3 de outubro de 2012

É a norma

Na Atlantic, uma resenha muito boa de um livro que parece ser muito bom.

"We sank a children's transport," admits one bomber, likely referring to an English passenger ship sunk in 1940, the authors note. "Talk about keeping the race pure," says another, speaking of Jewish women this time: "... at RIGA they first slept with them and then shot them to prevent them from talking." Or consider what was revealed of the brothels set up for soldiers with Western European, "racially suitable" women brought in by force: "Every woman had 14-15 men an hour. They changed the women every two days. We buried a lot of women there."


Where are the soldiers revealing their true feelings? Where are they behaving as most humans do in group situations? Did being National Socialists make a discernible difference in the soldiers' outlooks or actions? And Neitzel and Welzer examine the soldiers' paradoxical moral frameworks at length: It was always dishonorable to shoot at an enemy airman who had ejected from his plane, but often acceptable to mow down civilians; understandable to execute prisoners of war, but horrifying to starve them to death.

The authors make it clear that acts counting as war crimes today were not the exception but the norm. They both magnify so-called "German guilt" by showing the appalling attitudes even of non-Nazi soldiers, and show how unsatisfactory German exceptionalism or our conception of a pure, alien evil is at explaining it: The disturbing truth is that, comparable to what researchers have seen in other wars, the soldiers didn't require a gradual hardening to violence to be able to engage in murder. Most humans, Neitzel and Welzer suggest, are capable of brutality: it's just a question of what the social setting they are put in encourages.


It's especially easy to see the perpetrator as alien, as an agent of pure inhuman evil, in the case of crimes particularly repulsive to contemporary sensibilities. But Soldaten argues that German soldiers were not in fact different types of humans than we are. They weren't "bad for society" because they were insufficiently human, in other words; they became bad for humanity because of the society they were living in.

Nenhum comentário:

De onde você vem?