Mulisch modestly called his book on case 40/61 a report, and it is
certainly that, as he gives firsthand accounts of the trial and its key
players and scenes (the defendant's face strangely asymmetric and
riddled by tics, his speech absurdly baroque). Eichmann's character
comes out in his incessant bureaucratizing and calculating, as well as
in his grandiose visions of himself as a Pontius Pilate-like innocent.
As Mulisch intersperses his dispatches from Jerusalem with meditative
accounts of a divided and ruined Berlin, an eerily rebuilt Warsaw, and a
visit to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial
of Adolf Eichmann becomes as a disturbing and highly personal essay on
the Nazi extermination of European Jews and on the human capacity to
commit evil ever more efficiently in an age of technological
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