gall and gumption

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What Good Looks Like

Yesterday I found this interview with Raoul Hilberg, but I don't remember where I got the link. I've been looking for it, but no luck. I don't spend all my time being cranky about awful critics, you know. I like to know what truly good looks like. It looks like Raoul Hilberg, who died yesterday.

The Vienna-born Hilberg, a Jew himself, was best known for his massive study "The Destruction of the European Jews" which chronicled how Nazi Germany constructed and operated history's most lethal killing machine that murdered 6 million Jews.

When he started his research soon after World War Two, Hilberg was a rarity in his early scholarly passion for the topic. "In the Jewish community the topic was almost taboo," Hilberg told Reuters in a 2004 interview. "I went ahead with my work starting with the end of 1948, almost, I would say, as a protest against silence."


Another memory of goodness for which we can thank him:

Sometimes Hilberg would react particularly strongly to small details of the Holocaust, such as when he found out about a Jew who sued the Nazis for the right to purchase coffee.

"I was nauseated because obviously this Jew was picked up and sent to Auschwitz or wherever they sent him and died," he said. "Why did this particular incident affect me when I could calmly read about mass murder?"

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