Photo of the Week

Paris-Update-EiffelTower

The Eiffel Tower seen from a rooftop in Montparnasse on a smoggy day. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

Women’s March on Paris
> The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, women will march in cities around the world. Starts at the Parvis des Droits Humains, Trocadero, at 2pm, crosses the Pont d’Iéna and ends at the Mur pour la Paix at 4:30pm.

Behind closed doors
> Book now to visit places in Paris that are normally closed during Paris Face Cachée, including a lab trying to find cures for genetic diseases, located in a glass building with a panoramic roof terrace. Various venues, Paris and suburbs, Jan. 27-29.

Book signing
> Irish author Donal Ryan signs copies of his latest book, The Thing About December. Irish Cultural Center, Paris, Jan. 19.

Late-Night Magritte
> The Magritte exhibition at the Centre Pompidou will stay open until 10pm from Jan. 19 through the last day, Jan. 23.

Drinkathon
> Paris Cocktail Week offers master classes, special restaurant menus with cocktail/food pairings and other festivities. Various venues, Paris, Jan. 21-28.

Young European photographers
> The Festival Circulation(s) features emerging photographers. Centquatre, Paris, Jan. 21-March 5.

Picasso at the airport
> The exhibition "Picasso Plein Soleil" presents works made by the master while living on the Côte d’Azur. Espace Musées, Charles-de-Gaulle Airport 2E, Jan. 21-June 15.

Cheap cinema
> During the Festival Cinéma Télérama, you can see a selection of last year’s best films for only €3.50 each with the purchase of Télérama magazine (Jan. 11 and 18 issues). Various cinemas, Jan. 18-24.

Free subtitled French films
> My French Film Festival offers frees streaming of French movies. Through Feb. 13.

Frank Capra Retrospective
> The great American director in the spotlight. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Feb. 27.

Sex, Lies and Corruption
> The Hollywood Décadent festival features such films as Joseph Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor, Valley of the Dolls, and Vincente Minnelli’s Nina. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Jan. 25.

Chinese New Wave
> Nouvelles Voix du Cinéma Chinois screens films by a new generation of directors beginning around the turn of the 21st-century. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Feb. 20.

Winter sales
> Retail sales all over France: through Feb. 21.

Ice-Skating Rinks
> Where to ice skate in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais.

English plays in French
> Two plays by Harold Pinter, Ashes to Ashes and L’Amant, directed by Mitch Hooper, are onstage at the Essaïon through Jan. 24, 2017.

 

Hot Topics - Exhibitions

 

Juger Eichmann

Juger Eichmann, Mémorial de la Shoah, paris

Adolf Eichmann blindfolded before being taken to Israel, photographed by Zvi Aharoni, the Mossad agent who found Eichmann in Argentina.

Fifty-one years ago, a team of Israeli agents captured a German citizen living under a false name in Argentina. The man pretending to be Ricardo Klement was the infamous ...

Juger Eichmann, Mémorial de la Shoah, paris

Adolf Eichmann blindfolded before being taken to Israel, photographed by Zvi Aharoni, the Mossad agent who found Eichmann in Argentina.

Fifty-one years ago, a team of Israeli agents captured a German citizen living under a false name in Argentina. The man pretending to be Ricardo Klement was the infamous Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, who played a major role in organizing the Holocaust. Eichmann’s trial, which took place in Jerusalem between April 11 and December 15, 1961, was almost entirely filmed and was one of the world’s first global events. The trial is now the subject of a rich, informative bilingual (French and English) exhibition at Paris’s Mémorial de la Shoah.

The aim of the exhibition, which begins with the display of front pages from some leading world newspapers following Eichmann’s arrest on May 11, 1960, is to show that Eichmann’s trial marked the emergence of efforts to remember the Shoah and of new forms of justice that would lead to international trials for genocide in Rwanda and Yugoslavia many years later.

Covering the preparation and management of the trial and the complex personality of Eichmann, the exhibition displays some noteworthy exhibits, including letters sent to then-Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion following Eichmann’s arrest. Some of them call for Eichmann to be tortured, while others threaten the Jews with retaliation if Eichmann is hurt. What is interesting is the vision and determination of Ben-Gurion, who wanted Eichmann’s trial to be not only about justice, but also about educating Israeli youth about the Shoah. Ben-Gurion wanted the event to inspire “memory work” that would show the entire world the unity of the Israeli people.

We also see such exhibits as a letter to German philosopher Karl Jaspers from German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported on the trial for The New Yorker and coined the phrase “the banality of evil” in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Arendt saw Eichmann as the archetypal “administrative criminal.”

The exhibition also focuses on Eichmann the man and, in particular, on the disparity between the man and his deeds. Eichmann was responsible for transporting millions of Jews from all over Europe to deaths camps in Poland, but some photos on display show us an ordinary man in slippers, writing his memoirs while waiting to be judged.

The exhibition ends with a room dedicated to the trial itself, where the visitor can watch excerpts on television screens. Some Jewish camp survivors’ testimonies are deeply moving, but it is Eichmann responses to the Israeli prosecutor’s questions that are most striking. He appears to be a calm, rather dull and methodical man, very much involved in his defense.

Eichmann’s defense went beyond the usual “I was just following orders” claim. We discover a man obsessed with leaving behind a positive image of himself, although he played a crucial part in one of the world’s most heinous crimes.

Because of the subject’s complexity, this is not an exhibition that can be skimmed through in half an hour. To fully understand the trial as well as the Israelis’ motives and Eichmann’s behavior takes a good two hours, but it is well worth it, given the quality of the work done by the curators.

The exhibition’s main value is that it puts the trial back into context and helps us understand why it was such a significant world event. For those who want to go beyond the exhibition, the Mémorial de la Shoah is holding a series of discussions and lectures about the trial in May and June.

Louis Fraysse

Mémorial de la Shoah: 17, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 75004 Paris. Métro: St Paul or Pont-Marie. Tel.: 01 42 77 44 72. Open Sunday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Thursday 10am-10pm. Admission: free. Through September 28. www.memorialdelashoah.org

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