Monday, 26 February 2018

Worboys, Bennell ... and Eichmann

Ian Walker's great piece on Hannah Arendt and the Eichmann trial in last week's New European revived Arendt's great question: Why? Summarising a complex article about a complex woman and her work is beyond me, but I would say that although Arendt opened our eyes to facets of evil, she did not find an answer to her own question.

Juxtaposing Eichmann, who was responsible for the smooth administration of the murder of millions, with two men who killed nobody - directly - may seem bizarre, but to me their depredations raise the same question: what made them? We know the reason for the magnitude of their crimes: Worboys and Bennell because people who were in a position to put a stop to their activities turned a blind eye, Eichmann because he worked for a racist rĂ©gime which was for a long time untouchable. What we do not know is what made them the people they were.

Worboys and Bennell did not murder anybody, but they irreparably damaged their victims psychologically. Bennell could see the effects day-to-day, as most of "his" boys stayed in his training squads and even Worboys must have had some idea of the damage he had caused when he dumped his victims.

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