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Friday, January 29, 2016

"The Banality of Evil" - Auschwitz is still with us



An article in The Guardian by the splendid former Canon of St Paul's, London, Giles Fraser, has prodded me into thinking again about a previous post where I commented on Ulrich Simon's A Theoloy of Auschwitz and concluded that the evil he identified is still with us - by pointing to Syria and also the global inequity of the 1% holding nearly all the world's wealth.

Giles Fraser took a different but nonetheless similar tack, referring to the trial of Eichmann and his determination to present himself as a very ordinary man just following orders; an ordinary man who did terrible things.  Fraser picks up Hannah Arendt's memorable phrase 'the banality of evil' to illustrate the point and concludes:  "He (Eichmann) was personally responsible, a responsibility he blindly denied right to the end. Which is precisely why the moral message of his story remains profoundly unsettling: if ordinary people were capable of such great evil, then, given the right circumstances, so are the rest of us."

The Fraser article can be found at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/28/adolf-eichmann-final-message-architects-holocaust-evil?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=The+Best+of+CiF+base&utm_term=153586&subid=14340562&CMP=ema_1364


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