The case of Adolf Eichmann and industrial education
I can say without hesitation that A Little History of Philosophy is the best introductory philosophy book I’ve ever read.
The author of the book, Nigel Warburton, has managed to explain the most important ideas of the history of philosophy in an enjoyable and immersive way, without using an esoteric jargon that is hardly understandable for a lay reader.
35th chapter of the book describes a case that I find very striking to highlight the industrial mindset: The man who does not ask questions!
Adolf Eichmann was a high-ranking bureaucrat in charge of European railways during the Hitler era.
Due to Eichmann’s meticulous work and oversight, all train routes in Europe at that time worked like a clockwork, so that hundreds of thousands of Jews and other “lower races” collected from all over Europe could be transported to concentration camps in Eastern Europe without serious technical problems.
You know the rest of the story: Most of the prisoners, including many women and children, brought to the concentration camps in crowded cattle wagons were murdered with poison gas in special shower rooms. Some of these prisoners were used as guinea pigs in the most perverse medical experiments. Only a very small minority of the captives could survive these hideous concentration camps. These few survivors were in an extremely miserable condition when they were finally rescued at the end of the Second World War.
Eichmann, who, like many post-war Nazis, fled to Argentina after the war, was captured by the Israeli secret police Mossad in Buenos Aires in 1960, and brought to Israel to stand trial.
The philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-75) dealed personally with the Eichmann case. What kind of a maniac, pervert and sadistic person should he be to have brought hundreds of thousands of people to torture and death without blinking an eye?Continue reading