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Facing The Extreme:
Moral Life in the Concentration Camps

by Tzvetan Todorov

ISBN 0805042644 / 9780805042641 / 0-8050-4264-4
Publisher Holt Paperbacks
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

It is an understatement to call the Nazi and Soviet death camps "outposts of hell on earth," as we know from the testimony of a powerful body of witnesses. Todorov looks inside these camps, and there he finds hope for all humankind, arguing that innumerable instances of heroism, self-sacrifice, and caring show that "moral reactions are spontaneous, omnipresent, and eradicable only with the greatest violence" and that "morality cannot disappear without a radical mutation of the human species." Even in a regime of terror and depersonalization, the ordinary virtues survived and sometimes even flourished, Todorov maintains. His wide-ranging study bears him out, and it makes for fascinating reading. [via]