NEW YORK (Aug. 26)
A survey of editorial comment on the Eichmann trial in some 2,000 American newspapers, made public today by the American Jewish Committee, shows that the press of this country almost unanimously saw the trial as a warning against all forms of prejudice and the continuing threat of totalitarianism to democracy. However, only a minority touched on the underlying causes of nazism and the world’s failure to prevent the announced intention of annihilating the Jews of Europe.
The American Protestant and Catholic press, similarly surveyed, viewed Eichmann as an example of man’s abdication of his responsibility to God. While bigotry and discrimination were vigorously condemned, anti-Semitism was usually equated with racism in general rather than examined as a prejudice with a unique history which, among other causes, includes religious roots.
Following the trial the vast majority–about seven of every eight papers which discussed the subject–found that the proceedings had been conducted with “impressive dignity,” “remarkable restraint” and “scrupulous fairness.” Repeatedly, Israel was commended for avoiding sensationalism and appeals to hate. Apparently, the study asserted, the proceedings themselves dispelled most of the early suspicions that Israel’s main objective was to seek revenge.