Mengele’s letters and the nature of human evil

The strangest thing people can be confronted with is the banality of evil. Via EastSouthWestNorth, the news comes that several letters of Auschwitz’s Dr. Mengele have surfaced in Brazil. And they’re pathetic, boring, not the kind of thing we expect from a true mad scientist.

Which is the thing, really. Evil isn’t all glittery and glamourous and magical; it’s human, it’s middle-aged and bald, it misses walking in its hometown, it relishes strudels on a Sunday afternoon.

Evil doesn’t look like a devil; it just looks like a stranger.

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