10/25 EVENT | “The Hangman”: On Adolf Eichmann’s Executioner — Screening & Conversation with Director Netalie Braun
Monday, October 25, 2021, 7:00 pm PDT - 9:00 pm PDT
Following a screening of the 60-minute documentary, director Netalie Braun discussed “The Hangman” with faculty member and Benaroya Fellow in Israel Studies Smadar Ben-Natan.
*Stream “The Hangman” documentary any time as a $5 rental through Movie Discovery, a distributor of Israeli & other international films.*
About the event
The 2010 documentary “The Hangman” (“Hatalyan“) profiles Shalom Nagar, the Yemenite Jew who guarded, and eventually executed, Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. In spite of Eichmann’s role as a key organizer of the Holocaust, Nagar didn’t wish to execute him.
The film reflects on the assignment of the executioner role to Nagar as illuminating the position of Mizrahi Jews in Holocaust memory in Israel. Nagar’s reflections on this experience, and on the meaning of capital punishment even in the face of unforgivable acts, raises pressing questions about crime and punishment in our time.
Articles and essays related to the topic, compiled by faculty member Smadar Ben-Natan, are available below.
Further reading related to the documentary
Curated by Smadar Ben-Natan, 2021-22 Benaroya Fellow in Israel Studies
During & following the Eichmann trial
- “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil” by Hannah Arendt; view online study guide for the book
- “Buber Calls Eichmann Execution ‘Great Mistake’” by Lawrence Fellows, The New York Times (1962)
Articles for a general audience
- “Who Opposed Adolf Eichmann’s Execution?” by Amit Naor, The Librarians, National Library of Israel
- “‘I Don’t Know If This Letter Will Reach You’: The Letters Of Hannah Arendt And Gershom Scholem” by Nathan Goldman, Los Angeles Review of Books
- “Theaters of Justice: Arendt in Jerusalem, the Eichmann Trial, and the Redefinition of Legal Meaning in the Wake of the Holocaust” by Shoshana Feldman
- “The Eichmann Trial – Toward a Jurisprudence of Eyewitness Testimonies of Atrocity?” by Leora Bilsky
- “Hangman’s Perspective: Three Genres of Critique Following Eichmann” by Itamar Mann, available as PDF or video lecture
- “Transformative Justice: Israeli Identity on Trial” by Leora Bilsky (University of Michigan Press, 2004)
About the participants
Netalie Braun is a writer, director and producer of documentary and fiction films, and has won the Israeli Academy Award for best documentary. She currently teaches at the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television in Tel Aviv University, and was previously the artistic director of the International Women’s Film Festival in Israel. She has a B.A. in literature and philosophy and an M.A. in film studies from Tel Aviv University. Her films include “Hope I’m in the Frame,” “The Hangman” & “Vow.”
Smadar Ben-Natan is the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies’ 2020-2022 Benaroya Fellow in Israel Studies. She is a longtime Israeli human rights lawyer who completed her Ph.D. in the Buchmann Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University. She specializes in law & society and international law, with a particular focus on the intersection of criminal justice, national security and human rights. She holds a master’s in international human rights law, with distinction, from the University of Oxford (2011), and an LLB from Tel Aviv University (1995).