This introductory chapter provides an overview of the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, which was an especially important event for a number of reasons. First, it was televised and presented as a major news story in the United States. Second, the trial shed an entirely new light on a dimension of World War II that many insist had been ignored, misnamed, or downplayed at Nuremberg: that Hitler's war had been driven by a dangerous anti-Semitism and waged in large measure against the Jews of Europe for whom a “Final Solution” had been imagined and partially implemented. Finally, the Eichmann trial is especially important because it begins to organize the Holocaust in large measure as people know and understand it today—as a discrete and coherent event with a distinct narrative structure and set of moral incitements.
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