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    #1

    desk murderer???

    Hi
    Please someone explain me about "desk murderer".
    Is it means one who administerd murder not practically kill someone?

    Thanks.


    Stangeth continues by informing the interviewer that Eichmann was not a “desk murderer” (Schreibtischmörder), but that he knew from day one what was happening and that at the IMT his name was well known

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: desk murderer???

    I don't know what Schreibtischmörder means. If you said 'desk murderer' in English, a meaning would probably be conveyed, but you wouldn't be in control of a range of possible meanings including various mixtures of knowing about murders and doing the administative work that leads to them (your word 'adminstering' doesn't really work here - when you 'administer' something - say, cough medicine - you open the bottle and pour out a spoonful). The two extremes are:

    • Signing a number of requisitions for 'processing', but having no idea what the processing entailed
    • Ordering people to go and carry out murders

    But in between those two polar positions there are various degrees of suspecting.

    Because your text says Eichmann wasn't a Schreibtischmörder but knew from the start what he was doing, I imagine that Schreibtischmörder is more like the first sort - the sort that has no idea what's going on. But the English 'desk murderer' doesn't make that distinction (although it allows it). At first glance I thought that a 'desk murderer' was someone like Al Capone - who just didn't get his hands dirty.

    It's tempting with Germanic composite words like this, to stick with an element-by-element translation - but that doesn't always give you a safe translation.

    b

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