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- Arendt shares Rogat's suspicion that modern understandings of criminal law are inadequate to understand Eichmann's guilt; and yet, Arendt does not in the end speak the language of vengeance. Arendt's own judgment, judicially spoken at the end of her epilogue, says simply that she, and the entirety of the human race, cannot be expected to share the earth with someone like Adolf Eichmann. Her judgment, in other words, speaks in the language of reconciliation and, in this case, non-reconciliation. It is this judgment of non-reconciliation that the judges in Jerusalem should have "dared" to offer. (Arendt, 1977, 277) Arendt's judgment reads:
- You admitted that the crime committed against the Jewish people during the war was the greatest crime in recorded history, and you admitted your role in it.... We are concerned here only with what you did, and not with the possible noncriminal nature of your inner life and of your motives…. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that it was nothing more than misfortune that made you a willing instrument in the organization of mass murder; there still remains the fact that you have carried out, and therefore actively supported, a policy of mass murder. For politics is not like the nursery; in politics obedience and support are the same. And just as you supported and carried out a policy of not wanting to share the earth with the Jewish people and the people of a number of other nations… we find that no one, that is, no member of the human race, can be expected to want to share the earth with you. This is the reason, and the only reason, you must hang. (Arendt, 1977, 279)
- Eichmann must hang, Arendt argues, neither because he broke the law, nor merely as a setting right of the scales of justice through revenge. He must hang, instead, because no human being must be expected to share the earth with him. He must hang, in other words, because what he did was so horrific that it must simply be rejected, eradicated, and said no to. This does not mean it should be forgotten, not at all. Rather, the world in which Eichmann's crimes could and did happen must simply be said no to. In short, Eichmann must hang because his crimes are irreconcilable with a civilized world.