LBST 402: Lecture on Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem
    [This is the text of a lecture delivered, in part, in
             Liberal Studies 402 in March 1997]

When we read this book, we are confronted with some huge
issues, many of which are a central part of the  living
experiences of people in this room.  For many of us, the
horrors of World War II, and especially the actions of the
Nazi government with regard to the Jews and other groups
deemed inferior and unwanted, are so much a part of our own
lives that it is difficult not to want to talk about a great
many things-the nature of evil, the "guilt" question, the
history of Anti-Semitism, the growth of totalitarian
government, and so on.

In dealing with Arendt's book, however, we must resist a
great many temptations to digress into many such complex
areas, if we wish to focus on her main point, because the
book is centrally about none of these global issues.  And if
we stray too far into various matters which arise out of the
Eichmann story and do not look clearly at what Arendt wishes
us to consider, then we will miss the main point-indeed, as
I should like to argue in a moment, we may become an
integral part of the problem she wishes to deal with.

What I wish to focus on here for a few minutes, then, is
what I see as the central concern of this text.  I want to
call it quickly and cursorily to our attention, so that we
do not lose sight of it in our discussions about all the
other matters.  I don't have much time, so I shall be as
brief as I can be.  Simply put, I want to insist that there
are two major and related lessons Arendt wishes to consider.
The first is an old-fashioned Kantian injunction that we are
all member of a single group, the human community, and that
our responsibilities are above everything else to than
community of individuals.  Secondly, the failure to base our
judicial treatment of genocide on this awareness leaves us
dangerously incapable of recognizing and therefore of
dealing with the most pernicious new crime to appear before
the courts in this century.  These are urgently practical
questions which concern all of us in our daily lives.  Thus,
Arendt's main concern is not to educate us about the
Holocaust or about Eichmann but about ourselves.

The Issue of Justice in the Community
If this book is not primarily intended as a history of the
Holocaust, an essay on the nature of evil, a study of anti-
Semitism, an examination of the "guilt" question, or even a
complete biography of Adolph Eichmann, then what it is
about?  Well, Arendt tells us many times: this is a book
about justice in the modern world.  Arendt's purpose here is
clear (and repeated many times throughout): the details of
the Eichmann trial matter because they indicate to us the
nature of our own responsibilities for justice in the human
community and of the ways in which we too often evade or
ignore those responsibilities.

Some time ago, soon after we began this four-cycle
curriculum in Liberal Studies, we examined Aeschylus's play
The Oresteia.  That work, as we discussed then, is about the
establishment within the human community of a system of
justice administered by the citizens of the polis.  The
moment comes about as a divine gift, and there is an
assurance given by the gods that the community which
establishes justice properly and which carries it out with
integrity and respect will flourish.  Of all the works we
have read in Liberal Studies, The Oresteia is the most
optimistic and the most challenging: human beings can, in
the human community, rule each other in such a way that the
community will thrive.  But the play also contains an
ominous warning: the community that forgets its full
responsibilities or upsets the appropriate balance upon
which justice depends will perish.

The major point that Arendt wants us to derive from this
book is the same.  For her the story of Eichmann and the
story of his trial are important primarily for what they
reveal to us about the nature of justice and about the
attempts, deliberate and otherwise to pervert it.

I do not have time here to rehearse her argument--and in any
case there's no need, since she makes it very clear herself.
But I do want to call attention to some points in it, once
again in order to emphasize that this book has a specific
point which we should not miss.

The first point that is made repeatedly through the book is
that justice-criminal, moral, and political justice is a
highly individual matter.  That is, it involves the
particular actions of particular people, and the business of
rendering a judgement or making a decision is corrupted as
soon as this key point is forgotten.  One of her main
indictments of the proceedings in Jerusalem is that the
trial was deliberately engineered, in spite of the attempts
of the judges, to deal with group interests-both those
during the events being judged but, more importantly, group
interests at the time of the trial (i.e., fifteen years
after the end of the war).

Thus, for example, the Israeli government wanted a trial
that would remind the world of the sufferings of the Jewish
people, that would once more raise the question of the
collective guilt of the German people, that would let
everyone know about the horrors of anti-Semitism, that would
at last allow the Jewish survivors an official hearing, and
so on.  Arendt points out again and again that there was a
political agenda driving much of this trial, and in her view
that perverts justice, no matter how sympathetic we might be
to some of the motives for this use of the trial.  The
strength of this political agenda was so strong that it led
to the judge's original verdict being rewritten in order to
mesh with the government's (and the prosecution's)

And why does this matter, when she has no doubt about the
guilt of the defendant?  Her book raises a number of
important and challenging legal points, but they are, in a
sense, secondary.  A trial, like Eichmann's, as she points
out many times, has a simple task: to render judgement on
this man, for these deeds, at this time, taking into account
various factors which might have significantly affected his
ability to choose how to act (e.g., was he mentally sound,
was he in a position to know what he was doing, did he have
any way of acting any differently, and so on).  Anything
which shifts the business of the trial away from this sharp
particularity into wider cultural or historical issues, no
matter how important, is an erosion of justice, because it
subsumes questions of justice to political and social and
cultural questions not immediately relevant to the principal
reason for the trial: justice in the community.

Political and social questions are indeed important, indeed
essential, parts of the background information, so that the
individual under scrutiny can be fully understood in terms
of the various social and political pressures with which he
had to deal.  But, according to Arendt, they serve as
background only.  Any attempts to explain away individual
actions (or refusals to act) by reference to collective
pressures is pernicious to justice, because they strike at
the very basis of the central hope on which our civilization
rests: that human beings are individually responsible for
what they do.

Again and again in her text Arendt takes issue with those
who wish to do this, to explain away the horror by reference
to cultural generalities.  One can understand people's
reasons for wanting to do this.  After all, faced with the
extraordinary horror of the events, many of us find it
easier to blame something like the German people or European
Anti-Semitism or the pathological Nazis, rather than seeing
the cause in the particular actions of ordinary people.
Even in our seminar comments, often the discussion is
dominated by comments about groups, as if the collective
identity of certain people (Germans, Jews, Italians, and so
on) is the key element in understanding and judging them.
Arendt wishes to remind us that this sort of thinking
perverts justice.

The strength of Arendt's case comes, not from her grasp of
the bewildering complexities of detail (impressive as that
is) or from her moral indignation at what was done, but
rather from her uncompromising sense that in the human
community, we as individuals-no matter what group loyalties
and identities we may possess-have a personal and political
moral responsibility for what we do and that we can be held
accountable-in fact, must be held accountable as
individuals-for crimes against the human community.

We have spent a good deal of time this semester dealing with
various forms of relativism--the pragmatic relativism of
James, the cultural relativism of Benedict, and the
existential relativism of de Beauvoir.  It comes across to
me as immensely refreshing to return to an old fashioned
Kantian, a moral thinker who maintains that we are
responsible to the human community for our actions, that
there are certain universal principles by which we must
conduct our actions and in terms of which we will be judged
and must judge others, that subsuming such matters under
cultural questions is a moral evasion of the first order.
This is immensely refreshing because it establishes a clear
and uncompromised sense that we are, first and foremost,
human beings and that any attempt to deal with our fellows
on any other basis is suspicious.

The Moral Compromise of Classification
This issue of group thinking becomes particularly acute when
Arendt moves to the key question raised by the Holocaust:
How could so many people from such a culturally rich  place
becoming a willing agents in a diabolically evil program?
She has no doubt that the origin of the Final Solution was
in Hitler's own personality, something beyond our
understanding.  She's not interesting in probing that
origin.  For her what really matters is how Hitler secured
massive compliance with his irrational hatred.

Her analysis brings out very clearly how such compliance is
secured: it comes through something really common to us all,
the manipulation of our thinking and our imagination through
classification.  Once we have accepted certain labels, then
we are well on the way to sanctioning different treatment.

Arendt spends a good deal of time discussing the complex
issues of citizenship in many European countries after the
first world war.  This was a quagmire because, as a means of
accommodating the tense ethnic rivalries in often
artificially created countries, the peace makers after the
war had come up with various schemes of classifying
citizens, which had been more or less accepted (not least of
all by the citizens themselves).  These classification
systems had, in effect, recognized human beings as belonging
to different groups and, beyond that, as fundamentally
unequal in their political rights.  Hence, Arendt argues, it
became easy to think that different ethnic groups required
different treatment and had different value.

This issue of classification is one of the most important in
the book.  Arendt discusses in great detail how the success
of the Nazi extermination apparatus depended initially upon
classification schemes which designated citizens as having
different status: Jews and non-Jews, assimilationist Jews
and Zionists, native Jews and refugee Jews, Jews in the
Council and ordinary Jews.  The first step in the
eradication process was to insist upon the official
implementation of a publicly acknowledged classification
system.  Once that was in place, then getting acquiescence
for different treatment became relatively easy.

The Green Berets supposedly had a saying: "If you get them
by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."  This
pungent saying suggests that moral attitudes are primarily a
matter of physical security and fear.  As Arendt points out,
the physical dangers are important, and we should never
underestimate just how horribly the Nazis could make active
resisters suffer.  But it's an important part of her case
that our moral responsibilities do not begin and end with
active resistance.  In many cases, what we do have at our
disposal is passive resistance or the refusal to carry out
actions we perceive as immoral.  And one thing we have to
attend to in any such system of passive resistance is the
way in which oppressors wish to sell us a classification

Anyone seeking, like the Nazis, to persuade us to carry out
such actions, will generally place a high priority on
persuading us that compliance with certain actions is no big
deal because those concerned are not like us-the
classification systems we have accepted tell us that.

So Arendt's text offers a different lesson: "If you get them
by the mind, their hearts and balls will follow."  And the
classification system served to do just that.  It is a very
old principle, which goes commonly by the name "Divide and
conquer."  Once you can get people to abandon the really
essential category of "human beings," and get them thinking
in terms of ethnic categories, most of the work is done.

[That point, to compare great things with small, is an
important point in an article this weekend on Canadian
multiculturalism arguing that dividing Canadians into
official minority categories is serving to promote hostility
rather than to foster tolerance for diversity].

I would like momentarily to digress on this business of
classification.  What makes this so effective is that we are
all used to it; in fact, we cannot function without it.
Quite apart from the point that we probably cannot perceive,
understand, or remember things without having some system of
classification, there is also the fact that the modern state
cannot exist with a huge classification system which
establishes the categories, hierarchies, group identities,
and so on essential to all aspects of the modern state.

Part of the Enlightenment project was to make these
classification systems rational and fair, rather than based
upon ancient family lines, religion, tradition, or personal
allegiance.  This, it was thought, could be done if,
following the liberal tradition, our state operated as a
bureaucracy, in which functions were classified, endorsed by
the sovereign power, and subject to the rule of merit or
periodic election and, as much as possible, an equal playing

That is very much how we operate today.  At the risk of a
very simple generalization, let me suggest that we have a
three class society.  Most of the people are at the bottom;
they are the classified ones.  They are the workers, and
what they have is jobs or school or welfare or jails.  At
the next level are those in charge of implementing
classification systems (of pasting the labels on people).
They are the professionals, and what they have are positions
(professors, lawyers, doctors, probation officers, social
workers).  At the very top is the small group of those who
make up the classification system.  They are the rulers, and
what they have are names.

As a teacher I am a professional classifier, like a lumber
grader; I spend most of my time putting labels on people.
The state pays me to do that, and students seek the services
of me and my colleagues in order to get stamped.  And most
of the students I teach have one important career ambition:
to move from the ranks of the classified into the ranks of
the implementers of classification systems (to move from a
job to a position).  That's exactly what Eichmann wanted.

Arendt wants us to see in the Eichmann story how
classification can produce evil, how it corrupts one's sense
of something much more important than any label-the human
being on whom you are pasting the label.  What, after all,
was the start of Eichmann's professional career and his
crime?  It was a classification process.  He early on made
his career by distinguishing between assimilationist Jews
and Zionists and, on the basis of this difference,
establishing for himself moral differences between two
groups of human beings.  Having made the initial
distinction, he now has at his disposal moral categories
"good Jews" and "bad Jews."  That is why he can express a
certain bewilderment at the way people see him an such an
enormous monster: had he not admired and been friendly with
many Jews?  It is perhaps a small step, perhaps even in the
context easy enough to understand.  But it reveals a method
of thinking (or of refusing to think) which leads to the
most horrible consequences.

That point underlines the importance Arendt gives to
stressing Eichmann's normality.  It was of considerable
importance to the Jewish people to portray Eichmann as a
monster.  And we all have a stake in that form of thinking
because it's so reassuring: only monsters are capable of
such horrific crimes.  But Arendt wants us to see clearly
that Eichmann was just like almost everyone else-like many
people in our own communities.  He became an active agent of
horror because, in the last analysis, he didn't think
clearly or feel intelligently.  He forgot his human moral
responsibility.  The classification system and, just as
important as that, everyone else's acceptance of it, made
the omission easy.

The power of the classification system as a basis for the
entire operation is no more terribly ironic than in all
those details about how the Jewish communities themselves
accepted the classification systems the Nazis imposed.  Once
again, one can appeal to the traditions of the country or to
the power of the Nazi machine in order to explain away the
complicity of the Jews in their own extermination.  But the
point Arendt wants us to see is that those factors are not
enough: the first step is the acceptance of the system which
separates neighbour from neighbour, which establishes that
some human beings are more valuable than others and that,
therefore, there should be different treatment, different
laws, different railway destinations.

That is the reason, among others, that Arendt can point out
that the usual system of dealing with murder-arraigning the
person who actually carried out the deed, is in this case of
state crime inoperable in the usual way, because: "in
general  the degree of responsibility increases as we draw
further from the man who uses the fatal instrument with his
own hand" (Arendt's italics, 247).  Those people far away
from the actual crime, by their individual decisions, set in
motion the classification system and therefore the very
thought process which, if it doesn't actually carry about
the murder, makes it possible, perhaps even inevitable.

Arendt pays tribute to those countries which successfully
resisted the implementation of the Nazi extermination
program: Denmark, Bulgaria, and Italy.  She makes it clear
how such successful resistance worked: the countries either
flatly refused to accept the classification system (like
Denmark) or they simply sabotaged it, making the
differentiation unworkable.  And once they did that, the
Nazi officials were, in effect, powerless.  More than that,
they began to question their uncritical allegiance to that
system of thinking.  What's important about these examples
is that the process of evil was stopped at its first
appearance-in the moral differentiation of people according
to certain defined groups.

We have talked a good deal in LBST 401 about classification
systems and the way they affect understanding.  Arendt sees
in the Eichmann story (both in his life and in his trial) an
object lesson of the dangers of classification systems in
politics.  As a Kantian she will admit no compromise with
the term "human community" or "human being" and she quite
rightly sees that attempts to subdivide can lead to the most
horrible crimes committed without a pause to reflect.

So one point she wants to stress is that we must beware of
such classification systems.  We must as individuals
recognize our responsibility to the human community.  When
she talks about the banality of evil at the end of her book,
and refers to the lack of imagination and the
thoughtlessness at the heart of Eichmann's "evil," what she
means, above all, is the inability to perceive this
responsibility or the ease with which people get seduced
from this awareness in pursuit of social goals like
promotion or approval.

One important corollary which she does not explicitly make
in her book, although many of her examples bring the point
out, is the banality of goodness.  That is, she provides
examples from many areas of a common refusal to accept the
classification system, of the refusal to treat human beings
as somehow less than oneself.  Here again, the key first
step, from which all the others flow, is the refusal to let
one's perceptions of others become perception of the Other,
the Different, the Person Officially Defined as Undesirable.
Not all such efforts were successful in large heroic terms,
but, and this is a key point for her, each one made an
important difference.  So in her narrative people like Anton
Schmidt and Georgi Dimitrov, otherwise unremarkable people,
emerge quite rightly as heroes.  And that is precisely the
reason why the high officials of the Vatican and many others
emerge as such contemptible villains.

Collective Guilt
And how do people get seduced by these classification
systems and their consequences?  Arendt makes clear that one
important feature which contributes to the seduction of the
individual's moral awareness is the compliance of everyone
else.  After the Wannasee Conference, where the Final
Solution was openly proposed, debated, and agreed to by the
cream of German civil service (a meeting which took only an
hour and a half), Eichmann correctly concluded that no one
opposed the idea.  Who was he to stand up to all these
superior types?  This is not a matter of obeying orders.
It's a matter of the moral climate of a professional

Arendt wants us to understand as clearly as possible the
consequences of a refusal to speak out or to walk away.  Qui
s'excuse, s'accuse.  The most damning sentence in the entire
book for me is one that probably most people pass over
without remarking anything special.  It is this (in a
discussion of the deportations of the Jews): "but the
population at large obviously could not have cared less."
Many of the Nazis themselves were understandably worried
about how their own population, which had actively protested
the mistreatment of the mentally deficient, would react to
the treatment of the Jews.  One of the most confident about
how the clergy, the universities, the medical profession,
and the educated middle class would endorse Nazi policy (or
at least not oppose it) was Adolf Hitler.  He was right.

For Arendt anything which tends to weaken this awareness of
our immediately moral and political responsibilities is
potentially a perversion of justice.  Let me cite one
particular example.  In the years of the Eichmann trial,
there was much talk of the collective guilt of the German
people.  I was a student at Heidelberg during the early
1960's immediately after the Eichmann trial, and I can
remember going to lectures in which die Schuldfrage was
endlessly debated.

Our professors, all of whom had been educated and started
their professional careers during the Nazi years, had much
to tell us about their difficulties.  And one could
sympathize with the very real difficulties they faced as
their classes filled up with students wearing swastikas.
Still, one wondered why they had not just turned their backs
and walked out the door the moment their Jewish colleagues
were sent packing or the day the state demanded a loyalty
oath.  Some would deflect the questions aimed at them
personally to talk of the collective guilt of the German

Arendt has nothing but contempt for those who would seek to
explain this phenomenon by some notion of collective German
guilt.  It may be all very well, she indicates, for young
Germans to stand up and talk about the collective guilt they
have inherited from their ancestors and so on.  To her this
is simply a cheap moral evasion, designed to relieve
particular feelings without challenging the moral
sensibility in a significant way.  There is no meaning to
collective guilt in that sense.

What Arendt means is that guilt is an individual matter.
There may indeed be many people in the community, including
our community, who deserve to feel very guilty about actions
from their own past.  But the concept that I share a guilt
for other people's actions, that is, for events in which I
was in no way involved, is false.  What I do have is not
guilt but a moral responsibility for justice.  That means
that I have a responsibility to the community to fight
wrongdoing or, at the least, not to perpetuate it, not to
beat my own breast for some notion of collective guilt.

This is a matter of the highest importance.  Arendt is
speaking, most pointedly, of Germany, where, amid all the
cries of collective guilt in the 1960's, there were many
very guilty individuals who were untouched by the judicial
process and, more importantly, who were allowed to go free
because there was no strong demand from the community for
their arraignment.  What point is there in agonized
expression of collective guilt combined with an abdication
of political responsibility for prosecuting those who are
publicly known to be guilty of terrible crimes?

     Those young German men and women who every once in a
     while-on the occasion of all the Diary of Anne Frank
     hubbub and of the Eichmann trial-treat us to hysterical
     outbreaks of guilt feelings are not staggering under
     the burden of the past, their fathers' guilt; rather,
     they are trying to escape from the pressure of very
     present and actual problems into a cheap
     sentimentality.  (251)

This is, incidentally, a lesson of particular importance to
us.  Today it is fashionable for those defending the
environment or the native people to invoke concepts of the
collective guilt of some group-the capitalists, our
ancestors, General Custer, and so on.  From Arendt's text we
should, I think, draw the important lesson, that such talk
is simply rhetorical posturing (except for those who really
do carry a moral guilt, and they should be voluntarily
delivering themselves up for judgement), especially when it
helps to conceal from us or enable us to evade our present
political responsibility to deal with present injustice.

In one respect, Arendt's treatment of Denmark, Italy, and
Bulgaria--the countries which resisted the Nazi
extermination program-is in some ways misleading (or at the
very least incomplete).  Because the real story there
(following Arendt's own priorities) is not that the Danes,
the Bulgarians, or the Italians were, as a group, better
than anyone else.  Arendt goes to great lengths to show that
that sort of thinking is very dangerous.  And I personally
doubt if collectively qualitative statements like that have
much meaning.  What happened in Denmark, Italy, and Bulgaria
is that particular individuals-particular Danes, Italians,
and Bulgarians-confronted with the usual requests from the
Nazi bureaucrats, decided that they would not go along.  It
is not a matter of cultural natures (although such
traditions may play an important part in individual
decisions); the key idea throughout Arendt is that the best
defence against totalitarian bureaucratic horror is
individual courage, example of moral responsibility which
inspire and which, as Arendt points out, can spread.  The
bureaucracy requires compliance; a rational bureaucracy bent
on state evil gets compliance only if most of the
individuals it needs to carry out the work resign their
moral responsibility.  There may be all sorts of reason why
people resign their responsibility and such acts of
resignation may indeed be common.  That does not make them
right; that does not make them just.

Let me add, by way of a conclusion to this first point, that
I am fully in agreement with Arendt.  And that is why I have
strong reservations about "official" multiculturalism and
the idea of an officially sanctioned mosaic.  Cultural
diversity and "official" multiculturalism may make an
attractive tree in the cultural garden of Eden, but the
snake in the garden is busy categorizing and classifying
differences, so that Adam and Eve may more quickly forget
that above and beyond diversity is a higher priority, the
universal demands of a common humanity.

And I would suggest that, in our discussions of this book,
we must be careful not to ourselves fall into this same
difficulty, by explaining away difficult questions by
reference to particular groups and their behaviour--the
Jews, Germans, Poles, Catholics, and so on.  Such
classification, in Arendt's argument, deflects attention
from the essential guardian of or threat to justice in the
community: the particular actions of human individuals.

The Importance of Precedent
Arendt's second important point, which arises directly from
her preoccupation with individual responsibilities to the
human community, is that the Eichmann trial failed properly
to recognize the complexity of the legal issues it was
dealing with.  The final chapters of the book may seem to
some readers like something of an anti-climax, for there
Arendt seems to be (from a cursory look) engaging in legal
nit-picking.  After all, if Eichmann was guilty and if the
court reached that decision and sentenced him accordingly,
then why quibble about the particular laws, jurisdictions,
precedents, and so on which made the process possible?  That
view is understandable enough, but it represents a failure
to appreciate why Arendt wants to explore the Eichmann trial
in the first place.

First, Arendt wants us to recognize that what happened in
Germany was not a crime against the Jews.  It was crime
against the human community.  The function of justice, she
points out, is not to avenge the victims; it is to protect
the human community.  To forget this (for whatever political
motive) is to make sure that we will be less able to deal
with such things again.  For if Eichmann's crime was only
against the Jews, then what stake do I have in it?  By an
extension of this logic, what legal stake or obligation do I
have concerning any repetition of the crime, if it does not
touch my community?

This, too, is a question of classification.  If Eichmann's
crime, however immense, is a crime against the Jews only
(one justification for setting the trial in Israel), then I,
as a non-Jew, have no particular stake in it.  After all, by
definition, he did not hurt me.  This form of thinking,
Arendt argues, is particularly injurious, especially in the
sorts of crimes exemplified by Eichmann.

Arendt goes to great lengths to argue that "genocide" is a
fundamentally new crime (new in the sense that for the first
time we are called upon to judge it in a court of law, not
new in the sense that it has never happened before).  What
makes it new is that it is a crime against the human
community in total, not against a particular smaller
compartment (like the Jews).  Israel's refusal to recognize
this point creates for Arendt an unfortunate example and
represents the loss of a precious opportunity.

It's unfortunate because it will happen again.  And we will
lack the measures for dealing with it.  For Arendt, the
great failure of the Eichmann trial (like the Nuremberg
Trials) is that they failed to strengthen International Law.
Why should this matter?  Arendt explains as follows:

     It is essentially for this reason: that the
     unprecedented, once it has appeared, may become a
     precedent for the future, that all trials touching upon
     "crimes against humanity" must be judged according to a
     standard that is today still an "ideal."  If genocide
     is an actual possibility of the future, then no people
     on earth--least of all, of course, the Jewish people,
     in Israel or elsewhere--can feel reasonably sure of its
     continued existence without the help and the protection
     of international law.  Success or failure in dealing
     with the hitherto unprecedented can lie only in the
     extent to which this dealing may serve as a valid
     precedent on the road to international penal law.

If, that is, we want justice in the full human community, we
must not, as happened in Jerusalem, serve the interests of
particular sections of that community, no matter how
sympathetic we might feel towards that section of the
community.  To the extent that the Nazi crimes were
committed against Jews, it was appropriate that the trial be
held in Jerusalem.  To the extent that the Nazi crimes were
committed against the human community, the refusal of the
Israeli authorities to move the trial out of Jerusalem or to
admit an International Tribunal into Jerusalem was a serious
mistake.  It may have served the political interests of the
Ben Gurion government, the deep need of the Jewish survivors
for a public hearing, for a formal justification, the
interests of many other countries (including Germany,
France, Argentina, Canada, and many others) which had shown
great reluctance to bring Nazi war criminals to account.
But it did not serve justice.