THE RECORD by Lord Russell of Liverpool


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Lord Russell spent much of the postwar period as Deputy Judge Advocate of the British Army of the Rhine, serving as legal adviser to the Commander-in-Chief for all trials of German war criminals by British military courts. His Scourge of the Swastika, published in 1954, occasioned uproarious controversy among the security-minded in England, whereupon he resigned the government post he held at the time. Now he has turned to what is probably the last major chapter of Nazi history, the trial of Adolf Eichmann. It will be a long time before a full transcript of the trial becomes available in the English language. When complete, it will be bulky, complex, and tortuous to study because of the bombastic nature of Eichmann's responses to even the simplest questions. The journalistic media of the world recorded the drama from the courtroom, and that reportage has become part of the archives. Lord Russell's treatment is therefore oriented in another direction. Coldly, impersonally, from a platform of objectivity tilted only slightly by his own passions as a member of the human race, he has extracted the vital elements of the trial proper, fitted them neatly into a strongbox made of the determination of Eichmann's captors, and wrapped the result in a firmly-stitched patchwork of world opinion. A summary of the indictment, the legal arguments concerning jurisdiction, and some reflections on the nature of the law under which Eichmann was tried, round out The Record according to which posterity may evaluate the career of a living being who turned his back on the meaning of life.

Publisher: Knopf