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    desk murderer???

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


    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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    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.


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