After 12/7/2011, this blog will no longer be updated, although content will remain. Please visit my new blog at Hidden Latitudes.

Monday, May 05, 2008

On the Hardness of the Human Heart

We know now that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day's work at Auschwitz in the morning. George Steiner, professor and writer.

Karl Friedrich Höcker (center), adjutant to the commandant of the Auschwitz/Birkenau extermination camp, enjoying a moment with fellow workers. The picture was snapped at Solahütte, a Nazi retreat center only 30 kilometers from the horrors of Auschwitz. Höcker served at Auschwitz during the most deadly time period, from June to December 1944. During this time, over 320,000 Hungarians—Jews, gypsies and others—were gassed, so many that the crematoriums could not keep up, and bodies were burned in gasoline-fueled piles in a nearby forest. (For more about The Höcker Album, go here.)

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