Hanna Arendt; A Solitary Genius


I just can’t stop thinking admirably about this woman. She, with her infinite courage, had fought for her idea till to the end, alone.

Her unlimited view on ethnicities, religions or creeds is stunning me; she had a wider look at the problem of the human judgement than her fellow colleagues. As we might know this point of view is lacking in our society, either those days or now. And it causes a big problem in many countries on Earth.

But honestly, to reach such a point of view looks like idealistic, a dream! Although, she had done it and was so fearless to talk about it.

Her breakthrough was her participation in the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the organizer of the jews death-transport to the Gas-Chamber, who was captured so refined by Mossad (the Israeli secret service) in 1960 in Argentina and transported to Israel for the trial. She had been invited by a famous Magazine to make a report on this Process. But what she wrote in her announcement was not what the peoples expected for; it was a superhuman report as I might call. She had not, as the others did, observed this occurrence superficially (as the motto; everything runs perfectly).

“After Germany’s defeat in 1945, Eichmann was captured by US forces, but escaped from a detention camp and moved around Germany to avoid re-capture. He ended up in a small village in Lower Saxony, where he lived until 1950, when he moved to Argentina using false papers he obtained with help from an organisation directed by Catholic bishop Alois Hudal. Information collected by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, confirmed his location in 1960. A team of Mossad and Shin Bet agents captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial on 15 criminal charges, including war crimescrimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people. During the trial, he did not deny the Holocaust or his role in organising it, but claimed that he was simply following orders in a totalitarianFührerprinzip system. He was found guilty on all of the charges, and was executed by hanging on 1 June 1962.[c] The trial was widely followed in the media and was later the subject of several books, including Hannah Arendt‘s Eichmann in Jerusalem, in which Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe Eichmann.[6]” From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Eichmann

She had looked at this man; Eichmann, psychologically and understood something which the others never wanted to understand; the main purpose of engendering such a creature.

She said in the opposite of others, that this man was not a monster but a very simply naive man who did his orders from above; the real monster is the ideology behind him. That is that, what makes monsters from the normal simple people. It was, of course, a hammer on the heads of all conservatives in every group.
I believe her wholeheartedly; if we take a deeper look at all these monsters in history, for example, the Nazi regime one by one; we can find a lot of ideots there. Hitler himself in his ideas, may be a mad but genius one. But the rests were ill-minded poor creatures who wanted only to keep and cast their power.

Here is the final act of a movie which I watched some days ago, a well-made production by Margarethe von Trotta. A fascinated speech by a fascinated woman.

The definition of the crime of the Nazi is not only the crime against Jews, it is the crime against humanity. Induiality means to be somebody.

Is it still I that burns there all alone?
Unrecognizable? memories denied?
O life, o life: being outside.
And I in flames—no one is left—unknown. —Rainer Maria Rilke, Komm Du (1926), trans. by Walter Kaufmann (1975)

And after all these she became alone; here she tells about the loneliness;

Just as terror, even in its pre-total, merely tyrannical form ruins all relationships between men, so the self-compulsion of ideological thinking ruins all relationships with reality. The preparation has succeeded when people have lost contact with their fellow men* as well as the reality around them; for together with these contacts, men lose the capacity of both experience and thought. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.

Hannah Arendt by Fred Stein, 1944 (Photograph courtesy of the Fred Stein Archive)

22 thoughts on “Hanna Arendt; A Solitary Genius

  1. Thank you Alaedin for introducing me to truth seeking Hanna Arendt. I shall endeavour to read more about her. The actress’ powerful speech and performance in the film leaves me curious to find out more. Hope your weekend is going well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are kidding! It seems I am coming up.
      Now I am kidding… anyhow, she is a wonder as many women are; like you are. By the way, the movie was in German as I watched it on TV and it surprised me as I saw she is speaking in English; in any case, it is brilliantly made of, by a woman, what else 🤗🥰😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Elaine Mansfield

    Aladin, I was a political science major in college, so hadn’t read or thought about Hannah Arendt. What a courageous woman and powerful thinker. She escaped the worst so many times! Thank you for bring my attention to her now when my confused country needs her wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

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