desk murderer

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


desk murderer (plural desk murderers)

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


  • German: Schreibtischtäter (calque)

See also[edit]

Further reading[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.”