Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann

In his coverage of the Eichmann Trial, Harry Mulisch offers a portrayal of the process, of the man, and of the implications of the efficiency of evil.

Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann
An Eyewitness Account

Harry Mulisch. Translated by Robert Naborn. Foreword by Deborah Dwork

2005 | 208 pages | Cloth $29.95 | Paper $21.95
History / Law
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Table of Contents

Foreword, by Debórah Dwork

1. Introduction
2. The Verdict and the Execution
3. The Two Faces of Eichmann
4. Biography of a German
5. Jerusalem Diary I
6. A Ruin in Berlin
7. The Horror and Its Depiction
8. The Horror and Its Origin
9. The Order as Fate
10. The Ideal of Psycho-Technology
11. Jerusalem Diary II
12. On Feelings of Guilt, Guilt, and Reality
13. On Common Sense, Christians, and Thomas Mann
14. A Consideration in Warsaw
15. A Museum in Oswiecim

Excerpt [uncorrected, not for citation]


"40/61" is the number of the Eichmann case on the roll of the District Court of Jerusalem. In this volume I give the account of an experience behind this number. An experience is different from a train of thought: it is subject to change. At the end one finds a different person, partly with different thoughts, from at the beginning. Since the account of this changing experience is announced in the first entry, I have not made any corrections anywhere: this was not supposed to be a book about Eichmann, but to remain the double report as it was intended from the start.

What follows are not the chapters of a dissertation but a series of articles originally published in Elseviers Weekblad (a weekly; so that I was relieved of the dailies' demands of providing the news). For that reason I dated them with the day of completion, not of publication, which was usually one week later. This will avoid confusion with the dates of the diary sections. I did rid the text of some inaccuracies, mainly in the diary. I have added a short passage here and there, which would not have been suitable for a weekly. Where possible quotations are in German, for in Dutch (they are no longer what they are: dangerous. For those who cannot read German, one of the most important entrances to criminal case 40/61 will in this way remain closed—maybe that makes them fortunate.

(For this English translation the quotations are given in English, so that this important entrance to criminal case 40/61 will be accessible. All footnotes are the translator's unless otherwise indicated.)