer to hear it from Hannah.

[German continues]

[Hannah Arendt] So he should be tried by an international court.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] No such thing.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Precisely!

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] If the case proceeds as you predict ...

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [To Professor Miller] He's just one of those passionate ex-communists from Berlin.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Jewish?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] No.
But he followed Rosa Luxemburg to the end.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Oh, so of course that's better than a Ph.D.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Chuckles]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] You can't put history on trial. You can only try one man.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Indeed. One man on trial. For murder.

[Professor Thomas Miller] [To Mary] Strange pair.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Yes. For murder.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [To Prof. Miller] They're fantastic. The happiest married couple in the world.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] And that has to be proven ...

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Whatever you're saying, I agree with all of you.

[Hannah Arendt] Everybody, English now. Please.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Sorry, Mary.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Raises her glass in a toast]
[Chuckling] Good health.

[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] [Kissing Heinrich] [In German] See you soon.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Gestures to Hannah with a "what's up with that?"]

[Hannah Arendt] Adieu, Charlotte.

[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] Adieu.

[Lore Jonas] Thank you, dear.

[Hannah Arendt] See you soon.
We were too hard on Hans.
Tell him I'm sorry.

[Lore Jonas] You say that every time.

[Hannah Arendt] I know.

[Professor Thomas Miller] See you on campus.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, it was great having you, Thomas. Bye.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Bye.

[Hannah Arendt] Take care now in that awful storm.
It's terrible.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Closes the door]

[Hannah Arendt] [Gestures to Heinrich with a "what was all that about?"]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Laughing] It's so much fun
to light a fire under Hans' sacred little behind.
Especially as he's so happy to send you to hell!

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughing]
Oh ... you.


[Hannah Arendt] [Remembering]
[Footsteps marching]

[Looking at a picture of Kurt Blumenfeld on her mantle]

[Marching continues]

[Young Hans Jonas] [Whispers] Hannah!
In his inaugural speech, he thanked the Fuhrer.


[Young Hans Jonas] Then they sang the Horst-Wessel-Lied.

[Young Hannah Arendt] [Looks at him worriedly]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Hello, "Klaps."

[Hannah Arendt] Hello, "Stups."
[Kisses Heinrich]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [In French] Are you coming with me?

[Hannah Arendt] [Turns off light and leaves with Heinrich]



[Taxi Driver] [Hebrew] [Opening door for Hannah Arendt]

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Hannah! My Hannah!

[Hannah Arendt] Oh!
[Gives Kurt a good long hug]

[In Hebrew] Jerusalem ...
your love.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Yes.
[In German] And how's my Heinrich?
Is he good to you?

[Hannah Arendt] Yes.
Sometimes too good.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] I miss arguing with him.
I can no longer see my way through the maze of modern life.

[Hannah Arendt] He argued with me about this trip.
He's afraid it will send me back
to the "dark times."

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] This trial is very important for us.
And you're strong, my Hannah. You always were.
And brave.
Very brave.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Tell me how you are.
How's your heart?

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Not too good.
It's never gotten used to the world we live in.
Israel has aged faster than you, my little Hannah.
[Touches her face fondly]


Werner Senator, a leading German Zionist, once remarked that Zionism, for all its world Jewish nationalism, always politically assimilates to the countries within which it operates. No better proof of his remark exists than the political adaptation of the ZVfD to the theories and policies of the new Nazi regime. Believing that the ideological similarities between the two movements -- their contempt for liberalism, their common volkish racism and, of course, their mutual conviction that Germany could never be the homeland of its Jews -- could induce the Nazis to support them, the ZVfD solicited the patronage of Adolf Hitler, not once but repeatedly, after 1933.

The goal of the ZVfD became an 'orderly retreat', that is, Nazi backing for emigration of at least the younger generation of Jews to Palestine, and they immediately sought contact with elements in the Nazi apparatus whom they thought would be interested in such an arrangement on the basis of a volkish appreciation of Zionism. Kurt Tuchler, a member of the ZVfD Executive, persuaded Baron Leopold Itz Edler von Mildenstein of the SS to write a pro-Zionist piece for the Nazi press. The Baron agreed on the condition that he visited Palestine first, and two months after Hitler came to power the two men and their wives went to Palestine; von Mildenstein stayed there for six months before he returned to write his articles.

Contact with a central figure in the new government came in March 1933, when Hermann Goering summoned the leaders of the major Jewish organisations. In early March, Julius Streicher, the editor of Der Steurmer, had declared that, as of 1 April, all Jewish stores and professionals would be boycotted; however, this campaign ran into an immediate snag. Hitler's capitalist backers were extremely worried by the announcement by rabbi Wise of a planned counter-demonstration to be held in New York on 27 March, if the Nazis went ahead with their boycott. Jews were prominent throughout the retail trade both in American and Europe and, fearing retaliation against their own companies, Hitler's wealthy patrons urged him to call off the action. But the Nazis could hardly do that without losing face, and they decided to use German Jewry to head off Wise; thus Hermann Goering called in the Jewish leaders.

German Zionism's influence in Weimar did not merit its leaders’ participation, but because they conceived themselves as the only natural negotiating partner with the Nazis, they secured a late invitation. Martin Rosenbluth, a leading Zionist, later told of the incident in his post-war autobiography, Go Forth and Serve. Four Jews saw Goering: Julius Brodnitz for the CV, Heinrich Stahl for the Berlin Jewish community, Max Naumann, a pro-Nazi fanatic from the Verband nationaldeutscher Juden (VnJ), and Blumenfeld for the Zionists. Goering launched into a tirade: the foreign press was lying about atrocities against Jews; unless the lies stopped, he could not vouch for the safety of German Jewry. Most important, the New York rally had to be called off: 'Dr Wise is one of our most dangerous and unscrupulous enemies.' A delegation was to go to London to contact world Jewry.

The assimilationists declined, claiming that as Germans they had no influence with foreign Jews. This was false, but they hardly wanted to assist in their own destruction. Only Blumenfeld volunteered, but insisted he be allowed to speak truthfully about the Nazi treatment of Jews. Goering did not care what was said to get the rally called off; perhaps a description of the grim situation might make foreign Jews halt for fear of provoking worse. He did not care who went or what arguments were used as long as the deputation agreed to 'report regularly to the German embassy'.

The ZVfD finally sent Martin Rosenbluth and Richard Lichtheim. Fearing exclusive responsibility for the outcome of their strange mission, they prevailed upon the CV to let them take along Dr Ludwig Tietz. Although not a Zionist personally, the wealthy businessman was 'a good friend of ours'. [89] The trio arrived in London on 27 March and immediately met forty Jewish leaders at a meeting chaired by Nahum Sokolow, then President of the WZO. They later met a battery of British officials. The delegates saw two tasks before them: to use the severity of the situation to promote Palestine as 'the logical place of refuge', and to head off all anti-Nazi efforts abroad. They called Wise in New York. Rosenbluth described the incident thus in his memoirs:

Mindful of Goering's charges… we conveyed the message… Getting the cryptic rest of our message across to him was somewhat more difficult, since it was necessary to speak in obscure terms in order to confound any possible monitors. Subsequent events proved we had made clear our hidden plea, and that Dr Wise had understood we wanted him to stand firm and under no circumstances cancel the meeting.

There is no evidence that any effort was made to signal Wise to this effect. Through the research of an Israeli scholar, Shaul Esh, it is now known that the deputation tried to head off demonstrations in New York and Palestine. According to Esh, later that evening they sent cables:

not in their own name, but in the name of the Zionist Executive in London. The telegrams requested that the recipients immediately dispatch to the Chancellery of the Third Reich declarations to the effect that they do not condone an organised anti-German boycott… the Zionist Executive in London learned of this several hours later, they sent another cable to Jerusalem to delay the dispatch of an official declaration to Hitler.

Later, in his own autobiography, Challenging Years, Stephen Wise mentioned receiving their cable, but he did not record any cryptic message from the delegation. It is reasonable to assume that he would have recorded it, if he had thought any such attempt was made. In reality, Wise repeatedly raged at the ZVfD in the following years for persistently opposing every attempt by foreign Jews to struggle against the Hitler regime.

The London proceedings were typical of all further ZVfD behaviour. In 1937, after leaving Berlin for America, rabbi Joachim Prinz wrote of his experiences in Germany and alluded to a memorandum which, it is now known, was sent to the Nazi Party by the ZVfD on 21 June 1933. Prinz's article candidly describes the Zionist mood in the first months of 1933:

Everyone in Germany knew that only the Zionists could responsibly represent the Jews in dealings with the Nazi government. We all felt sure that one day the government would arrange a round table conference with the Jews, at which -- after the riots and atrocities of the revolution had passed -- the new status of German Jewry could be considered. The government announced very solemnly that there was no country in the world which tried to solve the Jewish problem as seriously as did Germany. Solution of the Jewish question? It was our Zionist dream! We never denied the existence of the Jewish question! Dissimilation? It was our own appeal!… In a statement notable for its pride and dignity, we called for a conference.

-- Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal, by Lenni Brenner


[Jenny Blumenfeld] I always thought you'd have many children.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, Jenny. At first we were too poor,
and when we had the money,
we were too old.

[Rahel Blumenfeld] Many people here are poor but they still have children.

[Rafael Blumenfeld] Children are important for such a young country.

[Jenny Blumenfeld] It was about time you visited us.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] She's not visiting.

[Hannah Arendt] [Mischievously] You see?
He's throwing me out already!

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] I'm only sorry that your visit is thanks to this wild predator.

[Rafael Blumenfeld] That's why he's being displayed in a cage.

[Hannah Arendt] A cage?

[Rafael Blumenfeld] Made of glass.

[Rahel Blumenfeld] To protect him from us.


[Crowd Murmuring]

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) [Walks in the room and takes a seat. Three policemen behind him.]

[Man] The high court!

[Everyone rises, including Eichmann]

[Three judges enter and sit]

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) [Puts on his head phones]

[Gideon Hausner (1915-1990)] [In Hebrew] When I stand before you here, judges of Israel,
to bring charges against Adolf Eichmann,
I am not standing alone.
With me are six million accusers.
But they cannot rise
or point towards him in the dock.
They cannot cry, "I accuse him!"
For their ashes have been scattered over the hills of Auschwitz
and in the fields of Treblinka,
and thrown into the rivers of Poland.
Their graves are to be found
throughout Europe.
Their blood cries to heaven,
but we cannot hear their voices.


[Hannah Arendt] [To Kurt Blumenfeld] And Hausner parades around
as if he's competing with Eichmann for the leading role in a play.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] His opening speech was bound to be dramatic.

[Hannah Arendt] In the spirit of Ben-Gurion?
He's behind all this, isn't he?

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] [Shakes his head yes]

[Hannah Arendt] Israel has to be very careful that this doesn't become a show trial.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] That's my Hannah! Just wait a bit.
And try to understand Ben-Gurion.
Our young people refuse to confront what you call the "dark times."
Either they're ashamed of their parents who didn't fight or protect themselves,
or they accuse them of having behaved dishonorably.
They think only criminals or whores could have survived the camps.

[Hannah Arendt] And you believe Hausner can make them understand
what their parents have suffered?

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Be a little patient with us.

'It is Right, therefore, that They should Fight against Us'

If the SPD and the KPD must bear their full measure of guilt for Hitler's triumph, so too must the Zionistische Vereinigung fur Deutschland (the Zionist Federation of Germany). Although conventional wisdom has always assumed that the Zionists, with their dire view of anti-Semitism, warned the Jews of the Nazi menace, this is in fact not true. In 1969, Joachim Prinz, the former President of the American Jewish Congress—in his youth a fire-eating Zionist rabbi in Berlin —still insisted that:

Since the assassination of Walther Rathenau in 1922, there was no doubt in our minds that the German development would be toward an anti-Semitic totalitarian regime. When Hitler began to arouse, and as he put it 'awaken' the German nation to racial consciousness and racial superiority, we had no doubt that this man would sooner or later become the leader of the German nation.

Yet a diligent search of the pages of the Judische Rundschau, the weekly organ of the ZVfD, will not reveal such prophecies. When a Jew was killed and several hundred Jewish stores looted in a November 1923 hunger riot in Berlin, Kurt Blumenfeld, the Secretary (later President) of the ZVfD, consciously played down the incident:

There would be a very cheap and effective kind of reaction, and we... decisively reject it. One could incite deep anxiety among German Jewry. One could use the excitement to enlist the vacillating. One could represent Palestine and Zionism as a refuge for the homeless. We do not wish to do that. We do not wish to carry off by demagoguery those who have stood apart from Jewish life out of indifference. But we wish to make clear to them through [our] sincere conviction where the basic error of Jewish galuth [exile] existence lies. We wish to awaken their national self-awareness. We wish ... through patient and earnest educational work [to] prepare them to participate in the upbuilding of Palestine....

German Zionism was distinctive in the WZO, in that the ZVfD leaders opposed taking any part in local politics. To Blumenfeld, grenzuberschreitung (overstepping the borders) was the dreaded sin. Blumenfeld completely accepted the anti-Semitic line that Germany belonged to the Aryan race and that for a Jew to hold an office in the land of his birth was nothing more than an intrusion into the affairs of another volk.

-- Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal, by Lenni Brenner

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Re: Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:46 am


[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) [In German] Yes, I read here that during the transport
15 people died.
I can only say that these records
were not the responsibility of department 4B-4.
They are from the local authorities, according to their guidelines.

[Female Translator] [In English] It says here that the order was given by the Reichsfuhrer.
But tell me, why do you have the officer -- to be the officer transferring this order?
Why Eichmann?

[Gideon Hausner (1915-1990)] [Speaking Hebrew]

[Female Translator] Does the Reichsfuhrer have no other way of contacting but Eichmann?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) [In German] The document makes it clear
that the local police, or headquarters thereof,
made the request to Section 4B-4.
Thus I received the matter for its continued processing
and dealt with it in an intermediate capacity.
As I was ordered to do. I had to follow orders.

[Gideon Hausner (1915-1990)] [Speaking Hebrew]

[Male Translator] [In German] But it was you who decided
how many people were to be put into each railway car, no?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) I had orders.
Whether people were killed or not,
orders had to be executed.
In line with administrative procedure.
I was only responsible for a small part of this.
The other parts that were necessary until one of these trains rolled out
were carried out by another department.
Mr. Chairman, I have the feeling I'm being grilled here
until the steak is done.
Because of charges ...
that are impossible to substantiate.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] [To Hannah] Now you've finally heard the predator.
Are you all right?

[Hannah Arendt] Yes, I'm fine.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Good.

[Israeli Girl Soldiers] [Chattering]

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Good.
Well ...

[Hannah Arendt] He's so different than I imagined.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] He was with the SS. They're scary creatures.

[Hannah Arendt] But he's not.
That's precisely it.
He sits in his glass box
like a ghost ...
A ghost who happens to have a cold.
He's not spooky at all.
He's a nobody.
He speaks in this awful bureaucratic language.
He suddenly says things like:
"I feel like a rump steak that's being grilled ..."

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] [Laughing]

[Hannah Arendt] Incredible!

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Waiter! I assume you don't want a steak now.

[Hannah Arendt] Trying to cheer me up?
"One notices the intention and is displeased."

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] "One feels the intention and is displeased."

[Hannah Arendt] "What pleases you is permitted ..."
Also from Tasso.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] "What behooves you is permitted ..."

[Man at Restaurant] "If you would like to learn what behooves one,
you have only to ask a noble lady ..."

[Hannah Arendt and Kurt Blumenfeld] [Laughing]

[Man at Restaurant] My father was a tailor in Berlin.
He always quoted Faust as he shaved.
Mephistopheles was his favorite.

[Hannah Arendt and Kurt Blumenfeld] [Laughing]

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] "Blood is a very special juice."

"Blood is a very special fluid."

-- The Occult Significance of Blood, by Rudolf Steiner

"Blood is a juice of rarest quality."

-- Faust, by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

[Hannah Arendt] Eichmann is no Mephistopheles.

Racism was now triumphant and the ZVfD ran with the winner. The talk of blut began to take hold with a statement by Blumenfeld in April 1933 that the Jews had previously been masking their natural blood-sanctioned apartness from the real Germans, but it reached Wagnerian proportions in the 4 August Rundschau with a long essay, 'Rasse als Kulturfaktor', which pondered on the intellectual implications for Jews of the Nazi victory. It argued that Jews should not merely accept silently the dictates of their new masters; they, too, had to realise that race separation was wholly to the good:

We who live here as a 'foreign race' have to respect racial consciousness and the racial interest of the German people absolutely. This however does not preclude a peaceful living together of people of different racial membership. The smaller the possibility of an undesirable mixture, so much less is there need for 'racial protection'… There are differentiations that in the last analysis have their root in ancestry. Only rationalist newspapers who have lost feeling for the deeper reasons and profundities of the soul, and for the origins of communal consciousness, could put aside ancestry as simply in the realm of 'natural history'.

In the past, the paper continued, it had been hard to get Jews to have an objective evaluation of racism. But now was the time, indeed past time, for a bit of 'quiet evaluation': 'Race is undoubtedly a very important, yes, decisive momentum. Out of "blood and soil" really is determined the being of a people and their achievements.' Jews would have to make good for 'the last generations when Jewish racial consciousness was largely neglected. The article warned against 'bagatellised' race, and also against the CV, who were beginning to abandon their traditional assimilationist ideology in the wake of the disaster, but 'without changing basically'.

Challenging the racist bona fides of their rivals was not enough. To prove that the 'Jewish Renaissance Movement' had always been racist, the Rundschau reprinted two pre-1914 articles under the title 'Voices of the Blood'. 'Das singende Blut' by Stefan Zweig and ‘Lied des Blutes' by Hugo Salus rhapsodised about how 'the modern Jew… recognizes his Jewishness… through an inner experience which teaches him the special language of his blood in a mystical manner'.

-- Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal, by Lenni Brenner


[Man] [In English] My father was 58. My mother -- she was 43.
My brother, who was 22. I was 21.
My sister was 19.
My brother was 16.
My other brother was 14.
Sister was 8. And the little brother was 5.
We trying to keep together and go along on the road,
what have been told by this brave SS.

[Judge)] [In Hebrew] And who remains of your family members?

[Man] [In English] Only myself.

[Male Translator] [Speaking Hebrew]

[Man] [In German] When we were counted later on,
200 or 210 of us remained
of the 1200 who'd been transported.
The next ones were all gassed.
Those who arrived just after us,
they were all gassed.
It was ...
[Covers his face with his hands]
[Breaking down and crying]
Excuse me ...

[Judge] Please try ...

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] [With his never-ending smirk, like George Bush, Jr.]

[Mr. De-Nur] [Speaking Hebrew]

[Female Translator] [In English] And this was power --
the unnatural power above nature,
which sustained me.

[Mr. De-Nur] [Hebrew continues]

[Female Translator] So that after the period of Auschwitz --
two years in Auschwitz -- when I was a Muslim,
to withstand --

[Mr. De-Nur] [Breaking down]

[Judge] Mr. De-Nur. Please. Please listen to Mr. Hausner.

[Mr. De-Nur] [Falls down in an emotional attack]

[Crowd] [Gasps, murmurs]

[Judge] Be calm, please.
Please remain where you are.

[Police] [Carry prostrate Mr. De-Nur out]

[Judge] Everyone remain where they are.


[People] [Chattering]

[Hebrew continues on radio]

[People] [Chattering]

[Concierge] Madam, your phone call to America has gone through.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, thank you.
[In German] [To Heinrich] If you could see how they try to stay calm while testifying ...
Most of the stories have nothing to do with Eichmann as an individual.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] But we both knew from the start
that the trial would be more about history than the deeds of one man.

[Hannah Arendt] But it's still dreadful.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Oh, my little girl from far away.

[Female Operator] Three minutes are over.

[Hannah Arendt] [Groans] Three minutes already.
This is costing a fortune!
I've got to go.
Yes. See you soon.
[Line clicks]


[Rabbi] Oh, they wanted a central organization
which would be the spokesman of Hungarian Jewry.

[Gideon Hausner (1915-1990)] Well, it doesn't matter at what meeting this was,
but did they say how many members such a committee should have,
which would be responsible to the Germans?

[Rabbi] [Speaking Hebrew]

[Male Translator] They told us ...
that about four or five persons should constitute that representative body.
They didn't call it Judenrat.
And, uh, this also calmed us down,
because we knew already ...
what was the purpose of the Judenrat.

[Female Translator] To what extent ...
did you report about the situation to the communities and the provinces,
those who were deported?

[Male Translator] There was no such possibility,
because by the time I obtained this information,
and by the time we realized what Auschwitz was,
uh, the eastern part of Hungary ...
and the northeastern part --
this comprised these 300,000 people --
they had received news from us.
They had known the fate, but what could we have done?
What could we have done?

During the first months of the Hitler regime, leaders of the Zionist movement concluded a controversial pact with the Third Reich which, in its various forms, transferred some 60,000 Jews and $100 million -- almost $1.7 billion in 2009 dollars -- to Jewish Palestine. In return, Zionists would halt the worldwide Jewish-led anti-Nazi boycott that threatened to topple the Hitler regime in its first year....

The Nazis had promised that upon assuming power they would rebuild Germany's economy, dismantle its democracy, destroy German Jewry, and establish Aryans as the master race -- in that order. Yet many Western leaders saw only the economic value of Nazism. Hitler seemed the only alternative to a Communist state, a man who might rebuild the German economy and pay Germany's debts. That would be good for all Western economies. As for the threat to Germany's Jews, that was a domestic German affair. [1]

Therefore, if the world's governments would not act, it would fall to the influential Jews of America to save their brethren in Germany. With the ability to be heard, the Jews of America, especially in New York, could mobilize economic and political pressure against Germany that would make war against the Jews a campaign of national suicide.

American Jewish muscle was not a sudden imagined power. For nearly a century, American Jews had been using economic pressure and protest to beat back anti-Semitic outrages throughout the world. But this time the American Jewish community would fail. That failure was tied to the so-called Big Three defense groups: the American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith, and the American Jewish Congress.

Both the American Jewish Committee and B'nai B'rith were founded by well-to-do German Jews with a special outlook. Like other European Jews, the Germans immigrated en masse following the political upheavals of the mid-nineteenth century. But unlike their East European counterparts, the Germans clung to their original national identity, and were economically more established. Moreover, many German Jews believed they were so-called Hofjuden, or courtly Jews, and that coreligionists from Poland and Russia were "uncivilized" and embarrassing. The bias was best summarized in a June 1894 German-American Jewish newspaper, the Hebrew Standard, which declared that the totally acclimated American Jew is closer to "Christian sentiment around him than to the Judaism of these miserable darkened Hebrews." [2]

The Original Semites were the fifth and most important of the seven Atlantean Races, because in them we find the first germ of the corrective quality of Thought. Therefore the Original Semitic Race become the "seed race" for the seven races of the present Aryan Epoch ....

Under the guidance of a great Entity, the Original Semitic Race was led eastward from the continent of Atlantis, over Europe, to the great waste in Central Asia which is known as the Gobi Desert. There it prepared them to be the seed of the seven Races of the Aryan Epoch, imbuing them potentially with the qualities to be evolved by their descendants....now his thoughts were to be turned from the visible Leaders, the Lords from Venus, whom he worshiped as messengers from the gods -- to the idea of the true God, the invisible Creator of the System. Man was to learn to worship and obey the commands of a God he could not see....

Out of all who were chosen as "seed" for the new Race, few remained faithful. Most of them were rebellious and, so far as they were concerned, entirely frustrated the purpose of the Leader by intermarrying with the other Atlantean Races, thus bringing inferior blood into their descendants. That is what is meant in the Bible where the fact is recorded that the sons of God married the daughters of men. For that act of disobedience were they abandoned and "lost." Even the faithful died, according to the body, in the Desert of Gobi (the "Wilderness") in Central Asia, the cradle of our present Race. They reincarnated, as their own descendants of course, and thus inherited the "Promised Land," the Earth as it is now. They are the Aryan Races, in whom Reason is being evolved to perfection....

Races are but an evanescent feature of evolution. Before the end of the Lemurian Epoch there was a "chosen people," different from the ordinary humanity of that time, who became the ancestors of the Atlantean Races. From the fifth race of those, another "chosen people" was drawn, from which the Aryan Races descended, of which there have been five and will be two more. Before a new Epoch is ushered in, however, there must be "a new Heaven and a new earth"; the physical features of the Earth will be changed and its density decreased. There will be one Race at the beginning of the next Epoch, but after that every thought and feeling of Race will disappear.

-- The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, by Max Heindel

Having achieved a secure standing in America, the German Jews organized essentially to protect their position from any "Jewish problems" that might appear. In 1843, in a small cafe on New York's Lower East Side, twelve German Jewish leaders founded B'nai B'rith as a benevolent fraternal organization. By aiding the Jewish poor, they hoped to remove any Jewish welfare burden that could arouse Christian anti-Semitism. In the 1880s, after hordes of impoverished East European Jews flooded America, B'nai B'rith accepted these newcomers as lodge members, but largely to "manage" the East European Jewish presence in the United States. [3]

In 1906, as Czar Nicholas continued his anti-Semitic pogroms, men like Jacob Schiff, Louis Marshall, and Cyrus Adler went beyond philanthropy and constituted the American Jewish Committee. These powerful men would now function as a special lobby concerned with political problems important to Jews. The Committee initially limited its membership to roughly sixty prominent men, led by about a dozen central personalities from the realms of publishing, finance, diplomacy, and the law. [4] As individuals, they had already proven themselves combating hotels and other institutions that discriminated against Jews. Once united as the American Jewish Committee, they waged effective private economic war against the Russian monarchy. Their motives were not based on concern for East European Jews, but rather on a solid opposition to organized Jew hatred anywhere in the world.

But in 1933 things would be different. Quick as they were to oppose anti-Semitism in foreign lands, Germany held a special place in the hearts of Committee leaders. A foreshadowing of just how emotionally paralyzed the Committee would become in a crisis involving their ancestral home was amply displayed during the early years of World War I. Committee stalwarts were torn between their loyalties to the German Fatherland and America's popular allegiance to France and Britain. In 1915, Committee cofounder Jacob Schiff articulated his conflict in a note to German banker Max Warburg: "I still cherish the feeling of filial devotion for the country in which my fathers and forefathers lived, and in which my own cradle stood -- a devotion which imbues me with the hope that Germany shall not be defeated in this fearful struggle." [5] Committee members' open support for Germany against Russia did not alter until the United States actually entered the war.

Popular Jewish disenchantment over Committee policies and the known Hofjuden prejudice against the Jewish multitudes had long alienated America's East European Jewish community. Increasingly, the Jewish majority saw the gentlemen of the American Jewish Committee as benevolent despots, not entitled to speak for them. [6] In response, a number of national and regional Jewish organizations gathered in Philadelphia in June 1917 and affiliated into the American Jewish Congress. Proving their democratic character, 335,000 Jewish ballots from across the nation were cast. Three hundred delegates were elected and an additional one hundred appointed, representing thirty national Jewish organizations. [7]

After the war, the question of who would represent Jewish interests at the Peace Conference was bitterly contested. A delegation cutting across Committee and Congress lines finally did assemble at Versailles. But the Committee split off from other American Jewish groups negotiating Jewish rights when -- in the Committee view -- the proposed rights went "too far." Specifically, when Versailles mapmakers were redrawing boundaries based on religious, linguistic, and other ethnic affinities, popular Jewish sentiment demanded to be counted among the minority groups targeted for self-determination. That meant a Jewish homeland in Palestine -- Zionism. [8]

Committee leaders were repulsed by Zionism. In their view, a refuge in Palestine would promote Jewish expulsions from countries where Jews lived and enjoyed roots. Anti-Semitic regimes could point to Palestine and claim, "You belong there in your own nation." [9] However, majority Jewish sentiments won out at Versailles, assuring a Jewish homeland in Palestine, with stipulations preserving Jewish rights in other countries.

American Jewish Congress leaders returned from Versailles in triumph. They had helped create a Jewish homeland, as well as secure international guarantees for minorities in Europe. In the early 1920s, the Congress solidified its popular Jewish support, thereby becoming the third of the so-called Big Three.

By 1933, the Congress stood as the most representative and outspoken Jewish defense organization. In contrast, B'nai B'rith functioned as little more than a fraternal order (except for its autonomous Anti-Defamation League). And the Committee, in 1933, basically represented the interests of about three hundred and fifty prominent Jewish members. Nonetheless, the Committee and B'nai B'rith -- which often acted as a binary lobby -- were respected, influential, and adequately financed, with access to the most powerful circles of American government and business. By comparison, the Congress, despite its vast membership, constantly struggled for funds and for recognition. While the Committee and B'nai B'rith generally chose quiet, behind-the-scenes methods, Congress people -- predominantly East Europeans -- were accustomed to attention-getting protests. [10]

Yet, all were Jews, drawn from a common heritage. And as of January 30, 1933, there arose a clear need to unify to combat the greatest single anti-Jewish threat ever posed. Hitler promised not only to rid Germany of its Jews, but to cleanse the world as well. Action by America's Jews was required -- fast action....

REACTIONS to Nazi anti-Semitism were immediate, especially in America, reflecting the cross-sectional anger of ordinary people. Naturally, Jewish Americans were at the vanguard. That was a problem for many in Jewish leadership who considered Jewish protest their private province.

On February 22, 1933, B'nai B'rith president Alfred Cohen convened a special conference of fifteen Jewish leaders, five from each of the Big Three. Meeting in New York, the leaders reviewed the situation. [1] Thus far, Hitler was nothing more than an interim chancellor appointed until the next general elections scheduled for March 5. By March 5, Hitler might be gone. But if the election increased Hitler's voter support from a minority 33 percent to an actual majority, he would control the entire German government.

The conference was divided. Two of the American Jewish Congress representatives had discussed a series of public protests, here and abroad, to show the German people that the world was indeed watching and that Brownshirt violence against Jews must stop. The men of B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Committee rejected this. B'nai B'rith didn't want to endanger its 13,000-member German organization or its 103 fraternal lodges in Germany by publicly antagonizing Hitler and the Nazis. The Committee leadership had close friends and relatives in Germany who had advised that public protest would surely provoke a far stronger Nazi counterreaction. Finally, the leaders agreed to establish a "Joint Conference Committee" merely to "watch developments in Germany very carefully" and hope for the best. [2]

But as the gathering broke up with an apparent trilateral agreement to keep mum, the Congress people planned otherwise. They hadn't told the B'nai B'rith or the Committee representatives, but two weeks earlier the Congress had secretly decided to pursue the path of protest. [3]

On February 27, 1933, the Hitler takeover began. Hitler himself was attending a party at Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels' Berlin apartment. A frantic telephone call to Goebbels relayed the news: "The Reichstag is burning!" The Nazis snapped into action. During that night Hitler and Goebbels prepared a propaganda campaign. By the next morning, the German public was convinced that the fire -- which Hitler's own people probably ignited -- was in fact the beginning of a Jewish-backed Communist uprising. Hitler demanded and received temporary powers suspending all constitutional liberties.

The Nazis were riding a wave of anti-Jewish, anti-Communist hysteria. In the name of defending the nation from a Communist revolution, Hitler's private militia -- the Storm Troopers, or SA, together with rank-and-file party Brownshirts -- destroyed editorial offices, brutalized political opponents, and increased atrocities against Jews. Through it all, Nazi-dominated local police forces looked the other way. The apparatus of law and order in Germany had been suddenly switched off.

One week before the Reichstag fire, Hitler had met with over a dozen leading industrialists to assure them that nothing was as important to the Nazis as rebuilding the German economy. This was to be the foundation of a strong, rearmed Germany, which, under Hitler, would prepare for war and racial domination. All Hitler wanted from the gathered industrialists was their financial support in the days preceding the March 5 general election. Before the meeting was over, roughly $1 million was pledged to establish an unparalleled propaganda war chest, all to be spent over the next two weeks. With that prodigious sum, the Nazis were able to saturate every newspaper and radio station, dispatch pamphleteers to every city, and flood the streets of Germany with sound trucks blaring election propaganda. Under Hitler's emergency powers, only Nazis were permitted to rally voter support.

Yet when the March 5 votes were counted, the Nazis were still unable to muster a majority. Despite the biggest campaign blitz in history, Hitler polled only 43.9 percent of the vote. Only after sealing alliances with other rightwing parties did Hitler achieve a slim majority. Nevertheless, he called it a "mandate" and promised to quickly eradicate the enemies of Germany: Communism, democracy, and the Jews.

As the polls were opening March 5, the largest Jewish organization in Germany, the Central Verein in Berlin, issued a statement: "In meetings and certain newspapers, violence against Jews is propagated .... The spirit of hatred now directed against the Jews will not halt there. It will spread and poison the soul of the German people." When local Nazi party activists learned of the statement, Storm Troopers vandalized the Central Verein office. Worried about the impact of such news among anti-Nazi circles in New York, Nazi leader Hermann Goering summoned Central Verein leaders to his office for a formal apology and assurances that the incident would be the last. [4]

But within days, Germany's dark future became clear. On March 8 and 9, Hitler's Storm Troopers smashed into the provinces and towns. Within forty-eight hours, provincial authority was virtually disassembled and replaced with Hitler's hand-chosen people. At the same time, the Nazis began attaching party observers or kommissars to all major newspapers, companies, and organizations. Carefully orchestrated anti-Jewish actions in Essen, Magdeburg, and Berlin accompanied the takeover. In some cases, Nazi flags were merely raised over Jewish store entrances as owners "voluntarily" closed. In other cases, windows were shattered, stench bombs rolled in, customers escorted out, and proprietors manhandled. [5]

The Nazis now controlled not only the federal government, but state and local governments as well. Virtually every institution was now subject to Nazi party dicta and brought into readiness for the achievement of Nazi social, political, and economic aspirations -- including the elimination of German Jewry. On March 9, Central Verein leaders returned to Goering's Berlin office. He again used reassuring words to downplay the anti-Jewish incidents. [6] And the Central Verein wanted to believe.

In New York City, however, the Jews were more realistic. On March 12, the American Jewish Congress leadership convened a three-hour session and voted to commence a national program of highly visible protests, parades, and demonstrations. The centerpiece of the protest would be a giant anti-Nazi rally March 27, at Madison Square Garden. An emergency meeting of regional and national Jewish organizations was set for March 19 to work out the details. [7]

Before the group adjourned, Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, a Congress vice-president, spoke a few words of warning to Germany for the newsmen present. Threatening a bitter boycott, Tenenbaum said, "Germany is not a speck on Mars. It is a civilized country, located in the heart of Europe, relying on friendly cooperation and commercial intercourse with the nations of the world .... A bellum judaicum -- war against the Jews -- means boycott, ruin, disaster, the end of German resources, and the end of all hope for the rehabilitation of Germany, whose friends we have not ceased to be." Measuring his final words carefully, Tenenbaum spoke sternly, "May God save Germany from such a national calamity." [8] The protest would begin -- American Jewish Committee or no American Jewish Committee.

The next day, March 13, American Jewish Committee leaders were startled to learn of the Congress' protest decision. The Committee called an urgent meeting of the Big Three for the following day under the aegis of the "Joint Conference Committee." The top leadership of the Congress attended, led by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the Congress' founder, currently serving as its honorary president. The hierarchy of the Committee and B'nai B'rith were at the meeting as well. The Committee's intent was to abort any Congress protest and forestall Congress attempts to contact "Washington circles." [9]

As the conference began, the Congress people defended their decision to rally at Madison Square Garden. They saw Hitler's bold provincial takeover and the accompanying violence against Jews as a threat that could no longer be ignored. Nazi rhetoric was turning into action at a frightening rate. And the Congress' national affiliates were demanding an immediate response, including a comprehensive boycott of all German goods and services. [10]

Wise added that he had been in touch with Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a leading American Zionist and one of Wise's close personal friends. The advice was to delay a direct appeal to newly sworn-in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was preoccupied with America's Depression and a calamitous banking crisis. But Brandeis did feel that ultimately the matter should be brought to the ear of FDR personally. [11]

Those Congress leaders most favoring the path of protest and even boycott pleaded that only economic retaliation frightened the Nazis. Even Nazi party leaders had admitted Hitler's strength rested on the German public's expectation of economic improvement. [12]

Committee leader David Bressler scorned all protest ideas, insisting that any such moves would only instigate more harm than help for the German Jews. The Committee's reluctance was based upon urgent communications from prominent Jewish families to kill any anti-German protest or boycott. German Jewish leaders were convinced that the German public would abandon the Nazis once the economy improved. And even if Hitler remained in power, German Jewish leaders felt some compromise would be struck to provide Jewish cooperation for economic convalescence. Hitler might then quietly modify, or set aside, his anti-Semitic campaign. [13]

Wise was also reluctant to move on a boycott, but insisted that a joint protest statement be issued and efforts commence with the new administration in Washington. There could be no more delay. Bressler rejected this and castigated the Congress for even releasing its March 12 protest decision to the press. A conservative Congress leader, Nathan Perlman, tried to assure the Committee people that the protest policy would be overruled or delayed at a meeting of the Congress' Administrative Committee later that night. But Wise advised against second-guessing the Administrative Committee, suggesting instead that for now, the three major organizations agree on a joint statement and a Washington plan. American Jewish Committee Secretary Morris Waldman interrupted and declared that any trilateral action would hinge on the Congress's protest decision. Wise accepted that proviso. [14]

The Committee delegates were cautiously reassured. Immediately following the meeting they dispatched a telegram to B'nai B'rith president Alfred Cohen, in Cincinnati: "CONFERENCE THREE ORGANIZATIONS GERMAN SITUATION ... DISCOURAGING INDEPENDENT ACTION JEWISH GROUPS THROUGHOUT COUNTRY." [15]

But within hours, the Committee learned that its efforts had failed. The Congress' Administrative Committee had rejected the conservative position and by a vast majority opted for visible, vocal protest highlighted by the March 27 Madison Square Garden rally. The next morning, March 15, American Jewish Committee secretary Morris Waldman telephoned Congress vice-president W. W. Cohen to inform him that the Committee-B'nai B'rith binary would disassociate itself from the Congress -- indeed from any anti-Nazi protest. Waldman then sent a telegram to Alfred Cohen in Cincinnati telling him to fly to New York to help plan countermoves to any organized Jewish protest against Hitler. [16] In that moment, the "Joint Conference Committee" was dissolved.

While the Big Three were arguing over whether to protest Hitlerism, smaller Jewish organizations were already committed to action. For these smaller organizations, closer to the Jewish masses, the debate was whether or not the Jews should unleash a comprehensive boycott against Germany as the best means of protest. In pursuit of that answer, the militant Jewish War Veterans held a fiery session in New York the evening of March 18. [17]

Shouts for and against a boycott bounced back and forth as the delegates debated how far the protest against Hitler should actually go. Speeches, interruptions, calls to order, and sporadic applause stretched the meeting well past midnight with no decision. Unable to make their deadlines, the press went home. Finally, to break the deadlock, Benjamin Sperling of Brooklyn, formally moved that the Jewish War Veterans organize a vigorous national boycott of all German goods, services, and shipping lines. The yells in favor were abundant, but the presiding officer insisted on a formal vote, and with a flurry of excitement the boycott was unanimously adopted. [18] It was done so in accordance with the JWV's charter: "To combat the sources of bigotry and darkness; wherever originating and whatever their target; to uphold the fair name of the Jew and fight his battle wherever unjustly assailed."

History thus records that in an era distinguished by appeasement, the Jewish War Veterans were the very first, anywhere in the world, to declare openly their organized resistance to the Nazi regime. They had fought Germany once and would fight again. This small association of ex-warriors, mostly men of little finesse and even less pretense, would no longer be bound by the Jewish hierarchy.

appeasement: Foreign policy of pacifying an aggrieved nation through negotiation in order to prevent war. The prime example is Britain's policy toward Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Neville Chamberlain sought to accommodate Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 and took no action when Germany absorbed Austria in 1938. When Adolf Hitler prepared to annex ethnically German portions of Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain negotiated the notorious Munich Agreement.

Munich agreement: (1938) Settlement reached by Germany, France, Britain, and Italy permitting German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. Adolf Hitler's threats to occupy the German-populated part of Czechoslovakia stemmed from his avowed broader goal of reuniting Europe's German-populated areas. Though Czechoslovakia had defense treaties with France and the Soviet Union, both countries agreed that areas in the Sudetenland with majority German populations should be returned. Hitler demanded that all Czechoslovaks in those areas depart; when Czechoslovakia refused, Britain's Neville Chamberlain negotiated an agreement permitting Germany to occupy the areas but promising that all future differences would be resolved through consultation. The agreement, which became synonymous with appeasement, was abrogated when Hitler annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia the next year.

-- Merriam-webster.com

The gentlemen of the JWV felt especially obligated to persevere that night. They wanted to present their boycott movement as a "fact" that would inspire the other 1,500 representatives of Jewish organizations meeting the following day to consider the dimensions of the American Jewish Congress' call to protest. Indeed, a JWV protest march was already planned, as was a boycott office, a publicity campaign, and a fund-raising effort. [19] The Veterans wanted to be sure that when the March 19 emergency conference convened, the word boycott would be an established term in the language of confrontation with the Nazis.

But that same day, Nazi, Jewish, and Zionist interests were anxious to stillbirth the protest movement before it could breathe life. A Paris conference, called by a group of European Jewish organizations analogous to the American Jewish Committee and B'nai B'rith, tried to stifle the growing protest movement on the Continent inspired by the American Jewish Congress. The Committee was unable to attend the sudden conference, but did telephone their concerns to the meeting. The Parisian conference unanimously decided that public protest by Jews was "not only premature but likely to be useless and even harmful." [20] Committee people in New York could now tell the Congress that Jewish organizations closest to the trouble in Europe agreed that there should be no public agitation against Hitler.

March 19, 1933, was also the day that the swastika was unfurled over German consulates in Jerusalem and Jaffa. Germany maintained the two consulates in Palestine as part of its normal diplomatic relations with Great Britain. Angry Tel Aviv Jews prepared to storm the consulates and burn the new German flag. But Zionist leaders were afraid to provoke the Nazis, lest Berlin suddenly clamp down on Zionist organizing and fund-raising activities in Germany. In Jerusalem, Jewish Agency Executive Committee member Dr. Werner Senator dispatched a letter about the flag-raising to the Zionist Organization in London. Senator explained that Zionist leaders were working with British Mandatory authorities to defuse the problem "to avoid hostile encounters, which would cause unpleasant repercussions for our people in Germany." [21]

In Berlin, the Hitler regime was clearly worried. Atrocity reports covered the front pages of newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic. Der Forverts correspondent Jacob Leschinsky's report from Berlin was typical: "One can find no words to describe the fear and despair, the tragedy that envelops the German Jews. They are being beaten, terrorized, murdered, and ... compelled to keep quiet. The Hitler regime flames up with anger because it has been forced through fear of foreign public opinion to forego a mass slaughter. . . . It threatens, however, to execute big pogroms if Jews in other countries make too much fuss about the pogroms it has hitherto indulged in." The dispatch was carried by The New York Times and many other newspapers. Leschinsky, immediately after the dispatch, was arrested and expelled. [22]

Atrocity scandals were complicating almost every attempt at the German economic and diplomatic recovery Hitler desperately needed to stay in power. The Jews of New York would have to be stopped. Within a few days, the reconvened Reichstag was scheduled to approve sweeping dictatorial powers enabling Hitler to circumvent the legislature and rule by decree. But this talk of an international Jewish-led boycott was frightening Germany's legislators. Such a boycott could disable German export industries, affecting every German family. Goebbels expressed the Nazi fear in his diary: "The horrors propaganda abroad gives us much trouble. The many Jews who have left Germany have set all foreign countries against us.... We are defenselessly exposed to the attacks of our adversaries." [23] But as Nazi newspapers castigated German Jewry for the protests of their landsmen overseas, German Jews themselves responded with letters, transatlantic calls, and cables to stifle American Jewish objections to Hitler.

When the Congress' emergency protest planning conference convened on March 19 at New York's Astor Hotel, Committee representatives arrived with a prepared statement. It read: "It is only natural for decent and liberal-minded men and women to feel outraged at these occurrences and ... to give public expression to their indignation and abhorrence, [but] the American Jewish Committee and the B'nai B'rith are convinced that the wisest and the most effective policy for the Jews of America to pursue is to exercise the same fine patience, fortitude and exemplary conduct that have been shown by the Jews of Germany. This is not a time further to inflame already overwrought feelings, but to act wisely, judiciously and deliberately." [24]

These words of caution were emphatically rejected by the delegates who well knew that the Committee had become a megaphone -- via friends and family relations -- for Nazi pressure on the American anti-German protest movement. Bernard S. Deutsch, Congress president, set the meeting's defiant tone: "The offices of the American Jewish Congress are being flooded with messages from all over the country demanding protest. ... We are met here to translate this popular mandate into responsible, vigorous, orderly and effective action." Cries of approval bellowed from the crowd. The protest motion was formally introduced: "This tragic hour in Jewish history calls imperatively for the solidarity of the Jewish people. And we American Jews are resolved to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brother Jews in Germany in defense of their rights, which are being grievously violated, and of their lives, which are imperiled." [25]

The audience cheered. But from among the cheering delegates stood up J. George Fredman, commander in chief of the Jewish War Veterans, who proudly announced his organization had already -- on its own initiative -- commenced the national anti-Nazi boycott. He urged fellow Jewish organizations to join and formally called for a boycott amendment to the protest resolution. [26]

Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, the American Jewish Committee's representative at the rally, became livid. He stood up and insisted that marches and meetings were improper and unproductive. He advised quiet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy -- as the Committee had always done. The crowd booed and hissed. Undaunted, Proskauer turned toward Fredman and condemned his boycott amendment as "causing more trouble for the Jews in Germany by unintelligent action." Over waving hands and hostile jeering, he insisted on placing into the record a message from another Committee stalwart, Judge Irving Lehman, the brother of the governor of New York. In a voice struggling to be heard, Proskauer read Lehman's letter: "I feel that the [Madison Square Garden protest] meeting may add to the dangers of the Jews in Germany .... I implore you in the name of humanity, don't let anger pass a resolution which will kill Jews in Germany." At this the crowd stormed their disapproval in English, Yiddish, and Russian. The hotel meeting room became so unruly that police had to be called to restore order. [27]

Stephen Wise stepped in to avoid total humiliation for the Committee, which he still hoped would use its influence in Washington. He offered to redraft the protest resolution, but the final wording was virtually the same and still anathema to the Committee. The date March 27 was approved, and Madison Square Garden was ratified as the epicenter of a day of global anti-German protest that would signal the beginning of mass Jewish resistance to Hitler. But through Wise's counsel, the Congress did not declare a boycott. He felt the big inter-organizational boycott the Congress could mount would be indeed the final nonviolent weapon. The time had not yet come. [28]

Fredman and his Veterans had other plans. Even if they could not persuade a single other group to join them, the JWV would organize the national boycott. Many in the Congress leadership supported the Veterans' decision, but in deference to the Committee, withheld official endorsement. They were waiting for the influential German Jewish families of New York to use their connections, waiting for Committee "methods" to deliver. And waiting for proof that the German Jewish leaders of the Committee were not merely unwitting tools of the Third Reich....

: not aware of what is really happening
: not intended or planned
-- Merriam-webster.com

An unwitting alliance of groups now saw their mission as obstructing anti-Nazi protest in America and Europe, especially an economic boycott. The members of this alliance included B'nai B'rith, the American Jewish Committee, and even the Jewish Agency for Palestine, each preoccupied with its own vested interests, each driven by its own ideological imperatives, and each wishing that conditions for German Jews would improve in the quieter climate they hoped to establish.

: to want (something) to be true or to happen
: to want or ask to do (something)
: to want (someone) to be in a particular state

archaic : wishful
: regarded as having the power to grant wishes <threw a coin in the wishing well>

-- Merriam-webster.com

-- The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine, by Edwin Black

[Man] [Shouting angrily]
[Shouting continues]

[Judge] [In Hebrew] Remove him from the courtroom. Quickly!

[Man] [To Rabbi] You are a cowardly dog. A dog!

[Rabbi] [Looking as bored and inwardly smirky as Eichmann, or Condoleezza]

[Michael Moore] As Bush sat in that Florida classroom, was he wondering if maybe he should have shown up to work more often? Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counterterrorism? Or maybe Mr. Bush wondered why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI. Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6th, 2001, which said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes. But maybe he wasn't worried about the terrorist threat, because the title of the report was too vague.

[Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor] I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" ...

I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile. All of this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking.

-- Fahrenheit 9/11, directed by Michael Moore

[Judge] Remain seated if you want to stay here.


[Crowd] [Chattering]

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) [In German] An officer swears an oath of allegiance.
If he breaks this oath,
then he is a rogue.
I still hold this view.
I have taken an oath here to tell the truth.
That was how I viewed things then, too:
An oath is an oath.

[Gideon Hausner (1915-1990)] Do you believe that anyone who swore allegiance would,
after Hitler's death,
be released from his oath of allegiance?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] After Hitler's death?
Of course. Everyone would automatically be released.

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughing]

[Gideon Hausner (1915-1990)] When interrogated by the police you said
that if the Fuhrer had told you your father was a traitor,
you would have shot him yourself.

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] If he had been a traitor, yes ...

[Judge] No, if the Fuhrer had told you so.

[Man] [Speaking Hebrew]

[Judge] Would you have shot your own father?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] Assuming he had proven this.
Had he proven it,
I'd have been obliged by my oath.

[Judge] Was it proven to you that the Jews had to be exterminated?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] I didn't exterminate them.

[Judge] Did you never feel any conflict
between your duty and your conscience?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] One could call it a state of being split.

[Judge] Split?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] Yes ...
A conscious split state
where one could flee from one side to the other.

[Catwoman] The law doesn't apply to people like him, or us.

[Batman] Wrong on both counts. Why are you doing this? Let's just take him to the police. Then we can go home, together. Selina, don't you see? We're the same. We're the same. Split, like at the center.

-- Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton

Here too NLP offers solace: it is the "right and duty" of your unconscious mind, he and John Grinder once wrote," to keep from your conscious mind anything that is unpleasant."

-- The Bandler Method, by Frank Clancy and Heidi Yorkshire

On Scientology's secret initiations, the individual is told (while under the suggestibility of hypnotic trance and stress) that he or she is really not one individual but a composite of hundreds, possibly thousands, or even tens of thousands of alien beings (called "body thetans" or "BTs.") These beings are trapped in his or her body as the result of a galactic war that occurred 76 million years ago (OT 3, and OT 5.) Individuals subjected to these initiation techniques are told (while vulnerable) that these alien beings are fighting for control of the individual's body and identity, that these alien beings can make them act insane or become terminally ill, and that only Scientology has the technology to safely "remove" these alien beings from their bodies.

Members spend sometimes hundreds of hours of exposure to these secret levels, talking to their various body parts, trying to get these alien beings out of their bodies. They are repeatedly told that they could go insane and die if they do anything procedurally wrong while trying to remove these other beings.

In these secret initiation levels, to more effectively attack the person's core concepts of self, Hubbard's methods trick the person in trance into believing he is not who he always thought he was. To fragment the individual's personality and integrity on order to facilitate better initiate control, Hubbard induces a hypnotic state of multiple personality similar to an artificial schizophrenia. Many observers report Scientologists switching "personalities" dramatically and abruptly.

-- The Fable -- Hollywood, Satanism, Scientology & Suicide, by F.A.C.T.Net, Inc.

Jung recognized that he was two persons. When a friend's father lost his temper with him for behaving irresponsibly in a boat, he felt enraged that this fat, ignorant boor dared to insult him, yet at the same time, could see that the man's anger was justified; it was the schoolboy who was being told off, and the 'man of authority' who was enraged.

In fact, Jung had already become convinced that this 'man of authority' was an old man who lived in the eighteenth century and wore buckled shoes and a white wig. This conviction had come upon him one day when an antique green carriage drove past their house, and he had experienced an odd feeling: 'That comes from my times.' And in the house of his aunts -- to which he had been carried when he fainted -- there was a statuette of a well-known character from eighteenth-century Basle, a Dr. Stuckelberger, who wore buckled shoes; again, Jung had the curious certainty that these shoes were his own. Possibly he was acquainted with the story that his grandfather was Goethe's illegitimate son, and was identifying with Goethe. Whatever the cause, he began to experience himself as a dual personality, living in two ages simultaneously.

-- C.G. Jung: Lord of the Underworld, by Colin Wilson

We can see from the example of Leviathan how the great "fish" gradually split into its opposite, after having itself been the opposite of the highest God and hence his shadow, the embodiment of his evil side. [8]

With this splitting of the monster into a new opposite, its original opposition to God takes a back seat, and the monster is now in conflict either with itself or with an equivalent monster (e.g., Leviathan and Behemoth). This relieves God of his own inner conflict, which now appears outside him in the form of a hostile pair of brother monsters. In later Jewish tradition the Leviathan that Yahweh fought with in Isaiah develops a tendency, on the evidence cited by Scheftelowitz, to become "pure" and be eaten as "eucharistic" food, with the result that, if one wanted to derive the Ichthys symbol from this source, Christ as a fish would appear in place of Leviathan, the monstrous animals of tradition having meanwhile faded into mere attributes of death and the devil.

This split corresponds to the doubling of the shadow often met with in dreams, where the two halves appear as different or even as antagonistic figures. This happens when the conscious ego-personality does not contain all the contents and components that it could contain. Part of the personality then remains split off and mixes with the normally unconscious shadow, the two together forming a double -- and often antagonistic -- personality. If we apply this experience from the domain of practical psychology to the mythological material under discussion, we find that God's monstrous antagonist produces a double because the God-image is incomplete and does not contain everything it logically ought to contain. Whereas Leviathan is a fishlike creature, primitive and cold-blooded, dwelling in the depths of the ocean, Behemoth is a warm-blooded quadruped, presumably something like a bull, who roams the mountains (at least in later tradition). Hence he is related to Leviathan as a higher, superior creature to a lower, inferior one, rather like the winged and the wingless dragon in alchemy. All winged beings are "volatile," i.e., vapours and gases, in other words pneuma. Just as in Augustine Christ the fish is "drawn from the deep," [9] so in II Esdras 13: 2ff. the "man" came out of the sea like a wind. His appearance was heralded by an eagle and a lion, theriomorphic symbols which greatly affrighted the prophet in the same way that Behemoth inspired chiefly terror in Job. The fish drawn from the deep has a secret connection with Leviathan: he is the bait with which Leviathan is lured and caught. This fish is probably a duplication of the great fish and stands for its pneumatic aspect. It is evident that Leviathan has such an aspect, because he, like the Ichthys, is eucharistic food. [10] That this doubling represents an act of conscious realization is clear from Job 26: 12, where we are told that Yahweh smote Rahab "by his understanding" (tebuna). Rahab, the sea monster, is cousin german to Tiamat, whom Marduk split asunder by filling her up with Inihullu, the north wind. [11] The word tebuna comes from bin, 'to separate, split, part asunder' -- in other words, to discriminate, which is the essence of conscious realization. [12] In this sense Leviathan and Behemoth represent stages in the development of consciousness whereby they become assimilated and humanized. The fish changes, via the warm-blooded quadruped, into a human being, and in so far as the Messiah became, in Christianity, the second Person of the Trinity, the human figure split off from the fish hints at God's incarnation. [13] What was previously missing in the God-image, therefore, was the human element.

-- Aion, by Carl Jung

HARRY: Who are you?

GOETHE: I'm not anybody. I'm a chess player. Do you want instruction in building up your personality?

HARRY: Yes, please.

GOETHE: May I see your pieces, please?

HARRY: Pieces?

GOETHE: Of your personality. I can't play without the pieces. Which one is you?
Wrong. You are the whole game.

HARRY: But all these personalities in one man, that's schizophrenia.

GOETHE: It don't matter, honey. Watch.

HARRY: What is it called, this game?

GOETHE: Life. Your life. Complicate it or enrich it as you please. Your soul has fallen to bits and pieces. Good. Rearrange them to suit yourself.
[Goethe laughing]

-- Steppenwolf, directed by Fred Haines

MKULTRA: PROGRAMMABLE ASSASSINS: As later reported by the Church Committee, in addition to murder, assassination, torture, and terrorism, the CIA had been engaging in Nazi-like experiments, often on unwitting human subjects, exposing them to diseases and mind altering drugs, such as LSD. The objectives of CIA projects, such as "BLUEBIRD," "ARTICHOKE," and "MKULTRA" included using drugs, hypnosis, and terror, to create alternate "split" personalities. One objective was to create artificial personalities which could be programmed to assassinate specified targets, such as labor leaders or politicians, and which could be used to engage in other high risk assignments that might normally be avoided. Related to this was the goal of defeating interrogation. That is, once the altered, secondary personality carried out its mission, the main personality would return to the forefront of consciousness, but would have no memory of being programmed as those memories would be locked away in the split-off portion of the alternate personality.

-- America Betrayed, by Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D.

[Judge] One's conscience was to be abandoned?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] Sorry?

[Judge] One's personal conscience was to be abandoned?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] You could say that.

[Judge] If there had been more civil courage,
things could have been different.
Am I right? Answer ...

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] If civil courage ...
had been hierarchically organized, then yes, absolutely.

[Judge] So this was not destiny.

[Hannah Arendt] [Rolling her eyes]

[Judge] It was not inevitable.
It was a question of human behavior.

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] A question of human behavior.
And of course it was ...
It was wartime, upheaval ...
Everyone thought, "It's useless to resist ..."

[Judge] Yes.

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)] A drop on a hot stone that evaporates
without purpose or success or ...
or failure or anything.
to the times, I think.
To the times, how children were raised,
with ideological education,
rigid discipline, that sort of thing.


[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Eichmann not an anti-Semite? That's nonsense!

[Hannah Arendt] You heard him. He was obeying the law. He'd have obeyed any law.

[Franz Bruckner] Oh, please! Anyone in the Party,
let alone the SS, was a committed and vicious anti-Semite.

[Hannah Arendt] He swears he never personally harmed a Jew.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] So he claims!

[Hannah Arendt] Isn't it interesting
that a man who did everything a murderous system asked of him,
who even seems eager
to give precise details of his fine work,
that this man insists
he personally has nothing against Jews?

[Jeckes] He's lying!

[Hannah Arendt] False. He is not.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] You're falling for this?

[Franz Bruckner] He claims he didn't know where the trains were going.
You believe that too?

[Hannah Arendt] Knowing that was irrelevant for him.
He transported people to their deaths,
but didn't feel responsible for it.
Once the trains were in motion his work was done.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] So he can say he's free of guilt
despite what happened to the people he transported?

[Hannah Arendt] Yes. That's how he sees it. He's a bureaucrat.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Your quest for truth is admirable, but this time you've gone too far!

[Hannah Arendt] But Kurt, you can't deny the huge difference
between the unspeakable horror of the deeds
and the mediocrity of the man.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Don't worry, Rahel.
Hannah and I always argued like this.

[Rahel Blumenfeld] I'm just afraid she'll make a lot of people angry.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] That's her nature.

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughing]
But after finishing our bloody duels ...

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] We always found a way to make up.
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Re: Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:47 am


[Offers to carry Hannah's bags]

[Hannah Arendt] Hey. Kurt, no!
Think of your heart.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] I know. I'm not getting any younger.
That's why I wish you wouldn't leave me so quickly.

[Hannah Arendt] I'm never very far from you.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] [Pointing to trunk] What's in there?

[Hannah Arendt] Transcripts of the trial.
Six tapes of Eichmann's questioning.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] I could have them shipped to New York.

[Hannah Arendt] I have to start reading at once.

[Hannah Arendt & Kurt Blumenfeld] [Big embrace]

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] Bring Heinrich along next time.

[Hannah Arendt & Kurt Blumenfeld] [Warmly wave goodbye to each other]


[Door opens]

[Hannah Arendt] [To Heinrich] You're home!
[They embrace]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Chuckles]

[Hannah Arendt] Oh!
What about your classes?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Canceled! I said it's an emergency.

[They embrace again]

[Hannah Arendt] Thank you, Freddy.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Gives Freddy a tip.]

[Freddy] Thank you.

[Hannah Arendt] [Sitting down] [Sighs] Ah!
How good to be home.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Four pounds.
Can't you see it?

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughs]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] I starved myself for you.

[Hannah Arendt] Look at my homework over there.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] You're taking a few days off.

[Hannah Arendt] Stups, I have 2000 pages to read before the semester starts.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Don't exaggerate, Frau Professor.

[Hannah Arendt] [Pointing to roses] From Mary?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] No.
From me.

[They embrace]


[Hannah Arendt] Stups! That's the wrong pile.
Miller begged me to take over another class.
Someone's ill or getting a divorce or something typically American like that.
My head's spinning as it is.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] You have to learn to say no. But only to others, of course.

[Phone rings]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [In English] Yes?
Ah. Here.
Hello, Mr. Shawn.

[Hannah Arendt] [Gasps] [Gestures she doesn't want to talk to him]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Uh, she's not in right now. She should be back soon.
Yes, certainly. I will give her the message.

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] Well?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] That polite Mr. Shawn didn't say as much,
but I guess he's curious to know when you'll deliver the articles.

[Hannah Arendt] There's not even a verdict yet.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Yes...
How dare that Mr. Shawn call you at all?

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughs]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] I don't think he can imagine
that so celebrated a writer as you
is so busy fighting her papers and hasn't written a word.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] But Monsieur here would have finished the articles long ago.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Without a doubt.
[Hands her some files]

[Hannah Arendt] [Curtsies to him]
Thank you.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Bows to her]
Frau Professor.


[Hannah Arendt] [Typing]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] You can also use my office.

[Hannah Arendt] [In French] You are too kind, sir!

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] You just have to move my pipe-stand.

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] Your doctor will like that.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] People in glass houses ...

[Hannah Arendt] [Typing away]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Just leaving without bothering her further]

[Hannah Arendt] How can you leave me like that? No hug, no kiss?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Never disturb a great philosopher when they're thinking.

[Hannah Arendt] But they can't think without kisses.

[Kisses him]


[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [To Freddy] You can put it here.

[Freddy] [Sets down the package]

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Thank you, Freddy.

[Freddy] You're welcome.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [To Hannah] [In German] From Israel.
At least 500 new pages from the court.
I'll sort them for you later.

[Hannah Arendt] I'm so lucky to have you, Lotte.
I'd never be such good friends with my own daughter.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] My father always says God gave us family,
but thank God we can choose our friends.

[Hannah Arendt] Well ...
[In English] Interesting theory.

[In German] You think I'd have chosen Charlotte?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Oh, I forgot. She called earlier.
She wanted Heinrich's new number at Bard.

[Hannah Arendt] Did you give it to her?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Unfortunately, I couldn't find it.

[Hannah Arendt] [Groans]
Careful, Lotte. She's a psychoanalyst and can probably read your mind ...

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Should I take these away again?

[Hannah Arendt] Please.


[Hannah Arendt] [Reading]
[Man] They slept as if dead.
Someone came in and called out:
Quick now, the SS are coming back.
I had two friends beside me.
[Several voices overlapping]
[Man #2] Once a week the infamous Dr. Mengele selection was held.
The rumor that Dr. Mengele had arrived was enough
to spread fear and terror throughout the camp.
[Man #3] ... confess his guilt ...
If there had been more
of what I term civil courage,
then some things would have turned out differently.

[Young Hannah Arendt] [Knocks on his door]
[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] Miss Arendt.
[Clock ticking]
[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] You say you want me to teach you how to think.
[Young Hannah Arendt] [Nods her head yes]

[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] Thinking
is a lonely business.
[Young Hannah Arendt] [Smiles]


[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Every time I even write a sex scene, I have you horribly on my conscience,
as if you're tugging at my elbow saying, "Stop."

[Hannah Arendt] I have no problem with sex.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] I'm afraid you'll think I'm an exhibitionist or something.

[Hannah Arendt] Well, you are.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Chuckles]

[Hannah Arendt] But you've written your first book without a hint of memoir.
It's pure fiction, is it?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Is that a left-handed compliment or just straight criticism?

[Hannah Arendt] No!
I think you've written beautifully balanced sentences
and I think at times it's hilariously funny.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] You have never been this positive. Did you hate all my other books?

[Hannah Arendt] Mary!

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Well!

[Hannah Arendt] You can't take a compliment.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] No.

[Professor Thomas Miller] [Running by] Hannah!

[In German] You are my heroine!
[In English] I thank you.
The German Department thanks you.
We all thank you.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, God. Ask him for a raise.

[Hannah Arendt] [Chuckles]


[Hannah Arendt] [In German] You see,
Western tradition
mistakenly assumes
that the greatest evils of mankind
arise from selfishness.
But in our century, evil has proven to be more radical
than was previously thought.
And we now know
that the truest evil,
the radical evil,
has nothing to do
with selfishness or any such understandable, sinful motives.
Instead, it is based on the following phenomenon:
making human beings superfluous as human beings.
The entire concentration camp system was designed
to convince the prisoners
they were unnecessary
before they were murdered.
In the concentration camps men were taught
that punishment was not connected to a crime,
that exploitation wouldn't profit anyone,
and that work produced no results.
The camp is a place
where every activity and human impulse
is senseless.
Where, in other words, senselessness is daily produced anew.

Fascist ideology, whatever its specific predicates, repudiates human reason and exalts irrationalism and irrationalist violence, often in the form of wanton military aggression and imperialism. A fascist mass movement is the most aggressive form of militant irrationalism. From Mussolini's Romanita through Hitler's Herrenvolk to the Great Russian master race conception of "Moscow the Third Rome," fascist ideology is based on notions of racial superiority and race hatred, extreme chauvinism, and blood and soil mysticism. Fascism is neo-pagan and ferociously hostile to Augustinian Christianity, as can be shown from Mussolini's early career and from Hitler's private conversations. This same neo-paganism is perfectly expressed in the predilection of Russian totalitarianism for the Russian Orthodox Church. In the Western world, fascism can be correctly called the politics of cultural despair.

-- Project Democracy's Program -- The Fascist Corporate State, by Webster Griffin Tarpley

So, to summarize:
If it is true
that in the final stage of totalitarianism,
an absolute evil emerges,
absolute as it no longer relates to human motives,
then it is equally true
that without it,
without totalitarianism,
we would never have known
the truly radical nature of evil.
What time is it?
The second hour has begun. You know what that means.
[Student brings her a cigarette]
Thank you.

[Lights her cigarette]
Thank you.

[Student Enrico] May I ask you a personal question?

[Hannah Arendt] You can try.

[Student Enrico] Were you in a camp?

[Hannah Arendt] I had the opportunity
to spend some time in a French detention camp called Gurs.

[Student Elisabeth] [In English] But weren't the French on your side?

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] In the beginning. They took us in.
But when the Germans invaded France on May 10, 1940,
our French friends put us into detention camps.
We became a new kind of human being,
put into concentration camps by our enemies
and into detention camps by our friends.

[Student Enrico] How did you escape?

[Hannah Arendt] [In English] My husband and I were lucky to receive a visa to America.

[In German] A visa. Not a passport. We were stateless for 18 years.

[Student Enrico] And what was your first impression of America?

[Hannah Arendt] [In English] Paradise.


[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Looking at a book]

[Grabs his head]
[Gasps, Groans]
[Falls on floor]
[tries to get up, breathing heavily]

[Falls back down]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Running across the campus]

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] Do you understand?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Hannah!

[Hannah Arendt] [In English] Just a moment, please.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Holding Hannah's shoulders]

[Hannah Arendt] How did you find --
Who found --

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Charlotte.

[Hannah Arendt] My class. They are waiting.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] I'll take over.

[Hannah Arendt] No, but, Mary, it's --
It's advanced German class.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] They will be delighted to speak English again. Go. Go. Go.


[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Breathing heavily]

[Hannah Arendt] [Sobs]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Dearest.
Don't cry.

[Hannah Arendt] I spoke to the doctor.
He said you only have a fifty percent chance.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Don't forget the other fifty percent.

[Knock on door]

[Door opens]

[Nurse comes in]

[Door closes]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] What were you speaking to your students about?

[Hannah Arendt] About us.


[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [In English] I understand.
Thank you for the message.

[Hannah Arendt] Yes.
[Sink water running]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] They're hanging Eichmann.

[Hannah Arendt] And so they should.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] They should?
But that's not justice.

[Hannah Arendt] The punishment's not enough?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] The punishment can only give an appearance of justice.

[Hannah Arendt] There are no real punishments for his deeds.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] That's why it'd be braver to let him live.
Now the verdict's in,
you can stop avoiding your New Yorker friends.

[Hannah Arendt] Not until you've recovered.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] You haven't written a line since my slight collapse.

[Hannah Arendt] Wrong. I've made some notes.
A brain aneurysm isn't a "slight collapse" either.
You could have died.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] But Eichmann is a monster.
And when I say monster, I don't mean Satan.
You don't need to be smart or powerful to behave like a monster.

[Hannah Arendt] You're being too simplistic.
What's new about the Eichmann phenomenon
is that there are so many just like him.
He's a terrifyingly normal human being.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Not all normal people were head of department 4B-4
at the Reich Security Office
charged with the extermination of Europe's Jews.

[Hannah Arendt] You're right there.
But he considered himself an obedient servant of Germany
who had to obey the Fuhrer's orders.
"My loyalty is my honor."
The Fuhrer's orders became the law.
He didn't feel guilty in the sense of the indictment.
He behaved according to the law.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] It's been proven that Eichmann pursued the Final Solution
even after Himmler had long since forbidden it.
And why? He wanted to finish his work.

The brief discussion of eugenics in Britain which forms the first part of this chapter was necessary in order to emphasise the fact that 'eugenics' was really an umbrella term for a rich variety of ideas. It also serves the purpose of reminding us that, although we concentrate on it for good reason, the history of eugenics in Germany is by no means unique; indeed, it borrowed some of its ideas from abroad.

One of the most shocking of these ideas is that of the gas chamber. There are very few advocates of mass-murder of any sort, particularly not by gassing, to be found in the literature on eugenics. But it seems that in the British consciousness, fuelled by the hyperbole of the press, there was concern that this was exactly the end to which eugenics would lead. From the reassurances to be found in the writings of those who defended eugenics, it seems clear that the idea of the 'lethal chamber', though never set out in any detail, was a widely propagated one from which eugenicists had to distance themselves. At work here we see the defenders of traditional values fighting to ridicule the eugenicists, who in the years before 1918 were at the forefront of progressive thought.

It is unclear where the phrase comes from. Yet the fact that Arnold White felt the need to mention it in an article which later became part of his highly influential book which was cited above, Efficiency and Empire (1901), is revealing. Railing against the same sort of weak character that Ludovici later chose as his target, one which took unnecessary pity on the weak, White wrote the following:

There is no sign of a reaction against the cant that loads the dissolute poor with favours, while brave men and women who refuse to be proselytised prefer to die of hunger in a garret rather than sue for alms. In changing our present methods, however, we must carry with us public opinion. Flippant people of lazy mind talk lightly of the 'lethal chamber,' as though diseased Demos, half conscious of his own physical unfitness, but electorally omnipotent, would permit a curtailment of his pleasures or the abridgement of his liberty. [28]

When White wrote these words in 1899 this sort of defence was necessary, for his advocacy of 'efficiency' could easily be caricatured as being a call for some kind of mechanised or engineered society, inimical to the tradition of 'British liberty'. This is far from being a proposal to establish gas chambers, but a hyperbolic way of demonstrating the acceptably considered opinions of his own book. But today the passage is striking for another reason. Here, forty years before the operation of the first Nazi gas chamber, White introduces the notion of a 'lethal chamber' into his text in the apparently safe knowledge that his readers will know what he is talking about.

Some years later the phrase reappears in another book by White. In a collection of articles produced for the Referee under the pen-name Vanoc, White devoted a whole section to race-regeneration and related matters. In one article, 'Race Culture', he defended the advantages to be won from a policy of eugenics:

I admit that the word 'Eugenics' is repellent, but the thing is essential to our existence. To produce sound minds in sound bodies by impressing on all classes the dignity, the privileges, and the responsibilities of British parenthood is the race-improver's aim. Naturally we are misrepresented ... It is not a fact that Scotland Yard will be invoked to effect the union of the fit, and it is also an error to believe that the plans and specifications for County Council lethal-chambers have yet been prepared. [29]

Again the implication is that word has been spread that this is precisely what the county councils intend to do; at least, the eugenicists have been the butt of jokes accusing them of unrealistic and dangerous dreams of social engineering, what A.F. Tredgold, a member of the Eugenics Education Society's council, called 'dark mutterings regarding "lethal chambers"', mutterings that White for one felt the need to dismiss as absurd. [30]

The term 'lethal chamber' also appears in the work of Caleb Williams Saleeby, the influential member of the Eugenics Society whose books have already been discussed. Because of his position, Saleeby undoubtedly felt more vulnerable than most to the attacks of anti-eugenicists; hence he felt obliged to distance himself from the wilder accusations levelled against his new science. 'Thus,' he wrote,

we need mention, only to condemn, suggestions for 'painless extinction', lethal chambers of carbonic acid, and so forth. As I incessantly have to repeat, eugenics has nothing to do with killing; natural selection acts by death, but eugenic selection by birth ... No form of actual or constructive murder (such as the permission of infant mortality) has any place here, for all these proposals to kill miss the vital point, which involves the distinction between the right to live and the right to become a parent. [31]

Once again, it is clear that Saleeby is responding to those who have sought to besmirch the good name of eugenics by imputing to it intentions of the most abhorrent variety.

The timing of these replies from the eugenicists is no surprise: on 3 March 1910 Bernard Shaw, one of the more wayward supporters of eugenics with his notion of a 'democracy of supermen', delivered a lecture to the Eugenics Education Society. Confirming the fears of those who wished the Society to develop a reputation as a serious scientific institution, Shaw's talk resulted in the press ridiculing eugenicists as advocates of 'free love' and 'lethal chambers'.

Such an outcome was not entirely unforeseeable, given Shaw's well-known volatility. Indeed, a week before the talk, at a time when relations between the Galton Laboratory and the Eugenics Society were already strained, Karl Pearson wrote to the aged Francis Galton, with the hope 'that he will be under self-control and not be too extravagant'. [32] The hope was to be misplaced. One month before Shaw's talk a lecture by C. W. Wilson to the Birmingham Rationalist Association on the subject of eugenics gave rise to 'much wild and absurd talk about lethal chambers, the right to live, and forcible marriages'. [33] In the case of someone so famously outspoken as Shaw, the outcome was sure to be far greater negative publicity. Either the press believed Shaw to be serious, and vilified him, or recognised the tongue-in-cheek nature of his lecture, and underscored it.

Shaw (as reported by the Daily Express) spoke of revising the normative view of the sacredness of human life, abolishing marriage and 'going further in the direction of political revolution than the most extreme Socialist at present advocates in public'. The most shocking part of his speech, came, however, when he turned to the implementation of eugenic measures:

We should find ourselves committed to killing a great many people whom we now leave living, and to leave living a great many people whom we at present kill. We should have to get rid of all ideas about capital punishment.

A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people's time to look after them.

The Daily Express was outraged, apologising to its readers for printing such material, only justifying it by stating that it 'indicates the lengths to which the Socialists, of whom Mr. Bernard Shaw is a leader, will go'. [34]

Other newspapers were equally repulsed by Shaw's talk, though most reported it drily, without comment, other than that which was implied in the headline 'Lethal Chamber essential to Eugenics' as used by the Daily News and the Birmingham Daily Mail. This latter paper, though, was not unduly worried by Shaw's prognostications: 'This is all very shocking, but it is also Shavian, and as some centuries must elapse before Society has fitted itself for such a wildly "ideal" doctrine as this, no one need trouble himself seriously about it.' Among the many other papers that reported the talk, only The Globe and the Evening News also recognised it as a skit on the dreams of the eugenicists, although the Illustrated London News offered a reading that saw Shaw as driving the final nail into the coffin of eugenics, ending with the thought that 'The only daring suggestion for the improvement of the human race that Eugenics suggests to us is that the world would be a jollier place if there were fewer cranks in it.' [35]

It was because of these attacks in the press that the eugenicists sought to employ the language of the 'lethal chamber' in order to make their actual views appear more reasonable, a policy of stealing their enemies' weapons, so to speak. Hence a widely reported series of lectures at Bedford College for Women, which sought to dispel such 'wild' rumours. The Yorkshire Daily Post had this to say about a talk by Dean Inge:

Nothing has been more noticeable of recent years than the advance of the study of eugenics. Some have seized hold of this to advocate the abolition of the marriage tie, the institution of a State lethal chamber, and other equally absurd ideas. It was therefore timely that the Bedford College for Women should arrange a course of lectures to put the science in the right perspective. [36]

A few days later, the Daily Sketch reported that Dr Saleeby had 'wiped down' Shaw in his comments on Shaw's speech; and in response to J.W. Slaughter's speech of 21 March the Manchester Dispatch wrote the following:

The way of the parent must be made easy, but apart from this we must exterminate the undesirable sections of humanity. The establishment of lethal chambers and the resort to surgical measures are, however, the plans of 'wild eugenicists' in the opinion of Dr. Slaughter. These undesirables must be kept apart from the community -- kept in comfort, not treated harshly -- and with safeguards against the reproduction of the species. [37]

Unsurprisingly, the strategy of referring to the worst excesses of anti-eugenics caricaturists in order to appear reasonable was one that seems to have had limited success. Saleeby tried it once again before the war, but even after 1918, when eugenicists in Britain increasingly accepted the arguments of the progressive-minded environmentalists, eugenics largely failed to influence policy (the exception being the debate over the sterilisation of mental defectives). [38] But in 1914, just before the outbreak of war, Saleeby sought to defend the inherent moderation of eugenics in its pure form:

Since Galton's death eugenics has been used as an agent of class prejudice, an argument against love, a reason for cruel and wicked surgical operations, for defending the neglect of infancy, and for wild talk about lethal chambers and stud farms. Such prostitutions of eugenics are the very substance of irreligion, and a materialistic 'philosophy' is at the heart of them. [39]

Remarkably, Saleeby's twin nightmare of 'lethal chambers and stud farms' sum up the two aspects of Nazi eugenics policy: the 'negative' policy of genocide -- the Holocaust -- and the 'positive' policy of the Lebensborn, Himmler's nascent project to promote 'sound breeding' among SS members (although in reality there never were SS stud farms, as we have been encouraged to believe by popular literature).

The point of this is no more than to point out that in England, decades before the Nazis began gassing Jews to death by the million, the fantasy of the lethal chamber was already being mooted. In the early years of eugenics, it was not uncommon for its advocates to recommend that 'The surest, the simplest, the kindest, and most humane means for preventing reproduction among those whom we deem unworthy of this high privilege, is a gentle, painless death; and this should be administered not as a punishment, but as an expression of enlightened pity for the victims ... ' [40] In the literature cited here, the term 'lethal chamber' serves less a fantastic than a rhetorical quality: defending eugenics against its denigrators. But there is no doubt that the reason for the term's continued use is to be found in the imaginative shock which it presents to the person who hears or reads it. Why then were people so shocked during the war, when the news of the mass-murders began to seep out of the occupied eastern territories, or after the war, when the newsreels confirmed what so many had wanted to disbelieve?

The answer might be the fact that the term 'lethal chamber' passes out of common parlance in interwar Britain. I have already noted that the wilder claims for eugenics gradually fell from favour after 1918; there are few references to lethal chambers after that point. Nevertheless, the idea only died slowly. In 1919 an investigation into male prostitution elicited this comment from W.J.H. Brodrick:

The professional boys are about the most degraded being you could find. They have no talk except obscenity; no ideas except unnatural vice; they are usually diseased and a pest and a nuisance to everybody with whom they come into contact. Personally I should be glad to see them put in a lethal chamber and have done with it. [41]

Shaw returned to the theme in 1922, this time with slightly more reasoned backing for his assertions, in his preface to Sidney and Beatrice Webb's English Local Government, under the heading of 'The Lethal Chamber'. On the question of 'incorrigible villains', Shaw argued that the 'most obvious course is to kill them'. In response to the predicted objection that the state should not be setting an example of killing, Shaw argued that imprisonment already did this:

imprisonment is as irrevocable as hanging. Each is a method for taking a criminal's life; and when he prefers hanging or suicide to imprisonment for life, as he sometimes does, he says, in effect, that he had rather you took his life all at once, painlessly, than minute by minute in a long-drawn-out torture.

Although Shaw was not as outspoken here as in his infamous 1910 speech, his conclusions were probably all the more worrying for that:

The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it ... If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are driven to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations? [42]

Probably the most public reference to the notion of the lethal chamber can be found in a book by Leonard Darwin, second youngest and longest-surviving son of Charles Darwin, and president of the Eugenics Society. In his 1926 book The Need for Eugenic Reform he devoted a whole sub-chapter to the idea of the lethal chamber as one of the possibilities for the elimination of the unfit. He objected to the lethal chamber for these reasons:

From the moral point of view, it would tend to associate the idea of murder with that of social progress, and would consequently tend to increase the number of murders. From the racial point of view, it would, as in the case of excessive punishments, be less willingly adopted than other more humane methods and, therefore, less effective. And from the individual point of view, it would cause great distress of mind to many through the fear not only that they themselves would be thus 'eliminated', but also that that might be the fate of some beloved relative ... Certainly 'scientific baby murder' cannot be tolerated, and in regard to eugenic reform generally, we must never attempt to act through the agency of the death rate, but only through that of the birth rate.

Also condemning sterilisation, Darwin favoured 'conception control' above all. [43] But it is the fact that he felt the need to devote not inconsiderable space to the lethal chamber that is so interesting; even in the interwar years, it seems that the idea still existed, at least to the extent that those who wanted eugenics to be taken seriously had to prove their distaste for it. Even a radical hereditarian like Charles Armstrong -- who believed that 'It is chiefly "humanitarian" legislation that is now deliberately destroying our fine stock' -- felt it necessary to stress in the rush to 'diminish the dangerous fertility of the unfit' that it was sterilisation rather than the other two options of segregation or the lethal chamber that was preferable. [44]

The only other reference I have found for the interwar period appears in the fringe context of an Imperial Fascist League meeting in 1937. Richard Thurlow, in his ground-breaking book Fascism in Britain, gives the details: Henry Hamilton Beamish, vice-president of the IFL (and founder of the Britons in 1918) gave a talk entitled 'National Socialism (Racial Fascism) in Practice in Germany' in which he lauded Hitler's Germany for having identified 'the enemy'. He then added, as Thurlow notes, 'with chilling prophecy', that 'it would be the task of a great leader, Hitler for preference, to march into Russia in the next five years and place one half of the population in the lethal chamber and the other half in the zoo'. [45]

The use of the phrase by an extremist like Beamish would not be so interesting were it not for the fact that it clearly has an intellectual heritage going back to the turn of the century. By the 1930s Beamish already -- in England, at any rate -- sounded like the champion of a lost cause; but in Germany the cause was of course gaining ground. Before the First World War, the work of Galton and his successor Karl Pearson had long since argued for the importance of genetic over environmental factors in determining human heredity; by the time of Beamish's lecture in 1937 or Ludovici's published plans for selective breeding programmes, such an extreme, one-sided position was, scientifically speaking, outdated. G. R. Searle is certainly correct to state that demands for the use of the lethal chamber 'were never seriously put forward by British eugenists'; [46] nevertheless, the whole language of racial deterioration, elimination of the unfit, and scientific, objective and hence unalterable descriptions of the evils of miscegenation, hybridisation and degeneration fed deftly into the programmes of racists. Besides, the idea of the lethal chamber was certainly kept alive precisely by those same eugenicists who sought to fight off any association with it, just as it was in the imaginative literature of H.G. Wells, who in 1933 fantasised about a gas attack on Berlin in 1940, describing in detail the corpses laid out on Unter den Linden, a scene whose ironic value needs no comment today, since it bears so uncanny a resemblance to descriptions of bodies in the Nazi gas chambers. [47]

These ideas ultimately penetrated rather more deeply in Germany than in Britain. George Mosse has shown the considerable success with which the Archiv fur Rassen- und Gesellschaftsbiologie (Journal for Racial and Social Biology), founded in 1904, propagated Galton's and Pearson's ideas. It followed with especial interest developments at Pearson's Francis Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics, founded at University College London in the same year. [48]

While eugenics, or at least the laws of heredity in relation to race, had become scientifically acceptable by 1914, it was to be in 1930s Germany rather than in Britain that the language of the Volkskorper became the basis for a state-sanctioned programme of 'national purification'. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this chapter, and have anyway been discussed many times over elsewhere. Here I want only to ask, since the field of eugenics was established in Britain, and was eagerly taken on board by German scientists, might it not also be the case that the notion of the 'lethal chamber', which had existed in British literature on eugenics since the turn of the century, also fed into the fantasies which eventually led to the gas chambers? If so, and far more research would be required to prove it, can the notion of the 'unimaginableness' of the Holocaust be modified? Could it be that, in Britain especially, the Nazi project should have been recognised as akin to an earlier British concern?


That the idea of the 'lethal chamber' was a British concern is shown in a rather shabby example of postwar extreme-right writing. Anthony Ludovici was almost eighty when, in 1961, he published Religion for Infidels, an attack on the weak, effete ethics that had been spread by the teachings of Christianity. The book reiterated what had been Ludovici's favourite theme since the beginning of his writing career: degeneration, this time presented as one of 'the most disastrous results of Christianity's disregard for biological attributes in the estimation of human worth'. [49]

It is when Ludovici turns to his solution to this ongoing biological deterioration that the text becomes interesting in this context. It is worth citing at length:

'Then what is your remedy?' the reader asks; and, in the defiance of his tone, I sense his assumption that he knows my answer and has the appropriate retort ready. What he expects me to say is, 'A lethal chamber for the human rubbish we are salvaging at the cost of the dwindling minority of the sound and promising,' and if I hint at such a thing, he is prepared at once to retort that the decent English public would never tolerate such 'Nazi' or 'fascist sadism.'

Incidentally, it should be noted that when the average person formulates this sort of reply, he not only shows himself incapable of going further back in history than World War II -- as if thought on this question began then -- but also betrays his expectation of immediate applause from every moron in the nation, whose alleged inability to suffer the violent elimination of even selected lower-grade defectives, is compounded with the patient, not to say, cheerful, endurance of the death of thousands of quite unselected and presumably sound adults and children on our highways every year.

But Ludovici claims that he has 'no intention of proposing ... a lethal chamber', if only because this would 'confirm people in their Christian sophistries'. It is because, he says, 'the "lethal chamber" solution is the only one popularly conceived as possible for relieving society of the crushing burden consisting of its biological trash and dregs, and of cleansing the national stock and protecting it from further contamination, [that] nothing whatsoever is done about it ...' If only people would listen to his solution, a 'transvaluation of all values' which would harden spirits against the depraved and degenerate, the problem would automatically take care of itself:

Men must learn again to feel in their hearts contempt and repugnance for biological depravity; and when this lesson has been learnt and the taste displayed in mating correspondingly chastened, there will be no need to argue over the pros and cons of a lethal chamber for human rubbish, for morbidity and defect will insensibly and inevitably diminish to the extent of ceasing to be a social problem. [50]

There is a certain ambivalence here; either way, it is not attractive. Ludovici knows he cannot defend the 'lethal chamber' option, though one senses he has no particular objection to it, but his proposed solution arrives at the same end. In the year that Raul Hilberg published The Destruction of the European Jews, the major landmark in the historiography of the Holocaust, a British right-wing thinker was, in so many words, advocating the elimination of the 'unfit'. It seems that although the British never put into operation the lethal chamber they invented, leaving it to the Germans to claim that notoriety, a few among them were so impressed by the results that they could still appeal to it after the war as the benchmark by which their own projects of biological regeneration should be judged. The 'lethal chamber', though it was realised by the Germans, was, like eugenics in general, certainly also a British problem.

-- Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain, by Dan Stone

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Don't you see that every law,
every commandment was turned upside down.

[Hannah Arendt] [Shakes her head affirmatively]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] It was not "Thou shalt not kill,"
but "Thou must kill."
To do your duty, goodness was a temptation you had to resist.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Great.
So no one is responsible or guilty.
Every sane person knows murder is wrong.

[Hannah Arendt] [Laughs] Then most Europeans, including many of our friends,
went insane overnight.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Heidegger was your friend.

[Lore Jonas] Hans!

[Hannah Arendt] He wasn't our only disappointment.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] You can't write like this for the New Yorker.
You cannot!

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Hans, the glass door!

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] It's all too abstract. And confusing.
They don't want a philosophy lesson.
They have to know what the Nazi Eichmann did.


[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, Hemingway was just an ambulance driver, Thomas.
As a writer, he was nothing more than the premature ejaculator of the 20th century.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Oh, you just hate him because he wrote like a real man.

[Jonathan Schell] [Laughs]


[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] Do you want to forgive him?

[Hannah Arendt] That's absurd.
I'm glad he'll be hanged.


[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] So, here's to Heinrich's recovery.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [In English] Well, come on.

[Lore Jonas] Yeah. To Heinrich.
Come over, please.

[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] To his health. We drink to his health.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] A very good idea.

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] Here, Hans. To Heinrich.


[Lore Jonas] Cheers.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Cheers.

[Hannah Arendt] Stups, here's to you.
No more kissing. Except for me.


[Hannah Arendt] Why was Hans so furious with me?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] He's in love with you. Has been ever since he was a student.

[Hannah Arendt] [Scoffs]

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] He hates Heidegger more for stealing your heart than for joining the Party.

[Hannah Arendt] [Chuckles]
Then he should hate you even more.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Chuckles]
Maybe he does.
Celebrating my health
is exhausting.

[Spanks Hannah]
I'm off to bed.

[Hannah Arendt] [Exhales deeply]

[Door closes]

[Hannah Arendt] [Sighs]

[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] Thinking
does not bring knowledge,
as do the sciences.
does not produce usable,
practical wisdom.
Thinking ...
does not solve the riddles of the universe.
[Young Hannah Arendt] [Listening to Heidegger]
[Young Hans Jonas] [Seeing how attentively young Hannah listens]
Thinking does not
endow us with the power to act.
We live
because we are alive.
And we think ...
because we are thinking beings.
[Young Hannah Arendt] We are so used to considering
reason and passion as opposites,
that the idea of passionate thinking,
where thinking and being alive are one and the same,
is terrifying for me.
[Clock ticking]
Excuse me.
[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] No. Hannah!
[Young Hannah Arendt] [Waiting outside her door]
[Footsteps approaching]

[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] [Embraces Hannah]


[Frances Wells] [To William Shawn] Tolstoy wrote War and Peace in less time.

[Picks up his phone and hands it to him]

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] [Looks up Hannah's number in rolodex]
[Dials her number]

[Hannah Arendt] [Laying on the couch thinking]

[Phone ringing]
[Ringing continues]

[Hannah Arendt] Hello?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] Mrs. Arendt.
Bill Shawn here.
Is this a good time to talk? I mean, are you busy?

[Hannah Arendt] Yes. Why?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] Can I be of any help?

[Hannah Arendt] How?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] Perhaps if you've finished the first article, I could have a look.

[Hannah Arendt] Mr. Shawn, I don't deliver in pieces.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] O-Of course. I do realize what an enormous task this is ...
and wanted to let you know how much we're looking forward to the results.

[Hannah Arendt] Well, then perhaps I should get back to it instead of chatting on the phone.
Or did you want to pressure me with a deadline?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] No, of course not. Take as long as you need.

[Hannah Arendt] Thank you.

[Frances Wells] What's the matter with you? Have you fallen in love with her, or what?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] [Not very convincingly] Oh, God, no.

[Hannah Arendt] [Back on the couch, remembering]
[Judge] [In German] You claim you weren't a normal recipient of orders.
You thought about what you were doing.
Didn't you say that?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) I don't believe so, no.

[Judge] You didn't think about it?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) Sorry?

[Judge] You didn't think about it?
You were an imbecile?
You didn't think at all?

[Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) Think?
Of course I thought about what I was doing.

[Judge] You were not an imbecile?


[Hannah & Lotte] [Chattering in German]

[Hannah Arendt] [To Heinrich] Are you sure you can go?

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] You've got everyone so worried, they'll have a wheelchair waiting.

[Hannah Arendt] [Chuckles] I'm sure some lovely women will be very eager
to push you around.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] No one can push me around like you.
[Kisses her]
Lotte ...
Take good care of her.


[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [brings Hannah some tea]

[Hannah Arendt] Thanks.
Listen to this.
I've changed the paragraph.
"Evil is supposed to be something demonic.
Its incarnation is Satan.
But in the case of Eichmann,
one could find no such trace of satanic 'greatness.'
He was simply unable to think."

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] That's great.

[Hannah Arendt] It's better, right?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [Scoffs]

[Hannah Arendt] Yes ...
[Hands paper to Henrich]
Voila, monsieur.


[William Shawn (1907-1992)] "From a humdrum life without significance and consequence,
the wind had blown Adolf Eichmann into history."
Fascinating choice. It begins so poetically.

[Frances Wells] A bit over the top.
"A leaf in the whirlwind of time,
he was blown into the marching columns of the 1,000-year Reich."
Twice in a row with a wind metaphor?

[Jonathan Schell] But listen to this.
"It was sheer thoughtlessness.
Something by no means identical with stupidity ...
that predisposed him to become ...
one of the greatest criminals of the 20th century.
He was simply unable to think."

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] That's original.

[Frances Wells] This here is also quite original.
They'll have our heads for this:
"Wherever Jews lived,
there were recognized Jewish leaders,
and this leadership, almost without exception,
cooperated in one way or another, for one reason or another,
with the Nazis.
The whole truth is ...
that if the Jewish people had really been unorganized and leaderless,
there would have been chaos and plenty of misery,
but the total number of victims would hardly have been ...
between four and a half and six million people."

[Jonathan Schell] Jewish leaders testified at the trial. It had to be mentioned.

[Frances Wells] She's blaming the victims.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] That's not true, Fran.
She clearly makes a distinction between the powerlessness of the victims ...
and the dubious choices of some of their leaders.

[Frances Wells] "Clearly"? Don't exaggerate.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] The whole section is only 10 pages out of almost 300.

[Frances Wells] Them's fighting words, Bill.
You better make sure she's got her facts straight,
or we'll be needing bodyguards --
for her and for us.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] She doesn't strike me as someone who's off on the facts.
But as for the grammar --


[William Shawn (1907-1992)] [To Hannah] What you have written is simply brilliant.
I suggest that it be broken up into five articles.

[Hannah Arendt] Five?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] If I give it that much space,
it will entail very few changes.
I spoke with your editor, and he told me the book will come out directly afterwards.

[Hannah Arendt] Thank you.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] Shall we?

[Hannah Arendt] Sure.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] This is Greek, right?

[Hannah Arendt] "Einai." It means "to be," in the sense of existence.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] But, of course, you realize that most of our readers don't understand Greek.

[Hannah Arendt] They should learn.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] [Laughs]
[Exhales deeply]
There is really only one section ...
that, um,
worries us a bit.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, today you say "us," and not "me"?
Invoking your army, Mr. Shawn?

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] Yes.
Maybe I am.
It's this description of the Jewish leaders.

[Hannah Arendt] Their relationship with Eichmann's office was very important.
I think I made that quite clear.

Von Mildenstein rapidly became the party expert on Zionism. He was said to have read Herzl's "Der Judenstaat" and insisted his subordinates do likewise. One of these subordinates was a man named Adolf Eichmann. Von Mildenstein, and later Eichmann, developed the Jewish Section of the Reich Security Main Office, which in the late 1930s coordinated Jewish emigration policies. In the early 1940s, Eichmann's domain would change from emigration and Zionism to deportation and genocide, as he orchestrated the shuttling of millions of Jews to the gas chambers of Europe....

A showdown over the Transfer Agreement occurred in late 1935 during the Nineteenth Zionist Congress held in Lucerne, Switzerland. The German Zionists were this time allowed to attend, with Adolf Eichmann monitoring from afar the delegation's every move. Mindful of Eichmann's distant scrutiny, the German delegates were the principal opponents of any boycott attempts. After great debate, the Congress finally declared that the Zionist Organization would openly take control of the Transfer Agreement from the Anglo-Palestine Bank. The bank complied by transferring its stock in Haavara Ltd. to the Jewish Agency. Just days later, the promised Nuremberg laws were published. The place for Jews in Germany was officially dissolved. The place for Jews in Palestine was all that was left....

The Nazi hierarchy broke into two distinct schools of thought. The first wanted to expand the Haavara to concentrate as many Jews as possible in distant Palestine. The Jews would then be isolated from Germany's enemies, such as France and Great Britain. Later, when Germany was ready, perhaps it could still tackle the "Jewish menace" while Jews were concentrated and prone in one remote setting. The second school of thought, led by Eichmann, believed the Jews could and would create a state, that the Third Reich had been duped through Haavara into supplying the men and materials, and that once established, that state would become a "Jewish Vatican" devoted to Germany's destruction. Eichmann's answer was mass dispersion of utterly destitute Jews throughout the remote regions of South America and Africa, where local populations would rise up against them and wipe them out. In the fall of 1937, after several months of uncertainty, der Fuhrer finally decided in favor of Haavara; the government added its insistence that Jews be expelled not only from Germany but from all of Europe. Hitler's final attempt to prepare for war -- the so-called Four Year Plan -- was already under way. He wholly expected to begin his conquest of Europe in late 1939. Germany did not want yet another Jewish problem waiting when the Reich took over neighboring lands.

-- The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine, by Edwin Black

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] Yes, of course,
but you do offer a kind of interpretation of your own ...
that might be -- that might disturb just a bit.

[Hannah Arendt] That is incorrect.
I purposely did not attempt to analyze ...
or to explain their behavior.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] "To a Jew,
this role of the Jewish leaders in the destruction of their own people ...
is undoubtedly the darkest chapter of the whole dark story."
Now that could count as a kind of interpretation.

[Hannah Arendt] But it's a fact.



[People] [Chattering]

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] [Reading the New Yorker]

[Student Peter] Finally.

[Student Jerry] I can't wait to read it.

[Student Peter] [To Hans Jonas] How do you like it?

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] "How"?
"How" is an assumption. You should ask me if I like it.
[Hands student the magazine and unhappily walks off]


[Phone rings]

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] [Answers phone]

[Man] You have no right to bring these issues out in public.
You don't know what you're talking about. I will cancel --

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] [Hangs up phone]

[Frances Wells] [Mockingly] "Only 10 pages."
That makes a hundred phone calls per page.
So far.

[Telephone rings]

[Frances Wells] [Answers phone]

[Woman] ... is crap!

[Frances Wells] [Hangs up phone]


[Hannah Arendt] [Typing]

[Talking on phone] [To Lotte] Just ignore them ...
[In English] You'll drive yourself crazy.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [In German] But Shawn's response in the New Yorker is very convincing.
Should I send it to you?

[Hannah Arendt] What response?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] To that vicious article in The New York Times.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh, you mean that!
[In English] Forget it.
[In German] Tell me how Heinrich is doing.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Charlotte cooks for him every evening.

[Hannah Arendt] Please tell her that Henrich can only eat meat twice a week.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Yes.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Gestures Lotte to give him the phone] Hello ... My darling.
You're all the rage around here.

[Hannah Arendt] Hello, Stups.
Let's not waste time on that.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] The Israeli prosecutor is flying here
to speak to survivors in New York.
Listen to the Daily News headline:
[In English] "Prosecutor Answers ...
Hannah Arendt's Bizarre Defense of Eichmann."
[In German] On the front page!

[Hannah Arendt] All just a tempest in a tea cup.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] This is no tempest. It's a hurricane, Hannah.

[Hannah Arendt] Tell me what's for dinner.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Spinach,
whole wheat bread and water.
It's good you're not here in New York.
They are all accusing you
of having defended Eichmann, Hannah.

[Hannah Arendt] Stups, it's just a few articles in a magazine.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] My dear,
you are really naive.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [Quietly witnessing]


[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] [To Heinrich] She thinks her sarcasm will protect her.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] [Serving himself some meat]
[Pouring Charlotte some wine]

[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] It only shows me her vulnerability.
She tries to detach herself from the story
but ends up bringing it closer to her.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Wrong, completely wrong.
It's not about her.

[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] But where is she ...
when she writes about this Nazi and his crimes?
She has the right to feel pain, and to show it.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] That would be shameless. And quite out of character.

[Charlotte Beradt (1907-1986)] You have to be aware that if she represses so much pain,
it will eventually overwhelm her.
And you too.


[Birds chirping]

[Jazz Piano]

[Hannah Arendt] [Remembering]
[Jazz Piano continues]

[Hotel Receptionist] Professor Heidegger is here for you.
[Hannah Arendt] Thanks.

[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] Time is mysterious:
it can return and transform everything.
As I saw you again and you stood there in your beautiful dress
I knew that this would be the beginning of something new for us.
Please stop a moment.
[Hannah Arendt] I wasn't sure if I should come.

[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] There is no greater invitation to love than to love first:
"Nulla est enim maior
ad amorem invitatio quam prevenire amando."
St. Augustine.
Your last letter grieved me.
How could you believe all that slander?

[Hannah Arendt] After I read your first rector's speech I was sick to my stomach.
I couldn't believe it.
The man who'd taught me to think was behaving like a fool.
[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] I know they were bitter years for you, full of misery, hardship and helplessness.
But they weren't easy for me either.
[Hannah Arendt] Martin, I came here because I want to understand.
[Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)] Hannah ...
I'm like the lad who dreams and knows not what he does.
I have no talent nor experience with politics,
but now I have learned and in the future
I want to learn even more.

[Hannah Arendt] Then why not bring this to an end and explain yourself in public?

[Car approaching]

[Horn honks]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] You're the toast of the town.

[Hannah Arendt] Mary. Hello.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, my goodness, it's good to see you. Here.
[Gives her roses]

[Hannah Arendt] Oh. Beautiful.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] They're from Jim.
He sends his love. He can't wait to meet you.

[Hannah Arendt] Well, when will I finally meet him?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Well, we'll sort something out.

[Hannah Arendt] How was the trip?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, my goodness. It was great, but I'm starving.


[Jazz over the speakers]

[Crowd in poolhall chattering]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] You should come to the talk.

[Hannah Arendt] Oh -- You can't do that.
You have to follow the rules.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, why? Nobody else does.
[Inhales, exhales deeply]

[Hannah Arendt] But what do you want me to discuss?
There has not been one single critique of what I actually wrote.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Did you really have no idea there would be such a furious reaction?

[Hannah Arendt] [Shakes her head no]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, Hannah. Not even a little?
You did take a certain tone, not the usual one.

[Hannah Arendt] Untrue. The tone is quite normal for me.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Well, for you, yes, but no one's ever dared to be the least bit ironic about the situation.

[Hannah Arendt] You are trying to distract me.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Never.

[Hannah Arendt] [Hits the ball and misses]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh.

[Hannah Arendt] See?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Chuckles]

[Hannah Arendt] I'm telling you, it is useless.
I'm sure half of them haven't even read the book.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Exactly. And that is why you should speak publicly about it.

[Hannah Arendt] No.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Yes. Expose their hypocrisy.
Force them to a real discussion.

[Hannah Arendt] I refuse to explain myself to these dimwits.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Sighs]

[Hannah Arendt] [Hits ball and misses again]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [In German] In the silent dialogue with myself ...
[In English] I am alone.

[Hannah Arendt] You have a very good memory.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Ja.

[Hannah Arendt] Terrible accent.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Chuckles]
If I win, do you promise to answer me a terribly personal question?

[Hannah Arendt] You won't win --

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Mm-hmm.

[Hannah Arendt] If I can promise you anything.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [Hits the ball into the hole and wins]
So ...
Was he the greatest love of your life?

[Hannah Arendt] Who?

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] You know.

[With German accent] Your secret king of thinking.

[Hannah Arendt] No. He was not.
That is Heinrich.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] All right then. Uh, fill in the blank.
"Heidegger was the greatest __ in my entire life."
Oh, come on. I won't tell anybody.

[Hannah Arendt] There are some things ...
that are stronger than a single human being.

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Re: Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:48 am


[Lionel Abel] And did you read the book? You read it? I can't believe it. I bet she doesn't even show up.

[Professor Thomas Miller] The worst mistake was to criticize the Jews ...
while the mass murderer was sitting there in the dock.

[Lionel Abel] Yeah, and to describe this murderer as a clown.
A foolish little servant of Hitler who didn't have a mind of his own.

[Professor Thomas Miller] And yet she says he's normal.

[Norman Podhoretz] That's Hannah Arendt. All cleverness and no feeling.

[Professor Thomas Miller] I love that line in your article, Norman.
I trust you've all read Norman's incisive rebuttal.
What's it called?

[Norman Podhoretz] "The Perversity of Brilliance."

[Professor Thomas Miller] "The Perversity of Brilliance." You were more fair than she had any right to expect.
Now, of course, she's shocked.

[Norman Podhoretz] Oh, nonsense. She lives for such intellectual sensations.
And she's far too smart not to realize the scandal she would provoke ...
by attacking the Jewish leaders.


[Boy] What are we doing, Mommy?

[Mother] We're just waiting, dear.
When they're finished putting the first-class people in the boats ...
they'll start with us and we'll want to be all ready, won't we?

-- Titanic, directed by James Cameron

[Professor Thomas Miller] Exactly.

[Jonathan Schell] Last time we met, you were begging her to teach at your department.

[Professor Thomas Miller] Well, won't make that mistake again.

[William Shawn (1907-1992)] You're all treating Hannah Arendt like a suspect in a police court ...
instead of a respected political thinker.

[Lionel Abel] Please, Bill, no one has attacked Hannah Eichmann's character.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] [To Lionel Abel] Your review of Hannah's work proves that you're too hysterical ...
to write a single coherent sentence.
And that charming little slip of the tongue proves that Lionel has lost his power of speech as well.

[Norman Podhoretz] You're so smitten with Arendt's European pretensions.
She could defend Himmler himself, and you'd go along.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Oh, down, Norman. Down. Your fangs are showing.

[Jonathan Schell] Almost no one here has even read the articles.

[Mrs. Serkin] Some of us tried, but couldn't bear to go on.

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Well, of course you couldn't. Hannah doesn't write soap operas.

[Norman Podhoretz] And, of course, it would be too much to expect Ms. Arendt ...
to report on Eichmann's actual trial.
She had to come up with something more interesting than that.

[Lionel Abel] Who does she think she is? Aristotle?

[Professor Miller, Norman and Lionel Abel] [Laughing]

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Unlike all of you, Hannah was actually forced into exile.
She was held in a brutal detention camp.
Isn't it admirable that she is the only one ...
who can discuss this subject without beating her breast?

[Norman Podhoretz] And why do you think that is? Because she's smarter than people with feelings?

"Religion of the heart"

Religion mated with German nationalism in the eighteenth century and produced a fever in the people called Pietism. Schleiermacher had been visited by this fever in his youth, and although he forged his own path as a theologian and philosopher, he said his ideas remained closest to this "religion of the heart." To Schleiermacher, the highest form of religion was an "intuition" (Anschauung) of the "Whole," an immediate experience of every particular as part of a whole, of every finite thing as a representation of the infinite. This was the perfect theology for an age of nature-obsessed Romanticism, and at times Schleiermacher's rhetoric, adorned with organic metaphors of the whole derived from nature, shaded into pantheism and mysticism. By 1817, he most certainly infected Karl Jung with it, as he did that entire generation of young patriots through his sermons, his writings, and especially his revisions of the Reformed Protestant liturgy, making it more simple, festive, and Volkish. Additionally, in the decade before he met Jung, he had published translations of Plato and, by his own admission, had become quite influenced by Platonism. This, too, must be remembered when we fantasize about what the older spiritual adviser imparted to the enthusiastic young convert.

German Pietism was loosely related to contemporaneous religious movements, such as Quakerism and enthusiastic Methodism in England and America and Quietism and Jansenism in France. Pietism, however, was to play a key role in developing Volkish self-consciousness and a sense of nation in the politically fragmented German lands. In the spirit of Luther, Pietism was born of disgust with orthodoxies, dogmas, and church hierarchies in the traditional Protestant denominations, making it a form of radical Lutheranism. Pietists dared to question authority and to be suspicious of foreign interpreters of Christianity. They called it a Herzensreligion, a "religion of the heart," a spiritual movement that emphasized feeling, intuition, inwardness, and a personal experience of God. [15] The function of thinking, indeed reason itself, was disparaged and could not be trusted. To experience God, the intellect must be sacrificed. (For example, according to Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, a prominent eighteenth-century Pietist who influenced Schleiermacher and twentieth-century figures Rudolph Otto and Hermann Hesse, only atheists attempted to comprehend God with their mind; the True sought revelation.)

Pietists' mystical enthusiasm is reflected in some of their favorite incendiary metaphors for their ecstatic experiences. It was the fire of the Holy Spirit that must burn within; indeed, it was often said that "the heart must burn." They emphasized the burning experience of "Christ within us" instead of the inanimate, automatic belief in the dogma of a "Christ for us." Such subtle distinctions had profound implications for German nationalism, for the belief arose in the feeling of group identity bound by common inner experience, a mystical blood-union of necessity, rather than as something external existing for an individual. Hence, the Pietist emphasis on service to others as a method of serving God.

Prussia, the most absolutist of the many German political entities, welcomed the Pietists to Berlin. Attracted to Pietism's rejection of the Lutheran clerical hierarchy -- which threatened the overriding legitimacy of the state -- the eighteenth-century rulers of Prussia adopted Pietism's religious philosophy and offered sanctuary to many of its exiled leaders. As populist movements, Pietism and pan-German nationalism were as threatening to the royal rulers of the dozens of German states as to Lutheran clerics, for they challenged the political status quo. Prussia, however, as the strongest of the German states, already presaged its manifest destiny as the unifier of Germany, and so its short-term goals coincided with those of such movements. Nicholas Boyle, one of Goethe's biographers, described the immense significance of this convergence of affinities for the next two centuries of German religious life and political history:

The particular feature of Pietism which makes it of interest to us is its natural affinity for state absolutism. A religion which concentrates to the point of anxiety, not to say hypochondria, on those inner emotions, whether of dryness or abundance, of despair or of confident love of God, from which the individual may deduce the state of his immortal soul; a religion whose members meet for preference not publicly, but privately in conventicles gathered round a charismatic personality who may well not be an ordained minister; a religion who disregards all earthly (and especially all ecclesiastical) differentiation of rank, and sees its proper role in the visible world in charitable activity as nearly as possible harmonious with the prevailing order ... such a religion was tailor-made for a state system in which all, regardless of rank, were to be equally servants of the one purpose; in which antiquated rights and differentiae were to be abolished; and in which ecclesiastical opposition was particularly unwelcome, whether it came from assertive prelates or from vociferous enthusiasts unable to keep their religious lives to themselves.

By the middle of the eighteenth century, German nationalism had become so intertwined with Pietism that the literature of the time blurs distinctions between inner and outer Fatherlands. The "internalized Kingdom of Heaven" became identical with the spiritual soil of the German ancestors, a Teutonic "Land of the Dead." In these patriotic religious tracts the sacrificial deaths of Teutonic heroes such as Arminius (Hermann the German, who defeated the Romans in the Teutoberg forest) and the mythic Siegfried are compared to the crucifixion of Christ, thus equating pagan and Christian saviors. By the early 1800s, this identity became even more explicit. To Ernst Moritz Arndt, the subjective experience of the "Christ within" was reframed in German Volkish metaphors. In his 1816 pamphlet Zur Befreiung Deutschlands ("On the Liberation of Germany"), Arndt urged Germans, "Enshrine in your hearts the German God and German virtue." They did. By the end of the nineteenth century the German God had reawakened and was moving to reclaim his throne after a thousand-year interregnum.

The primary literature of Pietism consisted of diaries and autobiographies, most driven by the psychological turn inward so valued as the path to reaching the kingdom of God. These confessional texts emphasize the spiritual evolution of the diarist. Each account peaks dramatically with the description of what Schleiermacher called the "secret moment," the tremendous subjective experience that completely changed the life course of an individual and became the central, vivid milestone of his or her faith. This experience was known as the Wiedergeburt, the "rebirth" or "regeneration." Sometimes this experience was preceded or accompanied by visions. Several of the more famous texts, such as the autobiography of Heinrich Jung-Stilling, became part of the canon read by educated nineteenth-century Germans.

Several of these spiritual autobiographies were in the library in C. G. Jung's household when he was growing up, and he cites some of them (such as the work of Jung-Stilling) in MDR and in his seminars. While MDR is highly unlike usual biographies or autobiographies, its story of Jung's spiritual journey is similar in many ways to the Wiedergeburt testimonies of the Pietists. MDR is indeed the story of Jung's rebirth, but the book diverges from the tradition in one uncanny respect: Rather than recording the renewal of Jung's faith as a "born-again Christian," MDR is a remarkable confession of Jung's pagan regeneration.

-- The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung, by Richard Noll

[Mary McCarthy (1912-1989)] Well, in your case, Norman, being smarter is easy.
She's more courageous than you are.

[Moderator] Ladies and gentlemen,
there will be plenty of time for discussion after our speakers have presented.
Settle down so we can begin.

[Everybody sits down]

[Hannah Arendt] [Walking in the woods]

[Vehicle approaching]
[Veers towards her and comes to a screeching stop]

[Hannah Arendt] [Gasps]

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] Ms. Arendt?

[Hannah Arendt] Siegfried!

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] You remember me?

[Hannah Arendt] [In German] Of course.
You were in Kurt Blumenfeld's Zionist group in Berlin.

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] [In English] It's hard to believe that you were once a Zionist.

[Hannah Arendt] The Israeli secret service didn't send you to discuss my youthful folly.

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] I'm here to request that you stop the publication of your book about Adolf Eichmann.

[Hannah Arendt] The State of Israel bought four plane tickets to tell me that?
You must have money to burn
to waste it like that.

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] [In German] It's incomprehensible that you, a Jew,
could tell such lies about your people.

[Hannah Arendt] You describe a book I never wrote.

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] A book that will never be allowed in Israel.
And won't appear anywhere else either if you have any decency left.

[Hannah Arendt] You ban books,
and lecture me about decency!

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] I'm warning you.

[Hannah Arendt] Wrong. You're threatening me.

[Secret Service Guy] We wanted to ask Kurt Blumenfeld to reason with you,
but his doctor said he's dying.
And we didn't want to be that cruel.

[Hannah Arendt] [Looking distraught]

[Siegfried Moses (1887-1974)] I thought you knew.

[Hannah Arendt] [Walking quickly away]

When the warning signs of the Nazi surge appeared in the June 1930 elections in Saxony, where they obtained 14.4 per cent of the vote, the Berlin Jewish community put pressure on the ZVfD to join a Reichstag Election Committee in conjunction with the CV and other assimilationists. But the ZVfD's adherence was strictly nominal; the assimilationists complained that the Zionists put barely any time or money into it, and it dissolved immediately after the election. A Rundschau article by Siegfried Moses, later Blumenfeld’s successor as head of the federation, demonstrated the Zionists' indifference to the construction of a strenuous defence:

We have always believed the defense against anti-Semitism to be a task which concerns all Jews and have clearly stated the methods of which we approve and those which we consider irrelevant or ineffective. But it is true that the defense against anti-Semitism is not our main task, it does not concern us to the same extent and is not of the same importance for us as is the work for Palestine and, in a somewhat different sense, the work of the Jewish communities.

-- Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal, by Lenni Brenner


[Hannah Arendt] [On bus to Jerusalem]
[Walking up to Kurt Blumenfeld's door]

[In German] Rivka, why didn't you let me know sooner?

[Rivka Blumenfeld] Kurt didn't want that.

[Hannah Arendt] [Going to Kurt's bedside]
What are you doing to me, my dear!

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] This time you've gone too far.

[Hannah Arendt] Let's not argue today.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] The cruelty ...
and ruthlessness you show.

[Hannah Arendt] You won't think that when you've read it.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] [Holding up a copy of The New Yorker] I tried to.

[Hannah Arendt] Since when did you listen to others about me?

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] You have no love for Israel?
No love for your own people?

[Hannah Arendt] [Smiles]

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] I can't laugh with you anymore.

[Hannah Arendt] But Kurt, you know me. I've never loved any people.
Why should I love the Jews?
I only love my friends.
That's the only love I'm capable of.
Kurt ...
I love you.

[Kurt Blumenfeld (1884-1963)] [Turns away from her]

[Hannah Arendt] [Walking sadly in Jerusalem]


[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [Pointing to a small pile of letters] These think your articles are terrific.
[Pointing to a big pile of letters] These think you're absolutely wrong and should have had written a word.

[Hannah Arendt] Anyone I know?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Yes. A few friends.
[Pointing to another pile] And these want you dead.
Some of them are quite colorful.

[Doorbell rings]

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] I'll get it.

[Door opens]

[Lore Jonas] Oh, Lotte ...

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Come in.

[Lore Jonas] Am I too late?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] No.

[Lore Jonas] Good.

[Seeing Hannah sitting at the table] Oh, Hannah, I didn't know ...

[Hannah Arendt] Lore, how nice to see you.

[Lore Jonas] I came to help Lotte.

[Hannah Arendt] No, no, first come and sit with me.
You were here yesterday?

[Lore Jonas] I didn't want to leave Lotte here alone.

[Hannah Arendt] Thanks.

[Lore Jonas] It goes without saying.

[Hannah Arendt] How's Hans?

[Lore Jonas] He ...

[Hannah Arendt] Why didn't he come?

[Lore Jonas] He doesn't feel well.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Oh, God!

[Lore Jonas] What does it say?

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] Oh, nothing.

[Hannah Arendt] Come here, Lotte. Read it to us.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] [In English] "Your picture is of a face hard as rock ...
and cold as ice in the North Pole.
Contempt hovers on the lips, and an iron brutality is seen in the eyes.
I felt that that page on which your picture is on ...
contaminated the whole of the review.
I put on a glove. I felt it revolting to put my bare hand on that page.
Ripped it out from the review,
and not wanting to give it the ...
dignity of burning it,
I threw it in the garbage can.
I do not carry hatred in my heart,
nor do I take delight in vengeance,
but this I know:
that the souls of our six million martyrs, whom you desecrated,
will swarm about you day and night.
They will give you no rest.
It cannot be otherwise."


[Hannah Arendt] It's sweet of you ...
to stay with me this evening.

[Lotte Kohler (1920-2011)] You had such a bad day.

[Hannah Arendt] When I was a child my father was very sick.
He died when I was seven.
After a long fight.
I only knew him as a sick man.
And in the dream where he appears
he is healthy.
He's handsome.
He looks at me and he says: I love you.
[Starts crying]


[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] What are you doing with the letters?

[Hannah Arendt] Answering them.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] No, you will not.
If you start, this will never end.

[Hannah Arendt] I've hurt these people badly. I have to take that seriously.
We've been here 20 years and I'm not packing my bags ever again.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] They won't kick you out because of a few articles!

[Hannah Arendt] Are you so sure about that?


[Answering door]

[Freddy] The nice, old man on the 10th floor said to give you this right away.

[Elevator bell dings]

[Hannah Arendt] Thank you, Freddy.
[Closes door and locks it]



[Students] [Chattering]

[Hannah Arendt] [Knocks on door]

[Professor Thomas Miller] [To Hannah] We've discussed it at length and arrived at a unanimous decision.

[Professor Kahn] We respectfully advise you to relinquish your teaching obligations.

[Hannah Arendt] Under no circumstances will I give up my classes.

[Professor Kahn] You may not have enough students who are willing to study with you.

[Hannah Arendt] Perhaps you have not been in communication with your own students,
but I'm entirely oversubscribed at the moment.
And because of the extraordinary support of the students,
I've decided to accept their invitation, and I will speak publicly ...
about the hysterical reactions to my report.

[Professor Thomas Miller] That's Hannah Arendt, all arrogance and no feeling.

Because of his belief that an ideology is unimportant unless it is embodied in a mass movement, Hitler's concept of the masses is of the greatest importance. He recognizes the imperative of giving status to the people, but this is secondary to the techniques necessary to "unlock their souls." The masses are swayed by emotion and feeling: they are a part of primeval nature itself, which reflects not the rational handiwork of God but instead an irrational view of man and the world. Hitler builds upon the romantic tradition. Throughout Nazi culture the parallel between man and nature will be drawn in this manner. The masses of Aryans are as "genuine" in their basic emotions as Nature herself. The task of the leader is to awaken these emotions, to bring to the surface the belief in race and blood which provide the foundations. From these presuppositions it follows that, as the people are a part of nature, their feelings are simple, direct, and partisan. Simple and direct because Nature herself is held to be such, in contrast with the artificiality of a materialist civilization; partisan because, in the last resort, the voice of the race will be heard.

-- Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich, by George L. Mosse

In our civilization the chasm that stretches between mind and heart yawns deep and wide and, as the mind flies on from discovery to discovery in the realms of science, the gulf becomes ever deeper and wider and the heart is left further and further behind. The mind loudly demands and will be satisfied with nothing less than a materially demonstrable explanation of man and his fellow-creatures that make up the phenomenal world. The heart feels instinctively that there is something greater, and it yearns for that which it feels is a higher truth than can be grasped by the mind alone. The human soul would fain soar upon ethereal pinions of intuition; would fain lave in the eternal fount of spiritual light and love; but modern scientific views have shorn its wings and it sits fettered and mute, unsatisfied longings gnawing at its tendrils as the vulture of Prometheus' liver.

-- The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, by Max Heindel

[Hannah Arendt] [Leaves the room and slams the door shut]


[Hannah Arendt] [Walking into lecture room]

[Students] [Murmuring]

[Hannah Arendt] Perhaps just for today you will allow me to smoke immediately.
When the New Yorker sent me ...
to report on the trial of Adolf Eichmann,
I assumed ...
that a courtroom had only one interest --
to fulfill the demands of justice.
This was not a simple task,
because the court that tried Eichmann was confronted with a crime ...
it could not find in the law books ...
and a criminal whose like was unknown in any court prior to the Nuremberg trials.
But still, the court ...
had to define Eichmann as a man on trial for his deeds.
There was no system on trial,
no history, no ism,
not even anti-Semitism,
but only a person.
The trouble with a Nazi criminal like Eichmann ...
was that he insisted on renouncing all personal qualities ...
as if there was nobody left to be either punished or forgiven.
He protested time and again,
contrary to the prosecution's assertions,
that he had never done anything out of his own initiative,
that he had no intentions whatsoever, good or bad,
that he had only obeyed orders.
This ... typical Nazi plea ...
makes it clear that the greatest evil in the world ...
is the evil committed by nobodies --
evil committed by men without motive,
without convictions, without wicked hearts or demonic wills.
By human beings who refuse to be persons.
And it is this phenomenon ...
that I have called the banality of evil.

The portrait is complete. If some of those who readily assert that they detest the Jews do not recognize themselves in it, it is because in actual fact they do not detest the Jews. They don't love them either. While they would not do them the least harm, they would not raise their little fingers to protect them from violence. They are not anti-Semites. They are not anything; they are not persons. Since it is necessary to appear to be something, they make themselves into an echo, a murmur, and, without thinking of evil -- without thinking of anything -- they go about repeating learned formulas which give them the right of entry to certain drawing rooms. Thus they know the delights of being nothing but an empty noise, of having their heads filled with an enormous affirmation which they find all the more respectable because they have borrowed it. Anti-Semitism is only a justification for their existence. Their futility is such that they will eagerly abandon this justification for any other, provided that the latter be more "distinguished." For anti-Semitism is distinguished, as are all the manifestations of a collective and irrational soul which seek to create an occult and conservative France. It seems to all these featherbrains that by repeating with eager emulation the statement that the Jew is harmful to the country they are performing a rite of initiation which admits them to the fireside of social warmth and energy. In this sense anti-Semitism has kept something of the nature of human sacrifice.

-- Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate, by Jean-Paul Sartre

[Professor Thomas Miller] [Standing and interrupting] Mr. Arendt.
You're avoiding the most important part of the controversy.
You claimed that less Jews would have died ...
if their leaders hadn't cooperated.

[Hannah Arendt] This issue came up in the trial. I reported on it,
and I had to clarify the role of those Jewish leaders ...
who participated directly in Eichmann's activities.

[Professor Thomas Miller] You blame the Jewish people for their own destruction.
[Sits down angrily]

[Hannah Arendt] [Shouting] I never blamed the Jewish people!
Resistance was impossible.
But perhaps ...
there is something in between resistance ...
and cooperation.
And only in that sense do I say ...
that maybe some of the Jewish leaders might have behaved differently.

[Professor Thomas Miller] [Making an ugly, disgusted face]

[Hannah Arendt] It is profoundly important ...
to ask these questions,
because the role of the Jewish leaders ...
gives the most striking insight ...
into the totality of the moral collapse ...
that the Nazis caused in respectable European society.
And not only in Germany, but in almost all countries.
Not only among the persecutors.
But also among the victims.
[Student raises her hand] [Pointing to her] Yes.

[Student Elisabeth] The persecution was aimed at the Jews.
Why do you describe Eichmann's offenses as crimes against humanity?

[Hannah Arendt] Because Jews are human,
the very status the Nazis tried to deny them.
A crime against them is by definition a crime against humanity.
I am, of course, as you know, a Jew.
And I've been attacked for being a self-hating Jew ...
who defends Nazis and scorns her own people.
This is not an argument.
Pointing to Professor Miller] That is a character assassination.
I wrote no defense of Eichmann.
But I did try to reconcile ...
the shocking mediocrity of the man ...
with his staggering deeds.
Trying to understand is not the same as forgiveness.
I see it as my responsibility to understand.
It is the responsibility of anyone who dares to put pen to paper on the subject.
Since Socrates and Plato,
we usually call thinking ...
"to be engaged in that silent dialogue between me and myself."
In refusing to be a person, Eichmann utterly surrendered ...
that single most defining human quality:
that of being able to think.
And consequently, he was no longer capable of making moral judgments.
This inability to think ...
created the possibility for many ordinary men ...
to commit evil deeds on a gigantic scale,
the like of which one had never seen before.

My name is Adolf Eichmann.
The Jews came every day
to vat they thought vould be
fun in the showers.
The mothers were quite ingenious.
They vould take the children
und hide them in bundles of clothing.
Ve found the children,
scrubbed them,
put them in the chambers
and sealed them in.

I vatched through the portholes
as they were droven und chant:
“Hey, mein Liebe, heyyy."
Ve took off their clean Jewish love rings,
removed their teeth and hair –
for strategic defense.
I made soap out of them,
I made soap out of all of them;
and they hung me,
in full view of the prison yard.

People say,
“Adolf Eichmann should have been hung!”
Nein, if you recognize the whoredom
in all of you,
that you vould have done the same,
if you dared know yourselves.

My defense?
I vas a soldier.
People laugh,
“Ha ha! This is no defense,
that you are a soldier.”
This is trite.
I vas a soldier,
a good soldier.
I saw the end of a conscientious day’s effort.
I saw all the work that I did.
I, Adolf Eichmann,
vatched through the portholes.
I saw every Jew burned
und turned into soap.
Do you people think yourselves better
because you burned your enemies
at long distances
with missiles?
Without ever seeing what you’d done to them?
Hiroshima . . . Auf Wiedersehen . . .

-- My name is Adolf Eichmann, by Thomas Merton

It is true.
I have considered these questions in a philosophical way.
The manifestation of the wind of thought ...
is not knowledge,
but the ability to tell right from wrong,
beautiful from ugly.
And I hope ...
that thinking gives people the strength ...
to prevent catastrophes in these rare moments ...
when the chips are down.
Thank you.

[Students] [Clapping]

[Professor Thomas Miller and his professor conspirators angrily leave]

[Hannah Arendt] [Watches them leave]

[Students] [Murmuring]

[Hannah Arendt] [Smoking] [Sees Hans Jonas, with an ugly look on his face, and smiles]

[Student] Ms. Arendt. Could we please --

[Hannah Arendt] [Ignoring students and pointing to Hans] [In German]

Hans, if I'd known you were here ...

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] I came ...
in the insane hope you would listen to reason.
But you will never change.
Hannah, between your arrogance
and your ignorance, your hopeless ignorance about Jewish affairs,
you turn a court trial
into a philosophy lesson.

[Hannah Arendt] Hans, not now. I'm exhausted.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] You behave like a superior German intellectual who looks down on us Jews.

That is why Bruno Thuring's attack on Einstein is important. Thuring (b. 1905) was a young astronomer and mathematician, active in the Heidelberg Association of Students of Science, a branch of the National Socialist student organization. It was before this body that he gave the talk (September 4, 1936) that was reprinted in the official mathematical journal, Deutsche Mathematik, from which our excerpt is taken. The year after his speech, Bruno Thuring became a lecturer at the University of Munich, working at the university's observatory. Thuring, like the others, emphasizes the so-called spiritual factors in science, but he also presents a good exposition of the National Socialist history of science. His opposition to the course of modern science is obvious, and modernity is, in typical Nazi fashion, linked to the Jew. The materialism of Einstein's space-time concept and the supposed absence of "energy" from his system are contrasted with the Nordic's instinctual understanding of the meaning of energy. The influence of Nietzsche is not to be denied in this passage.


Nature Presupposes a Spiritual Disposition, by BRUNO THURING

Einstein's work can be understood only as counterpart and antithesis to the intellectual tendency of a Kepler or a Newton. Whereas, still intoxicated with the tremendous successes of Kepler and Newton, their successors and spiritual heirs already became partly conscious, but increasingly less so, of the fact that the creative power of these two great men did not rest so much on their logical intellect as on their world-embracing outlook on life, with its simultaneous and equal concern for the realm of the material and the realm of the spiritual and non-material -- that is, on qualities of soul and disposition. Others of their followers turned deliberately toward what was essentially a purely materialistic conception of spiritual and material nature, in the hope of being able eventually to grasp the whole of nature in one mathematical formula. However, Kepler and Newton made their own anti-materialistic mode of thinking perfectly clear. The instinctive knowledge that nature and creation were not to be divorced from their creator and that the world of our paltry five senses, the world of matter, simply could not be the whole world, was so valuable and essential to their investigations that they expressed this knowledge not only in numerous private letters but also in their justly famous treatises. Their scientific aspirations, their drive to understand, and their inquiry into nature were in the first instance born of a deep religious feeling -- the word being used here in its true meaning -- and whenever they raised the question of the meaning and purpose of scientific inquiry, they never furnished any answer except their desire to comprehend and explain the existence and operation of God in the investigation of His plan of the world and His works. The ancient magnanimity of soul of the Germanic man, directed away from the world and all external appearance, posed the first world-encompassing question about nature and thus became the mother of natural science. If the generation from which Kepler and Newton sprang had been exclusively devoted to materialism -- if indeed it had been incapable of an inner view extending far beyond mere sensory perceptions -- Kepler's search for the divine harmony of nature would have been impossible and therefore unsuccessful. At the same time, his success did not come to him easily. Not only for years but for decades, he exerted all his genius for mathematics and creative combinations, which he knew how to subordinate to the primacy of exact. observation. No failure, no disappointment could ever shake his rocklike conviction that the world had to be in harmony, for its progenitors were perfection and beauty. "With God's help I shall certainly conclude this undertaking -- and indeed in a military manner, by issuing my orders boldly, daringly, and triumphantly today, and worrying about my funeral tomorrow," he wrote in a letter. And in another letter: "My whole being strives to penetrate form and existence, God Himself, the architect of creation -- and here is where the greatest joy beckons me." And again: "Here I throw the dice, and write a book either for my contemporaries or for posterity. Maybe it will have to wait centuries for its readers, but then God Himself waited thousands of years for someone to describe His works." Kepler wrote all this in the glowing flame of supra-terrestrial exultation over having finally succeeded in finishing his work. The drive to comprehend what can be perceived by the senses, born of a conviction and faith in what cannot be grasped by our senses, and a modest yet persevering devotion to the exact observation of nature, determined the scientific attitude which made Kepler the prototype and example of the German natural scientist. Therefore, his scientific achievements were, and remain, de spite their international reputation, the products of a thoroughly German and nationally conditioned conception of nature. The fairy tale of an international and absolute natural science that is independent of Volk, history, and race is smashed to pieces on Kepler. Conversely, a liberal theory of science could have come into being only in a period which, under the influence of persons of alien blood, increasingly fell victim to materialism and which was no longer able to see Kepler and Newton as anything more than great intellectualists and mathematicians.

But how can such a conception do justice to a man like Newton, who found it necessary in his main work, Principia Mathematica, to delve extensively into the problem of divinity and who, on the basis of his world-encompassing view of nature, could demand that divinity be evaluated as a problem of natural science? "Thoroughly similar only to itself," he describes divinity, "entirely ear, eye, brain, arm, feeling, insight, activity, and all in a manner not human, even less corporeal, but in an entirely unknown manner. We see only the structure and color of a body; we hear its sounds, we feel its exterior surface, we smell and taste it. But as regards the inner substances of matter, we can comprehend them neither through our senses nor through our intelligence. Even less do we have a conception of the substance of God." And he concluded this part of his contemplations as follows: "This I had to say about God, whose works it is the task of natural science to investigate." Is not such thinking and such knowledge of the threads that bind the realm of matter to the realm of the spirit, is not this awareness of the fact that with our limited number of senses we are able to grasp only a restricted part of the whole world, worlds apart from materialism, worlds apart from that relativistic conception according to which every description of nature may deal only with relations of matter to matter and according to which even space and time are only attributes of matter because there is, allegedly, nothing but matter? The formulation of general relativity as a principle of nature, as is done in Einstein's theory, can be nothing more than the expression of a thoroughly materialistic attitude of mind and soul. The feeling for nature and the racially determined concept of nature possessed by Nordic man, who strives to comprehend nature not only with his intellect but also with his heart and soul and with his imagination, are here opposed by a concept of nature which aims to set up the intellect alone as the cognitive principle in the investigation of nature and which consequently disregards the possibility of conceptions geared to our spirit in favor of a purely symbolical, mathematical, formalistic, and non-concrete representation of nature....

By starting out from facts alone, even though based on observation and experiment, we cannot arrive at a "decision" with respect to the "correctness" of either [the Nordic or the Einsteinian conception of nature]. Rather, the complex of facts is identical in both cases. The difference between the two concepts goes deeper; it lies on another level, namely, where natural science as an activity takes its point of departure. For that reason, the assertion of books popularizing the theory of relativity that it is a conception of nature based on experience is utterly untrue. For the substratum and essence of natural science are not to be found in this or that measurement, in this or that experiment, or in the exact reading of an instrument. All these are merely its exterior forms of expression, its results. and as such something which is objective, a datum provided by nature. But what is essential in connection with what concerns us today is to determine what lies at the base of inquiry, what it springs from, what use the investigator makes of it and what it can be utilized for. It is not the What which is the decisive factor, but the How, Whence, and Why. If that were not so, there would be no explanation for the fact that the natural sciences came into existence and blossomed among the valuable peoples and races of Europe, and among these overwhelmingly in the Germanic segments thereof. This fact cannot be ignored; it attests to the communality of an identical basic attitude of mind and spirit which coincides with the communality of racial and Volkish characteristics. Not only Kepler and Newton, but also Galileo, Guericke, Faraday, Gauss, Maxwell, Robert Mayer, and many others attest to this fact.

But a word about the space-time problem. The conceptions of space and time are thought frameworks given to us by nature, into which we order and arrange all physical and chemical phenomena, but also all manifestations of life, mind, and soul. They are forms of thinking of our innermost being, so to speak, Our "weapons" for confronting the outside world. Newton, as a true Germanic natural scientist, was fully conscious of that and he regarded space and time not as purely logical concepts, but as concepts strongly anchored in intuition. It is altogether different with the Jew Einstein. The attempt to view space and time as attributes of matter exclusively and the desire to understand them solely as matter, so that on the basis of this mental attitude it had to be claimed that the motion of matter is meaningful only in relation to other matter, are fully in keeping with the thoroughly and onesidedly materialistically oriented spirit of the theory of relativity. For the relativist, this is a self-evident concept and in return he acquiesces in all the violence done to intuition. Intuition and feeling are sacrificed to the worship of matter and pure logic....

Still another closely connected difference between the relativistic, Jewish and the Nordic-Germanic conception and representation of nature lies in their attitude toward the concept of energy. Power, strength, energy, is something immediately clear and understandable to the Nordic man; not only does he possess it himself, but it has confronted him from the primordial beginnings of his history and from the beginning of his personal life in his work as a craftsman, in the effort of physical activity. He knows from experience that through energy one can set bodies in motion or bring moving bodies to a stop. For Kepler and Newton, as Germanic men, it was immediately obvious, whenever they encountered such changes in motion, to speak of the effects of energy. Kepler was the first to give voice to the idea that the sun was the source of an energy which determines the trajectory of the planets. Newton founded his general mechanics on an exact and measurable definition of energy.

It is no coincidence that the half-Jew Heinrich Hertz [1] and the full-Jew Einstein attempted to create a structure of mechanics from which the concept of energy has wholly vanished. The Jewish philosopher Spinoza likewise was ignorant of the concept of energy. It seems to be entirely alien to the world-feeling of the Jew, and he is therefore at pains to exclude this alien phenomenon from his consideration of nature. Hertz clothed this aspiration in his demand that all anthropomorphisms, such as energy, be excluded from natural science. But in doing so he overlooked the fact that every construction of a scientific concept arises in principle from human experience, that is, from a cognitive process in which the specific nature of the cognizing subject is as essentially involved as the specific nature of the cognized object. Finally, even Hertz's attempt is anthropomorphic if in place of energy he postulates the coupling of mechanical systems, whose motions thereupon lose all freedom.

Einstein's theory of relativity, however, sets aside the concept of energy through the most radical upheaval of all space-time concepts. He postulates, in a purely mathematical, formalistic way, a curvature of space in the environment of all matter and necessarily connected with it. In this curved space the planets follow trajectories analogous to the so-called geodetic lines, that is, to the shortest possible lines between two points in curved planes. Thus, through the elimination of the concept of energy, dynamics become, with Hertz as well as with Einstein, a kind of cinematics.

We can see by this example what is involved here: Not new cognitions of natural events, not new findings of scientific research, but something relating to human inwardness, something concerning the soul, world-feeling, attitudes, and racial dispositions.

There have been repeated attempts in lectures and books to present the theory of relativity as the grand capstone of centuries of progressive scientific development, which began with Copernicus and Galileo and led, via Kepler and Newton, to Einstein. No! Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton are not Einstein's predecessors and pathfinders, but his antipodes. Einstein is not the pupil of these men, but their determined opponent; his theory is not the keystone of a development, but a declaration of total war, waged with the purpose of destroying what lies at the basis of this development, namely, the world view of German man. Therefore, it could be so joyfully saluted and enthusiastically celebrated only by a generation that had grown up on purely materialistic modes of thought. This theory could have blossomed and flourished nowhere else but in the soil of Marxism, whose scientific expression it is, in a manner analogous to that of cubism in the plastic arts and the unmelodious and unharmonic atonality in the music of the last several years. Thus, in its consequences. the theory of relativity appears to be less a scientific than a political problem.

The flooding of the book market shortly after the war with popular and semi-popular expositions of the theory of relativity naturally could not aim to acquaint the large public interested in natural sciences with the highly difficult logical and mathematical thought-content of the theory. Such a goal cannot be attained in this way. Rather, the effect of these books was to be found mainly on the level of the inner soul and a world view. Some even ventured -- and they were not altogether wrong in this assumption -- to look upon the theory of relativity as a typical expression of our time. Colin Ross, [2] in his book Die Welt auf der Waage (The World in the Scales), declared that Einstein's theory could have been discovered only in our time, that the principle of relativity gave our time its keynote and left nothing untouched, no moral law, not even Kant's categorical imperative.

In this manner, assisted by advertising in the newspapers and lectures from the professorial chairs, this purely scientific theory, whose main ingredient was the postulate of relativity, grew into a physical world view. And since it is always impossible for several world views -- say, a physical, a philosophical, an astronomical, or a religious world view -- to exist simultaneously without affecting and influencing each other, the theory of relativity threatened to become the dominant world view altogether and in every direction. This development be. came possible only because of the general recognition accorded natural science as a scientific discipline, characterized by the highest objectivity since it supposedly deals exclusively with established facts, whose existence is in no way subject to being conditioned or determined by the cognizing subject. It was deliberately overlooked that all interest in nature in itself presupposes a certain spiritual disposition, and that the perceiving subject has his own manner and content of conception and his Own method of inquiry, all of which must depend On himself and his particular endowments. The few who were of different opinions were disregarded. Nevertheless, it remains forever true that the natural scientist in his work remains a son of the people and a representative of their feelings and yearnings, as is also true in the case of the artist and the statesman. This obvious fact could be misunderstood only because nobody took the trouble to delve deeply enough into the wellsprings of natural-scientific inquiry; everyone remained suspended at the point where facts were observed, experiments made, results recorded. To prove the dependence of natural science on racial stock requires less study of results in textbooks and more study of the original works of the great discoverers and their personalities as scientists. Kepler and Newton as Nordic men on one side, Einstein as a typical Jew on the other, are the most illuminating examples -- the former because they did not shrink from allowing the reader an insight into their own spiritual life, the latter as a contrast to them.

May the young generation of natural scientists and philosophers recognize, therefore, what is meant by the concept of German natural science! If, however, someone asks: How can we arrive at a German natural science? our answer must be: A new National Socialist science cannot create, as if by sorcery, arbitrary and amateurish world systems and conceptions -- only infinite damage could come of this. Rather, it must reverentially immerse itself in nature itself, and in the great Nordic discoverers and interpreters of nature, to find there the essence of German being in glorious abundance. As for the rest, let us keep as far away as possible anything that comes from the hands of the Jew, and let us be Germans and National Socialists in all our work and thought! Then everything will be all right. I shall close with a variation of a quotation from R. Eichenauer: "Natural science is not a root, but a blossom. Let us take care of the roots. The blossom will appear by itself." [3]

From Deutsche Mathematik, edited by Theodor Vahlen (Leipzig: Kommissionsverlag von S. Hirzel, 1936), pp. 706-711.


Psychotherapy and Political World View, by KURT GAUGER (Excerpt)

... The scientific materialism of Freudian psychoanalysis is closely related to the economic materialism of the Marxists. The specific National Socialist concept of feeling and disposition is alien to both of them, as is the specific National Socialist concept of community.

-- Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich, by George L. Mosse

And you accuse us of being accomplices to the Shoah.
You never accepted that the Germans shamefully betrayed you.
They kicked you out and would have killed you if they could.
Your friend Eichmann was responsible for the transports from Gurs.
If you hadn't been lucky enough to escape on time ...
you'd have shared the same fate as the women who stayed.

[Hannah Arendt] Stop!

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] They were all deported. All deported to ...

[Hannah Arendt] Stop it, Hans.

[Hans Jonas (1903-1993)] As of today ...
I am finished with Heidegger's favorite student.


[Hannah Arendt] [Eating alone in Faculty Dining Room, being watched by the nasty professors]

[The Nasty Professor Troika get up and leave without eating their food, and then two other professors as well]


[Hannah Arendt] [To Heinrich] Everyone is trying to prove me wrong.
But no one noticed my one real mistake.
Evil cannot be both banal and radical at once.
Evil is only ever extreme.
It's never radical.
Only good can be profound and radical.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Would you have written about the trial if you'd know what would happen?

[Hannah Arendt] Yes.
I would have written about it.
Maybe I had to find out who my real friends were.

[Heinrich Blucher (1899-1970)] Kurt was your friend. He still would be.

[Hannah Arendt] Kurt was my family.


[Hannah Arendt] [Typing]

[Laying on couch, thinking]


The problem of evil became the fundamental subject for Hannah Arendt. She returned to it over and over again and she was still struggling with it at the time of her death.

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Re: Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:48 am







Director of Photography: CAROLINE CHAMPETIER, A.F.C.

Casting Director: SUSANNE RITTER


Production Design: VOLKER SCHAEFER

Costume Design: FRAUKE FIRL

Make Up and Hair Design: ASTRID WEBER



Sound Recordist: MICHAEL BUSCH

Sound Design: GREG VITTORE

Dialogue Editor: RAINER HEESCH

Re-Recording Mixer: MICHAEL KRANZ


Dramatic Advisor: MARTIN WIEBEL


Cast in Order of Appearance




Heinrich Blucher: AXEL MILBERG

News Speaker: TIMOTHY LONE

Frances Wells: MEGAN GAY


Jonathan Schell: TOM LEICK


Student Enrico: NILTON MARTINS

Student Laureen: LEILA SCHAUS



Lore Jonas: SASCHA LEY

Young Hannah Arendt: FRIEDERIKE BECHT

Young Hans Jonas: FRIDOLIN MEINL

Kurt Blumenfeld: MICHAEL DEGEN


Rahel Blumenfeld: ELIANA SCHEJTER

Rafael Blumenfeld: PINI TAVGER




Martin Heidegger: KLAUS POHL

Student Peter: PITT SIMON

Elisabeth: MARIE JUNG


Hotel Receptionist: FELIX MOELLER

Lionel Abel: JOEL KIRBY




Seigfried Moses: GERMAIN WAGNER




Produced by
Cornelia Ackers ... commissioning editor
Michael André ... commissioning editor
Bettina Brokemper ... producer
Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre ... co-producer
Sophie Dulac ... co-producer
Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu ... co-producer
Rüdiger Jordan ... line producer
Hans-Wolfgang Jurgan ... commissioning editor
Bady Minck ... co-producer
Micki Rabinovich ... line producer: Israel (as Micky Rabinovitz)
Johannes Rexin ... producer
Sabine Schenk ... line producer: New York
David Silber ... co-producer
Birgit Titze ... commissioning editor
Sascha Verhey ... line producer
Michel Zana ... co-producer Music by
André Mergenthaler Cinematography by
Caroline Champetier ... director of photography Film Editing by
Bettina Böhler Casting By
Susanne Ritter Production Design by
Volker Schäfer ... (as Volker Schaefer) Art Direction by
Anja Fromm Set Decoration by
Petra Klimek Costume Design by
Frauke Firl Makeup Department
Bar Barak ... additional makeup artist: Israel
Antje Bockeloh ... hair stylist / makeup artist
Carmit Buzaglo ... additional makeup artist: Israel
Dorit Cohen ... additional makeup artist: Israel
Sigalit Grau ... additional makeup artist: Israel
Nadia Homri ... hair stylist / hair stylist: Crowd Supervisor / makeup artist
Carla Hovenbitzer ... additional hair stylist / additional makeup artist
Ziv Katanov ... makeup artist: Israel
Erwin H. Kupitz ... wigs
Olga Mataisan ... hair stylist: Israel
Sabine May ... additional hair stylist / additional makeup artist
Lisa Meier ... additional hair stylist / additional makeup artist
Katrin Paas ... additional hair stylist / additional makeup artist
Leila Schumacher ... additional hair stylist / additional makeup artist
Katrin Silbernagel ... additional hair stylist / additional makeup artist
Karen Ben Simhom ... additional makeup artist: Israel
Maria Torfeld ... makeup artist: New York
Caroline Torschew ... additional hair stylist / additional makeup artist
Astrid Weber ... hair designer / makeup designer Production Management
André Fetzer ... production manager
Philipp Reimer ... unit manager
Niko Remus ... post-production supervisor
Laura Einmahl ... unit manager (uncredited) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Diana Briant ... second assistant director
Ralph Eisenmann ... additional first assistant director (as Ralk Eisenmann)
Victoria Haen ... second second assistant director: Israel
Marcel Just ... first assistant director
Andreas Kutscher ... third assistant director
Corinne Le Hong ... additional first assistant director
Anne Esther Meyer ... assistant director trainee
Christian Musolff ... third assistant director
Eyal Oberwerger ... second assistant director: Israel Art Department
Boris Bartholomäus ... construction manager
Lkaus Bienen ... stand-by carpenter
Paul Biwer ... stand-by props
Uli Boettcher ... set dresser
Angela Castro ... painter
Hughes de Maere ... carpenter (as Hugues de Maere)
Hannes Dücker ... set dresser
Tobias Dücker ... set dresser
Jenny Echelmeyer ... set dresser
Simon Empt ... set dresser
Mary Fellows ... art department consultant: New York (as Marry Fellow)
Thomas Ferrandis ... carpenter
Joachim Grundmann ... studio rigging
Frank Halbe ... construction coordinator
Barbara Hartwich ... set dresser
Jürgen Heinen ... construction
Beatrice Jansen ... assistant set decorator
Dorit Janssen ... graphics trainee
Nele Jordan ... assistant production designer
Franziska Kettmann ... art department trainee
Oliver Koch ... set dresser
Daniel Kolarov ... property master
Frinn Lorenz ... carpenter
Delphine Marconato ... painter trainee
Royi Marcos ... assistant art department: Israel
François Mast ... carpenter (as Francois Mast)
Sacha Milutinovic ... stand-by props
Gaby Mocaer ... painter (as Gabi Mocaer)
Bernd Nagel ... painter
Itzik Nofar ... construction coordinator: Israel
Chen Ohayon ... assistant set dresser: Israel
Simone Paintner ... painter
Alessandro Palestro ... assistant set decorator
Paddy Patterson ... carpenter
Daniel Peeck ... property handler / stand-by carpenter
Kim Reding ... painter
Achim Reimann ... painter
Walter Reinhard ... construction
Julie Ridremont ... painter
Luc Ridremont ... carpenter
Marc Ridremont ... painter
Kuli Sander ... art director: Israel (as Kuly Sander)
Lorenzo Sartor ... carpenter
Dieter Schmidt ... carpenter
Manolo Schor ... on-set props: Israel (as Manuel Schor)
Iftach Shapira ... assistant set dresser: Israel
Heike Steen ... additional props design
Uli Tegetmeier ... property designer
Ulrike Veit ... graphic designer
Fabian Verdeur ... painter
Christian Weber ... construction foreman
Arie Weiss ... property master: Israel
Gabriele Winzen ... chief painter (as Gabriele Wintzen)
Dominik Wipperfürth ... construction manager
Petra Maria Wirth ... draftswoman (as Petro-Maria Wirth)
Eli Zioni ... set dresser: Israel (as Eli Zion) Sound Department
Adrian Baumeister ... dialogue editor
Michael Busch ... sound recordist
Yoav Damti ... boom operator: Israel
Dominic Fitzgerald ... foley editor (as Domenic Fitzgerald)
Günther Friedhoff ... adr recordist (as Günter Friedhoff)
Babette Fürbringer ... sound stage: Cine Postproduction Munich
Sebastian Gassner ... sound stage: Cine Postproduction Munich
Manfred Gläser ... sound stage: Cine Postproduction Munich
Rainer Heesch ... dialogue editor / supervising dialogue editor / supervising sound editor
Oliver Held ... boom operator
Andreas Hemberger ... sound stage: Cine Postproduction Munich (as Andi Hemberger)
Beatrix Hengefeld ... adr studio: FFS Synchron
Tatjana Jakob ... adr editor
Simone Jung ... additional boom operator
Jörg Kaiser ... boom operator
Michael Kranz ... sound re-recording mixer
Thomas Lüdemann ... adr supervisor
Stefan Maiss ... sound stage: Cine Postproduction Munich
Raoul Nadalet ... sound design consultant
Rudi Neuber ... sound stage: Cine Postproduction Munich
Roland Platz ... foley artist / foley editor
Laura Plock ... foley editor
Abi Schneider ... sound stage: Cine Postproduction Munich
Peter Schumann ... adr studio: FFS Synchron
Alon Shapira ... boom operator: Israel
Greg Vittore ... sound designer
Wolfi Müller ... sound stage assistant (uncredited)
Uwe Zillner ... foley recordist (uncredited) Visual Effects by
Sebastian Demuth ... visual effects artist: Scope FX Cologne
Beatrix Herling ... visual effects artist: Scope FX Cologne
David Horbach ... visual effects: Espera Productions
Samuel Jørgensen ... visual effects artist: Scope FX Cologne (as Samuel Jorgensen)
Claude Kongs ... visual effects: Espera Productions
Thomas Loeder ... visual effects supervisor: Scope FX Cologne
Katja Müller ... additional visual effects: ARRI Munich
Raoul Nadalet ... visual effects: Espera Productions
Oliver Nikelowski ... visual effects artist: Scope FX Cologne
Paul Poetsch ... additional visual effects: ARRI Munich
Roger Richards ... visual effects artist: Scope FX Cologne
Arnold Sakowski ... visual effects producer: Scope FX Cologne
Andrea Theel ... visual effects artist: Scope FX Cologne
Dominik Trimborn ... additional visual effects: ARRI Munich
Jan Herms ... special visual effects unit (uncredited) Stunts
Ernst Reimann ... stunt coordinator
Evangelos Grecos ... stunt player (uncredited) Camera and Electrical Department
Gidon Albert ... additional electrician: Israel
Frédéric André ... camera equipment: TSF
Tom Ashuach ... best boy grip: Israel (as Tom Ashauch)
Matthias Baeumer ... best boy (as Matthias Bäumer)
Henning Battenfeld ... electrician assistant
Shimon Belfer ... gaffer: Israel (as Simon Belfer)
Liad Berger ... grip: Israel
Sezar Berger ... best boy: Israel (as Ceasar Birger)
James Carman ... plates photographer: New York
Nissim Chefetz ... additional grip: Israel
Alex Cohen ... additional electrician: Israel
Thierry de Segonzac ... camera equipment: TSF
Lior Etrogy ... additional grip: Israel (as Lior Etrogi)
Malki Firer ... video assistant: Israel
Sergei Franklin ... steadicam operator: New York
Hugo 'Lata' Gouveia ... additional electrician
Stefan Grabner ... electrician
Friedhelm Frett Holstein ... additional electrician (as Frett Holstein)
Christian Hölscher ... additional electrician
Daniel Kaluzshky ... additional grip: Israel (as Daniel Kaluzhsky)
Shlomo Kiper ... electrician: Israel
Vitalijus Kiselius ... additional electrician
Tobias Klauke ... second camera operator
Véronique Kolber ... still photographer
Olivier Koos ... electrician assistant
Michael Kopietz ... video assistant
Thomas Korda ... steadicam operator
Robert Lau ... second assistant camera: New York (as Rob Lau)
Knut Maier ... light/grip equipment: Maier Bros.
Philippe Manderscheid ... video assistant
Yana Mitnik ... additional electrician: Israel (as Yana Mitnick)
Eitan Mizrahi ... additional grip: Israel
David Moreira ... electrician assistant
Patrick Muller ... still photographer
Sandrine 'Alex' Neumüller ... additional electrician
Robert Patzelt ... steadicam operator
Thierry Ramanana ... best boy grip
Bruno Raquillet ... second assistant camera
Jean-François Roqueplo ... key grip
Marco Sales ... additional electrician
Claus Scheipers ... additional electrician
Arne Schriever ... additional grip
Amiram Snir ... additional electrician: Israel
Christian Stelling ... additional electrician
Carlo Thiel ... first assistant camera
Yves Philippe Jean Vaucher Antuña De Cocañin ... additional electrician
Grube Venn ... gaffer (as Klaus 'Grube' Venn)
Sebastian Volk ... camera: second unit
Robert Will ... video assistant Casting Department
Yael Aviv ... casting: Israel
Colleen Blake ... casting: Luxembourg
John Hubbard ... casting
Ros Hubbard ... casting
Meredith Jacobson ... casting: New York (as Meredith Jacobsen)
Angi Peters ... extras casting
Diana Briant ... extras casting (uncredited)
Martin Ware ... casting assistant (uncredited) Costume and Wardrobe Department
Balti Arcadi ... additional wardrobe: Israel
Yaron Arye ... wardrobe: Israel
Ane Bremer ... wardrobe
Jennifer Bublitz ... costume trainee
Michal Dor ... wardrobe: Israel
Rona Doron ... costume designer: Israel
Nicole Duque-Hansmann ... second costume assistant
Ifat Kanfi ... additional wardrobe: Israel
Trü Kobusch ... costume assistant
Carolin Kopietz ... additional wardrobe
Anika Kranz ... additional wardrobe
Daniela Szczodrok ... costume trainee
Angela Wendt ... wardrobe consultant: New York
Sarah Wüthrich ... wardrobe Editorial Department
Linda Ellwanger ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Denis Faupel ... avid support
Erhard Giesen ... on-line rushes: Farbkult
Hans Hohenwarther ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Markus Klaff ... digital lab: ARRI Cologne
Christian Littmann ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Günther Mairiedl ... on-line editor
Dirk Meier ... digital colorgrading
Franz Rabl ... film lab: ARRI Munich (as Frans Rabi)
Angela Reedwisch ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Josef Reidinger ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Timon Relitzki ... avid support
Niko Remus ... digital rushes grading
Mark Russell ... assistant editor
Martin Schwertführer ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Undine Simmang ... edit suite: Cine Plus Cologne
Martin Sippel ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Sascha Stiller ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Beate Trathnigg ... film lab: ARRI Munich
Manfred Turek ... digital colorgrading Transportation Department
Ilan Appel ... production driver: Israel
Robert Braun ... driver: props
Ralf Christiansen ... production driver
David Friedewald ... production driver
Marian Gallo ... production driver
Andrè Haskamp ... driver: props
Bernard Heider ... production driver
Evyatar Karavani ... production driver: Israel
Dominik Leurs ... production driver
Michael Roberts ... production driver
Rubey Star ... transportation manager: Israel (as Ruby Star)
Florian Wagner ... driver: props
Günter Warnke ... production driver
Eli Zioni ... action vehicles: Israel (as Eli Zion)
Nicolai Schah ... driver: props (uncredited) Other crew
Ayala Aroyo ... production assistant: Israel
Slonim Ashkenazi ... insurance broker
Eli Aspan ... accountant: Israel
Tanja Baum ... travel agent
Maria Bevacqua ... craft service
Manfred Breuersbrock ... historical research
Andreas Brey ... financing: DZBank
Nuno Fernando De Almeida Cardoso ... set runner (as Nuno Cardoso)
Gilda Cavazza ... production coordinator
Franck Celton ... accountant
Zvika Chen ... location manager: Israel (as Zvika Haen) / location scout: Israel (as Zvika Haen)
Asli Ciyow ... production assistant
Marco Claude ... auditor: Grant Thornton Luxaudit
Christophe Clavert ... assistant to producers
Mario Filipe Cruz ... set runner (as Ma*aacute;rio Filipe Cruz)
Sandor Czirjak ... horse wrangler
Ohad Domb ... assistant location manager: Israel
Patrick Eaton ... production assistant: New York
Martin Eichhorn ... titles: PAQT
Silke Christina Engler ... script/continuity
Mirjam Erdem ... production assistant
Silke Erhan ... auditor: PWC Germany
Laura Ettel ... assistant to producers
Sara Fischer ... assistant to producers
Iftach Gabay ... camp manager: Israel (as Iftach Gabbay)
Amit Goodman ... camp worker: Israel
Franz Gossler ... insurance broker
Alain Gross ... legal advisor: Amour Fou
Spartek Hamis ... camp worker: Israel (as Spartak Hamis)
Maria Herpich ... production coordinator
Sascha Heyar ... set runner
Will Jackson ... production assistant: New York
Rüdiger Jordan ... location scout: Germany, Cinematic Places
Geraldine Jourdan ... assistant to producers (as Géraldine Jourdan-Blain)
Claudia Coreen Kaiser ... production controller
Michel Kasel ... insurance broker
Uria Kedem ... camp worker: Israel
Anya Kirzner ... water girl: Israel
Nina Kunze ... production trainee / set runner
David Armati Lechner ... production assistant
Johannes Lehmann ... tax advisor
Steve Mannes ... location assistant
Rodolfo Mantovani ... set runner (as Rodolfo Mantovani Pazini)
Andra Maria Matresu ... assistant accountant
Marc Meyers ... financing: Banque Internationale a Luxembourg
Michael Naguib ... travel agent
Denis Nikolaev ... camp worker: Israel
Alfred Noll ... legal advisor: Amour Fou (as Alfred J. Noll)
Christian Pannrucker ... location manager / location scout: Luxembourg
Heike Panzer ... craft service
Paulo Perreira ... security
Nuno Pimenta ... set runner (as Nino G. B. Pimenta)
Dirk Poppendieck ... legal advisor: Heimatfilm (as Dr. Dirk Poppendieck)
Sebastian Püttner ... assistant to producers
Oliver Rebling ... accountant
Jan Recht ... set assistant
Bob Reding ... location assistant (as Bob Luc Reding)
Nickolas Rodwell ... set runner
Sven Rosenkranz ... set manager
Karen Rudolph ... public relations: Germany
Pablo Sanchez ... tax advisor
Khalil Sarr ... security
Robert Schlungs ... assistant location manager
Sindy Schmeisser ... financing: DZ Bank
Lies Schumandl ... production controller
Evelyne Schweitzer ... production administrator
Sixt Shlomo ... car rental: Car Motion Service
Maria Sobecki-Grimm ... cook
Ute Springer ... public relations: Luxembourg
Laure Stachnik ... legal advisor: Amour Fou
Claudia Stanetty ... production controller
Nikolaj Stavenhagen ... cook
Keren Sternfeld ... script supervisor: Israel
Frank Stoltz ... financial consultant: KPMG
Isa Streppel ... production assistant
Christoph Szonn ... auditor: LFA Bayern
Carlos Miguel Talhhadas Angelos ... security
Désirée Thilgen ... accountant (as Desirée Thilges)
Jean Edmond Cédric Tinancourt ... security
Didier Vitry ... location assistant
Martin Wiebel ... dramatic advisor
Michal Wintroib ... production coordinator: Israel
Ramona Wolff ... set runner
Tali Yaakov ... assistant to producer: Israel
Christiane Zietzer ... location manager
Jim Dobson ... publicist (uncredited)
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