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June 07, 1996 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-06-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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1

MR. ALAN'S ERSAVER
a WEEK
COUPON a

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DRESS, BUSINESS, & CASUAL SHE

t

CLUE page 3

liked Kennedy and was im-
pressed by Rockefeller. It wasn't
that she approved his views, Dr.
Vecchiarelli Scott explained. "She
was just a sucker for statesmen."
She loathed Nixon. "He tried
to be an ordinary guy, and she
thought that was absolutely con-
temptible in a man who wanted
to be the leader of a great nation."
Arendt was born and raised in
Germany. Among her professors
there was Martin Heidegger.

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have been the type of man who
was kind to animals and took
good care of his family even as he
was helping mastermind, and
put into action, the murder of
millions of Jews. He was a man
who had ceased to understand
morality or consider the good or
evil of his actions, she said. He
was, in many ways, simply some-
one who functioned while "car-
rying out orders." If he behaved
properly, he would be promoted

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Dr. Vecchiarelli
Born in 1889 in the
and get a raise; if he did
.Scott found a
Black Forest, Heidegger
not, he would get
was a dark philosopher, manuscript key in nowhere.
understanding
a man who insisted that
Arendt also took to
Arendt's works.
"God is no longer a liv-
task European Jewish
ing God" and was ob-
leaders she said had
sessed with finding the true "failed" Jewry during the Holo-
"being." The problems of the caust. She argued that those who
world had nothing to do with sex did not resist persecution were
(as Freud might argue) or eco- partly responsible for their own
nomic issues (as Marx would in- destruction.
sist), but with man's alienation
Dr. Vecchiarelli Scott still
from himself, he said. He wrote hears about that book. "She was
frequently of death.
a great woman," people will tell
After Hitler came to power, her. "But how could she have said
Arendt went first to France, what she did?"
where she worked for Youth
Arendt also heard about it,
Aliyah and various Zionist orga- endlessly, before her death in
nizations, and later to the Unit-
1975. In the Library of Congress
ed States. For a time she was boxes, Dr. Vecchiarelli Scott
editor at Schocken Books, where found numerous letters ad-
she was the first person to trans- dressed to Arendt. Many came
late Kafka into English, then after the publication of Eich-
. worked as a professor at the Uni- mann in Jerusalem.
versity of Chicago and the New
"There were boxes and boxes
School for Social Research in of letters, including some that
New York.
contained death threats," Dr.
In her writings, Arendt dealt Vecchiarelli Scott said. "Some
with issues of freedom and con- were scrawled with 'Die Jew
science and responsibility and liv- Hater."
ing amidst immorality. She
No wonder, then, that Arendt
opposed both communism and never got around to publishing
totalitarianism.
her dissertation, though she had
She was the author of a num- a contract to do so in the 1960s.
ber of books, probably none so in-
When Dr. Vecchiarelli Scott
fluential, nor controversial, as came across the "Love and Saint
Eichmann in Jerusalem, which Augustine" manuscript, she re-
began as a series of articles
alized immediately that she had
Arendt wrote while covering the found a treasure. "It had a great
trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eich- deal to say about moral judge-
mann for the New Yorker.
ment, and about being in the
In her book, Arendt com- world while not being trapped in
mented .on "the banality of evil." it at the same time."
She noted that Eichmann was
The first question, though, was
not, in person, the embodiment how to make sense of it all. In ad-
of malevolence. He did not ap- dition to the original text, Arendt
pear sinister; he bore no horns.
had made revisions; her creative,
She said that Eichmann could CLUE page 22

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