Willing Torturers

A few years ago, a scholarly book with the provocative title “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” climbed to the top of U.S. bestseller lists. In part the book attracted attention because its author located the origins of the Nazi death camps in the German national character, in German history and in the specific nature of German anti-Semitism. What happened in Germany, he implied, could never happen anywhere else. Certainly it could never happen here. Continue reading “Willing Torturers”

Having It Both Ways

About five months ago, Colin Powell received an award named in honor of George C. Marshall, another American general who became secretary of state. In advance of that event, Powell indicated that he would like to give an interview to The Post — and told a Post reporter to read up on two incidents in Marshall’s career beforehand. Continue reading “Having It Both Ways”

A Man of Letters

“Good evening, I’m Alistair Cooke, and this is ‘Masterpiece Theater.’ ”
It was a Sunday evening in the mid-1970s. In Britain there were miners’ strikes, blackouts, and weeks without garbage collection. Sterling had collapsed, or was about to. Punk rock was in its early adolescence. The nation was gripped by post-imperial depression, and obsessed with its own decline. Continue reading “A Man of Letters”