Banality of Evil

To what extent (if any) do you think Arendt’s “banality of evil” thesis explain Eichmann’s role in the Holocaust or how he came to be a perpetrator of mass murder and crimes against humanity?

To what extent (if any) does Arendt’s “banality of evil” thesis explain the complicity and cooperation of ordinary people in and out of Germany with Nazi mass murder and crimes against humanity?

To what extent (if any) does Arendt’s “banality of evil” thesis explain the behavior of victims and especially the leaders of victim communities?

Does the banality of evil seem like a helpful theoretical construct to explain how Stengl become a perpetrator of mass murder and crimes against humanity?

To what extent would you say Stengl’s wife was complicitous in Nazi criminality?

Is the argument for the banality of evil strengthened or weakened by what we know about the behavior of the Catholic and Protestant Churches?

How did Höss become a perpetrator of mass murder and crimes against humanity? Does the banality of evil seem like a helpful theoretical construct?

In what way(s) do Höss’ profiles of the SS reinforce or challenge the utility of banality of evil as a theoretical construct to help explain mass murder and crimes against humanity? How do you make sense of the behavior of these people?

How would you characterize Höss’ family relations? Do they reinforce or weaken the argument for banality of evil as a theoretical framework for understanding crimes against humanity?