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60 Alb. L. Rev. 801 (1996-1997)
Didactic and Dissident Histories in War Crimes Trials

handle is hein.journals/albany60 and id is 817 raw text is: DIDACTIC AND DISSIDENT HISTORIES
IN WAR CRIMES TRIALS
Gerry J. Simpson*
All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell
a story about them. The story reveals the meaning of what
otherwise would remain an unbearable sequence of sheer
happenings .... All her stories are actually Anecdotes of
Destiny, they tell again and again how at the end we shall
be privileged to judge ....'
I had dreamed, we had always dreamed, of something like
this, in the nights at Auschwitz: of speaking and not being
listened to, of finding liberty and remaining alone. After a
while I remained alone with the lawyer; a few minutes later
he also left me, urbanely excusing himself.2
I. INTRODUCTION
During the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1960, Hannah
Arendt's moral certainty about both the defendant's unsurpassable
evil and the rectitude of the trial itself gave way to a debilitating
array of jurisprudential doubts, ethical quandaries and emotional
* Senior Lecturer & Academic Director (Graduate Program), Australian National University.
Doctoral Candidate, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor. An extended and modified
version of this Article will appear as Gerry J. Simpson, War Crimes: A Critical Introduction,
in WAR CRIMES: INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL APPROACHES 1 (Timothy L.H. McCormack &
Gerry J. Simpson eds., 1997). An early version was presented at the American Society of
International Law Regional Meeting in Lansing, Michigan at the United Nations 50th
Anniversary Conference held at the Michigan State University on March 25, 1995. The author
would like to thank the University of Melbourne's Special Studies Program for generously
funding the sabbatical during which some of this research was completed. I am grateful to
Jordan Paust who directed me towards a number of useful sources in the area of war crimes.
This Article was written in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan where Vladimir Djeric and
Christian Tietje contributed to my thinking in many illuminating discussions. Thanks, also,
to Kimberley Reid, whose 1992 Honors thesis submitted at the University of Melbourne Law
School influenced both my thinking and my reading on some of these issues.
1 HANNAH ARENDT, Isak Dinesen, in MEN IN DARK TIMES 104-05 (1968).
2 PRIMO LEVI, IF THIS IS A MAN AND THE TRUCE 227 (Stuart Woolf trans., Sphere Books
1987) (1979).

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