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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Behind Flurry of Killing, Potency of Hate

The New York Times
Published: October 12, 2013

Here are some excerpts:

“What you’re seeing in that moment,” he said in an interview last week, “is not a human being.”

It is dangerous to assume that it takes a monster to commit a monstrosity, said Herbert Kelman, professor emeritus of social ethics at Harvard.

“We are all capable of such things,” said Mr. Kelman, 86, whose family fled Vienna under the Nazis in 1939. “It doesn’t excuse anything, it doesn’t justify anything and it is by no means a full explanation. But it’s something that is worth remembering: We are dealing in a sense with human behavior responding to certain circumstances.”

Overcoming a deep-seated proscription against killing is not easy. In his book “Ordinary Men,” Christopher R. Browning described how a German police battalion staffed with fathers, businessmen and plumbers struggled as they executed thousands of Jews in Poland.

The entire story is here.
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