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Diciembre 19, 2009

El profesional del genocidio

Erich Follath establece algunos paralelismos reveladores entre el juicio del nazi Adolf Eichmann en 1961 y el de Kaing Guek Eav, jefe de la prisión más terrible de los jemeres rojos en Camboya.

From time immemorial, everyone from god-fearing philosophers to agnostic scientists has tried to fathom the roots of evil. In the fourth century AD, the theologian Augustine argued that evil arose as a result of man's free will. Nowadays, neuroscientists are searching for a signature of evil in the brain. Some believe that similar peculiarities found in the brains of some violent criminals could serve as evidence of the inevitability of a criminal career. In other words, murderers could be exonerated to a certain degree by their genetics.

No one really knows if any of these theories are valid. Nevertheless, in the cases of Eichmann and Duch, there's no way that their inability to express humanity, their complete lack of empathy and their violation of all ethical standards can be attributed to some genetic defect that affected their frontal lobes. They both adopted a dominant ideology as their own. In the case of Eichmann, it was the Nazis' verdict against "subhumans"; for Duch, it was the Khmer Rouge's plans to create a "new man." One can hardly accuse them of having conformed, just as many villians did in their time.

But the fact that these bookkeepers of death did everything they could to ensure that the machinery of death would operate as effectively as possible -- and managed to advance their own careers in the process -- is unforgivable. For Adolf Eichmann and Kaing Guek Eav, evil was a model of success above all else. It was the Holocaust as a career.

Posted by Ińigo at Diciembre 19, 2009 09:03 PM

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