"Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family, and my friends. I am ready. We'll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men. I die believing in God." (Adolf Eichmann's last words)
"He would leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction." A subordinate on trial at Nuremberg paraphrased a boast of SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Otto Adolf Eichmann with these words, summarizing the mood and character of Adolf Hitler's most notorious lieutenant for all posterity. A serial killer in earth-gray uniform and polished jackboots, Eichmann found an unprecedented opportunity for unleashing his homicidal impulses during the Final Solution from 1942-1945, at the height of the Nazi Third Reich's rule in Germany.
Historians once portrayed Eichmann mostly as a colorless, unimaginative bureaucrat who carried out the Holocaust simply because he lacked the imagination to reject the crime. Essentially banal, this version of Eichmann turned him into a compliant functionary who handled the ghastly matter of collecting, transporting, and murdering millions of people with the same bland methodical means that other administrators applied to supplying the Wehrmacht with bread rations or new boots.
However, a closer examination of historical documents by other historians such as Bettina Stangneth led to a recent reevaluation of Eichmann.
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