Well, not literally, of course, given that he was hanged by the neck in 1962, but perhaps in the 'literary' sense now that a second major book has been published which takes on Hannah Arendt's famous Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963). Her challenger is Bettina Stangneth, a philosopher based in Germany, and her recently published book Eichman Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer.
I should make clear that not only have I not read either book, I have absolutely no intention of ever doing so. Both have been praised for their scholorship, even if they reach different conclusions, and there can be no doubt as to their historical importance. However, call me 'Mr. Wimpy' but there are just some subjects which I simply cannot stomach.
Arendt's summation of Eichmann's industrial scale slaughter as "the banality of evil" offers a seductive description of an otherwise inexplicable life to those of us who have never 'been up front and personal' with evil on such a monstrous scale. Yes, we can comfort ourselves by saying, he was just another pen-pusher, a jumped-up clerk with no imagination and therefore incapable of sensing the ocean of blood through which he was wading.
But Ms. Stangneth will, apparently, have none of it. Not only did Eichmann know full well what he was doing, he was an enthusiastic and tireless advocate for even greater efforts to exterminate the Jews of Europe once and for all. Apparently, some of her material came from recorded interviews that took place post-war in Argentina between Eichmann, who had taken refuge there, and a Dutch pro-Nazi contemporary of his called Willem Sassen.
Marc Parry has written a particularly interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education which, amongst other things, explores the traumas suffered by Sassen's daughter as she grew up and discovered her father's hidden life and associations.