The Power of Literature: Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed and Eichmann in Jerusalem

1. Introduction

The world of literature is full of great works that can be used to evaluate one’s life, their role in the world, and the principles that are important for self-improvement. In this essay, I will analyze two such works: Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed by Philip Hallie, and Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem. I will first provide a summary of each work, followed by my analysis. Finally, I will discuss the impact that each work had on me personally.

2. Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed by Philip Hallie

-A. Summary

Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed is a book about the French Resistance movement during World War II. The author, Philip Hallie, was a member of the Resistance himself. The book tells the story of how the French Resistance fought against the Nazi occupation of France. It also discusses the moral principles that guided the Resistance fighters, and how they managed to maintain their humanity despite the atrocities they witnessed.

-B. Analysis

One of the things that I found most interesting about this book was the discussion of the moral principles that guided the Resistance fighters. These principles included a commitment to nonviolence, even in the face of violence from the enemy; a belief in the worth of every human life; and a determination to fight for justice, even when it seemed hopeless. I was also struck by the fact that these principles were not simply abstract ideas; they were put into practice by ordinary people who were facing extraordinary circumstances. This gave me a greater appreciation for the power of morality, and for the importance of holding fast to one’s principles in times of difficulty.

-C. Impact on the reader

This book had a profound impact on me personally. Reading about the heroism of the French Resistance fighters made me realize that ordinary people are capable of great things when they are motivated by strong principles. This realization has inspired me to try to live up to their example in my own life.

3. Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem

-A. Summary

Eichmann in Jerusalem is a book about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The author, Hannah Arendt, was a German Jew who fled to America before World War II. The book is based on Arendt’s experience as a reporter at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the key architects of Nazi genocide. The book explores how ordinary people can become complicit in atrocity, and how justice can be served in cases where there is no clear perpetrator or victim.

-B. Analysis

One of the things that I found most interesting about this book was Arendt’s discussion of “the banality of evil.” This concept refers to the idea that evil can be perpetrated by ordinary people who are simply following orders, or who are swept up in groupthink. I was struck by Arendt’s argument that evil is not necessarily something that is done with malice or intention; it can also be something that arises out of thoughtlessness or apathy. This made me realize that it is important to be aware of my own motivations and actions, in order to avoid perpetrating evil myself.

-C Personal impact

This book had a personal impact on me in two ways. First, it made me more aware of the dangers of complacency and apathy. Second, it showed me the importance of speaking out against injustice, even when it seems like there is no hope. This book has inspired me to be more vigilant in my own life, and to try to make a difference in the world.


Philip Hallie was inspired to write Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed after witnessing a lot of violence in his lifetime, both as a child growing up in France during World War II and as an adult working with victims of violence. He wanted to explore the idea of nonviolence and how it could be used to create a more peaceful world.

The book explores the idea of nonviolence by looking at different examples of violence throughout history and discussing how nonviolence can be used to oppose violence. It also includes personal stories from Philip Hallie's own life and how he has witnessed violence firsthand.

Some specific examples of violence that are discussed in the book include war, genocide, domestic abuse, and bullying.

In relation to violence, Hallie discusses the role of bystanders and how they can often play a key role in either stopping or preventing violence from happening.

Throughout the book, Philip Hallie shares personal experiences that he has had with violence in his life, both as a child growing up during World War II and as an adult working with victims of violence.

Reading Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed has affected my understanding of violence by giving me a better understanding of its causes and effects. It has also made me more aware of my own personal beliefs about violence and how I can play a role in creating a more peaceful world.

Based on what I have learned from reading this book, I feel that I can play a role in creating a more peaceful world by being more mindful of the ways in which violence can occur and by working to create nonviolent solutions to conflict.