Advertisement

Britain and the Eichmann Trial: An Unexamined Aspect in ‘Bystander’ Studies

  • Joseph SneeEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Holocaust and its Contexts book series (HOLC)

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the British response to the Holocaust, by drawing on Foreign Office documents from the time of the Eichmann trial. These documents contain internal discussions by Foreign Office officials of Britain’s wartime records, and therefore constitute a unique and important perspective on this matter. Contrary to the more polarized scholarship on this question, it will be argued here that these sources show that during the Second World War, Britain’s response to the persecution of the Jews was deeply ambivalent. In responding to various proposals to save European Jews, the British government was motivated not by humanitarianism, but considerations of self-interest, international reputation, and political realism. This was to an extent that the Foreign Office even chose to avoid defending this response when the proceedings of the Eichmann trial brought it to public attention.

References

Archival Sources

  1. The National Archives, UK.Google Scholar
  2. FO 371/151272, Arrest of Adolf Eichmann on charges of war crimes.Google Scholar
  3. FO 371/159104, Trial of Adolf Eichmann: preliminaries.Google Scholar
  4. FO 371/157812, Trial of Adolf Eichmann.Google Scholar
  5. FO 371/157813, Trial of Adolf Eichmann.Google Scholar
  6. FO 371/157814, Trial of Adolf Eichmann.Google Scholar
  7. FO 371/164372, Trial and execution of Adolf Eichmann.Google Scholar
  8. Published Primary Sources

    1. The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Record of Proceedings, Volume III. Jerusalem: State of Israel Ministry of Justice, 1993.Google Scholar

    Newspapers and Periodicals

    1. American Jewish Year Book.Google Scholar
    2. AJR Information.Google Scholar
    3. Daily Mail.Google Scholar
    4. The Guardian.Google Scholar
    5. The New York Times.Google Scholar
    6. The Sunday Telegraph.Google Scholar
    7. The Times.Google Scholar

    Secondary Sources

    1. Bauer, Yehuda. “Conclusion: The Holocaust in Hungary: Was Rescue Possible?” In Genocide and Rescue: The Holocaust in Hungary 1944, edited by David Cesarani, 193–210. Oxford: Berg, 1997.Google Scholar
    2. Cesarani, David. Eichmann: His Life and Crimes. London: Vintage, 2005.Google Scholar
    3. Cesarani, David. “Great Britain.” In The World Reacts to the Holocaust, edited by David S. Wyman, 599–641. London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
    4. Cesarani, David and Sundquist, Eric J, eds. After the Holocaust: Challenging the Myth of Silence. London; New York: Routledge, 2012.Google Scholar
    5. Gollancz, Victor. The Case of Adolf Eichmann. London: Gollancz, 1961.Google Scholar
    6. Kushner, Tony. The Holocaust and the Liberal Imagination: A Social and Cultural History. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.Google Scholar
    7. Kushner, Tony. “Britain, the United States and the Holocaust: In Search of a Historiography.” In The Historiography of the Holocaust, edited by Dan Stone, 253–275. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    8. Kushner, Tony. “The Meaning of Auschwitz: Anglo-American Responses to the Hungarian Jewish Tragedy.” In Genocide and Rescue: The Holocaust in Hungary 1944, edited by David Cesarani, 159–178. Oxford: Berg, 1997.Google Scholar
    9. Poliakov, Leon. Harvest of hate: The Nazi Program for the Destruction of the Jews of Europe. London: Bestseller Library, 1960.Google Scholar
    10. Rubinstein, William D. The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis. London; New York: Routledge, 1997.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK

Personalised recommendations