In the human heart, is there a place that cannot be corrupted, a safe zone, a voice of conscience embedded within our DNA that acts as an underlying reason, giving meaning to our existence or is this sentimental drivel, say leading down the slope of disavowal, Norman Rockwell style imagery and the fantasy of the American film industry?We have never really nailed this down into a nice clean profile that can be graded; sort of an IQ test for evil. Some people say its abstract and diffused everywhere, but the survivors of Death camps would say its very real and literal.Short of an enduring realization of some form of messianism, miracle or apparition of game changing importance depending on one’s view, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for booting evil to the dustbin of history.
It does appear though, that the birth of evil does seem to fester and spawn from conditions conducive to the perception of threatened narcissism, a condition which seems to have those suffocating and faceless qualities like the masked hood of the hangman. The pathologically narcissistic person, intrinsically evil, will lash outwards to obliterate those who challenge their self-image of self-constructed perfection, and these attitudes tend to coagulate into a kind of inertia; one mechanically set in motion they keep going into a tunnel seemingly forever until they hit an oncoming train.
Martin Buber asserted that this “inertia” is the basis, the ground zero, the root of all evil. He based that idea through an interpretation that an act of decision implies that the individual is not permitting themself to be carried along on the anarchic vagaries of passion, but that their whole power is included in the move, the impetus, in the direction for which they have decided and that people can decide only for the direction of God. It sounds a bit too cookie-cutter clean, centered on some form of redemption where The evil, then, is only the covering of the good, an external packaging that requires cutting or piercing to the core, in itself a violent act, perhaps nihilistic.
Malkin:”it was not Eichmann who was changed by those conversations, but me. Afterward, I would never again be so unshakeable an optimist about humankind. I would face the fact that perfectly normal-seeming individuals, products of conventional homes, can be so emotionally dead as to find themselves beyond the reach of human feeling. It was a powerful revelation, and a desperately sad one.” Read More:http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Eichmann/Malkin251000.html
On the night of May 11, 1960, 1960 Peter Malkin, seconded by other Mossad agents in a waiting car, walked up to Ricardo Klement and, using simple Spanish said, “Momentito, senor.” One moment, sir; a neck-lock, twenty seconds of alligator wrasslin’ and Eichmann was packaged and pushed into a car and taken to a safe house outside the Argentinian capital.
“Evil does not exist in isolation,” (Peter Malkin) ….“It is a product of amorality by consensus. Could it happen again? Who can say? I only know it is a question we must never stop asking.”
Eichmann was held for ten tense days, obstinate and uncooperative, he finally signed a writ agreeing to face trial. He was heavily doped and send on an El Al plane to Israel. To explain his almost unconscious apearance, Malkin created a forged passport for him, dressed him up in an airline uniform and explained to Argentinian staff that the human cargo was actually a steward with a bad drinking problem, had got lost in the sauce, and was being whisked home so he wouldn’t be a burden on his gracious hosts.
from the revie
the play Captor: ….Captors tells the little-known story preceding the famous “man in the glass booth” trial of the infamous Nazi war criminal. Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer plays Eichmann. Louis Cancelmi plays the young Mossad agent Peter Malkin who literally captured him. Both actors excel in their roles.
Eerily as the story progresses, Israeli intelligence agents, who are personally scarred by the war’s carnage, hold “the architect of the Holocaust” in a safe house for ten troubling days. They have no clear plan to bring the war criminal out of unfriendly Argentina to Israel. They also are nervous about being exposed to the local police by Eichmann’s family. They argue among themselves about how to confront these problems and a uncooperative prisoner.
In order to give international legitimacy to his capture and trial, the agents must persuade the captive fugitive to agree to stand trial for his actions before they can secretly transport him from Argentina back to Israel. A signature is required to a document stating his acknowlegement of the potential trial. Agent Malkin and the fugitive Eichmann, the infamous technocrat mastermind, wrestle in a battle of wits and wills….Read More:http://www.berkshirefinearts.com/11-19-2011_captivating-captors-at-huntington-theatre-company.htm
The Eichmann who appears in these pages is so slavishly obedient to authority that he refuses to open his eyes in the morning, or even to move his bowels after a full day of painfully holding himself back, until he has been ordered to do so. This Eichmann actually expects to be admired for his dutifulness as a soldier and administrator.
So Malkin, while disillusioned with human nature by his exposure to Eichmann, is still able to arrive at a rational explanation for what Eichmann represented….
“The conclusion I reached, though hardly original, nonetheless still seems far too little appreciated,“ he writes. “It has everything to do with how one is regarded as a child. Those who as children are valued and nurtured, loved without expectation and listened to and heard, are likely to become compassionate adults who think for themselves and make moral choices. Those many others around whom regimentation is the norm and unconventionality is taken as aberrant are quickly made to understand — by parents, by teachers, by almost everyone in their universe — that they are of worth only as part of the larger whole. As second nature they learn passivity and obedience, not conscience.“Read More:http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-08-05/features/9002070553_1_malkin-safe-house-harper-row
Evil can be done against others without apparent physical damage. We may “break” a horse or even a child without harming a hair on its head. Erich Fromm was acutely sensitive to this, when he broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others, to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredictability and originality, to keep them in line. Fromm described that there is a “necrophiliac character type,” whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity. Evil can be primarily defined as that force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, which seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.Read More:http://samredman.com/peopleofthelie/