Few works on the Shoah have elicited as much controversial discussion and few have attracted as much attention as Hannah Arendt’s (1963) Eichmann in Jerusalem. Discussion of Hannah Arendt’s trial report on the "banality of evil" was so intense that it became a kind of icon in the discourse about collective violence and genocide. The concept of the banality of evil now constitutes a career in itself, both in the sphere of public opinion and in academic disciplines. Any attempt at studying human behavior under the rubric of this term will be fraught with the problem of indifference. Through contributions from social psychology, this paper reviews the traditional way of understanding indifference and finds new perspectives of analysis to explain the phenomenon of indifference in situations of collective atrocity.
Keywords: Indifference, banality of evil, violence, empathy, apathy