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Frage:
Schreibtischmörder  
von Korax, 2015-06-16, 11:16  like dislike  Spam?  109.90.19...
Gemeint sind Personen wie Adolf Eichmann und Josef Stalin.
Antwort: 
often gets translated literally  #805014
von Lisa4dict loggedout, 2015-06-16, 11:47  like dislike  Spam?  99.11.162....
Google
Particularly when used in reference to Eichmann, because of a book using that designation. Can't say I've seen it used to describe non-Germans.
Antwort: 
von Lucie (DE), 2015-06-16, 11:47  like dislike  Spam?  
 #805015
white-collar murderer
Antwort: 
desk murderer  #805018
von 3mmm (DE), 2015-06-16, 11:57  like dislike  Spam?  
Politics, Philosophy, Terror: Essays on the Thought of ...
https://books.google.de/books?isbn=1400823161 - Diese Seite übersetzen
Dana Villa - 1999 - ‎Philosophy
But Arendt cannot be faulted, as Goldhagen charges, for presenting Eichmann, the “desk murderer,” as the archetypal perpetrator. That so many, including ...
Antwort: 
Agree with Lisa.   #805020
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2015-06-16, 12:39  like dislike  Spam?  
I think the literally translated term "desk murderer" is the most appropriate term when referring to Eichmann and people who committed similar crimes. It implies knowingly sending people to their death or being instrumental in doing so, but not committing murder in the legal sense.
For any invented term like "white-collar murderer" to work, it would have to be clearly explained by the context. Standing on its own, it could incorrectly suggest a white-collar employee who killed someone. With Eichmann and Stalin, "white collar" is a stretch and just doesn't seem to fit those evildoers. Perhaps it's because of "white-collar crime," which implies crimes involving deceit, not physical violence or death. But I think it's more because we have a difficult time seeing people like E. or S. as "employees of a certain standing."
Antwort: 
White-collar murderer  #805023
von Catesse (AU), 2015-06-16, 12:29  like dislike  Spam?  
I tried this out, but it does not seem to fit, as it can be applied when no actual physical death occurs.
Antwort: 
von Sasso, 2015-06-16, 14:21  like dislike  Spam?  78.41.149....
 #805044
Antwort: 
Sceptical view of desk murderer http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/157603-desk-murderer  #805051
von Proteus-, 2015-06-16, 14:27  like dislike  Spam?  194.118.236...
Antwort: 
A fitting trans would seem to be bureaucratic murderer  #805053
von Proteus-, 2015-06-16, 14:31  like dislike  Spam?  194.118.236...
Antwort: 
Cf. assassin bureaucratique  #805054
von Proteus-, 2015-06-16, 14:34  like dislike  Spam?  194.118.236...
Antwort: 
von callixte (US), Last modified: 2015-06-16, 17:07  like dislike  Spam?  
 #805079
A race car driver drives race cars.
An elevator operator operates elevators.
A fruit picker picks fruit.
A desk murderer murders ...desks!?!

I agree with Proteus.     By my lights "bureaucratic murderer"   is swell translation.  I would sooner leave the word schreibtischmörder untranslated than utter something as ungainly as "desk murderer."  Or, perhaps, murderer by fiat.
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2015-06-16, 20:08  like dislike  Spam?  
 #805126
"Murderer" has issues in my view because the bureaucrat doesn't murder anyone in the legal sense. So whoever applies that term to a bureaucrat who sends others to their death either doesn't know the law (very unlikely) or is using "murderer" figuratively for effect. But as a literal translation of the German word Schreibtischmörder and especially embedded in a German context, I think "murderer" is appropriate.
Antwort: 
We have "murder by fiat"   #805186
von Lisa4dict (US), 2015-06-17, 09:22  like dislike  Spam?  
and that does come up with Stalin.  But there's no "murderer by fiat" in English.  Maybe you can rephrase and not use a noun.

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