Changing the lens on survivor testimony: topic modeling the Eichmann trial

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While the Eichmann trial has been widely studied for its pivotal role in shaping the collective memory of the Holocaust, it was mostly ignored as a legal event. I argue that this legal blindness is a result of the overwhelming presence of survivor testimony introduced in the trial, which poses a challenge to the critical appreciation of the trial's impact. I develop a computational model that enables a scaled reading of the entire corpus of the Eichmann trial and an analytical listening to the trial's multitude of voices – survivors, the accused and the court. The scaled model, shows that, contrary to the accepted view of this trial, the court's main concern was the legal investigation of the defendant and his actions and the legal procedures. Moreover, it shows how the court ultimately employed the language of the accused in its final verdict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-435
Number of pages24
JournalJewish Studies Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Eichmann trial, Jerusalem, 1961
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives
  • Text data mining


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