The Jewish Philosopher Who Tried to Convince Israel Not to Try Eichmann

Letters from Isaiah Berlin, preserved in Israel's State Archive, appear in a newly published book about his life and work.

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
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Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

On July 27, 1960, legendary Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, who, at the time, was director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, received a letter from the renowned British-Jewish philosopher, Prof. Isaiah Berlin. In the letter, which opens with “Dear Teddy,” Berlin wrote, “I see that there is no avoiding a trial. What is its political purpose? To remind the world about the slaughter?” He was referring to the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, which would open in Jerusalem the following year.

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