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Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a German-born Jewish American political theorist and is best known for her writings on totalitarianism.

After completing her PhD in Germany, Hannah Arendt fled the Nazi regime in 1933. She spent time in France before immigrating to the US in 1941. She would later become a US citizen. After the war, she pondered the regimes of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin in her widely acclaimed work "The Origins of Totalitarianism" (1951). "The Human Condition" followed in 1958, in which Arendt drew on parallels from Ancient Greece to examine modern social constructs. In 1963, she wrote "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil" based on the journalistic reporting she had done on the Nazi crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann. Coining the phrase "banality of evil," Arendt contemplated the tendency of ordinary people to obey the kind of orders that resulted in the Holocaust. Hannah Arendt's life was made the subject of a film by Margarthe von Trotta. The Hannah Arendt Prize, given by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, was named for her.