Thursday, June 12, 2008

Their Darkest Hour + Napoleon in Egypt

"Nobody knows themselves," says a wise old Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor in this morbidly fascinating book. "The nice person on the street ...That same person in a different situation could be the worst sadist." Some of the men and women Rees interviews here showed exceptional bravery during the war, such as the German man caught by the Gestapo distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. Others became monsters, like the Japanese soldier who at first befriended a Chinese woman: "Raping her, eating her, killing her - I didn't feel anything about it," he says.

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