Books January 2018
The killers among us
A review of Perpetrators: The World of the Holocaust Killers by Guenter Lewy.
Do we need more studies of the Holocaust? It is difficult to avoid the question as one considers this volume. The literature on the subject is enormous and still growing, as the impressive thirty-one–page bibliography of this study also indicates. Clearly, historians, philosophers, and social scientists have refused to agree with the sentiment often expressed that the unique horror of the Holocaust is basically incomprehensible. The subject continues to stimulate morbid fascination and renewed efforts to understand it. These studies have been inspired by the hope that they will not only lead to deeper understanding but could also contribute to preventing the recurrence of similar catastrophes. Unfortunately, as the huge massacres in Cambodia and Rwanda suggest, these hopes remain unfulfilled. The desire to purify the world of variously defined undesirable groups persists and remains the common denominator of...
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