desk murderer

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Used by Gideon Hausner to describe Adolf Eichmann, but often attributed to Hannah Arendt.[1]

Noun[edit]

desk murderer (plural desk murderers)

  1. A bureaucrat, etc. who indirectly assists in genocide or other killing by performing clerical tasks.
    Synonym: desk killer

Descendants[edit]

  • German: Schreibtischtäter (calque)

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anne Conover Heller (2015) Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, →ISBN, page 10: “[Adolf Eichmann] was a twentieth century “desk murderer,” brutal and satanic, according to [Gideon] Hausner, who coined the term that was afterward wrongly attributed to [Hannah] Arendt.”