CAN A PERPETRATOR WRITE A TESTIMONIO? Moral Lessons from the Dark Side
Article first published online: 27 JAN 2010
© 2010 Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc.
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 5–42, March 2010
How to Cite
Twiss, S. B. (2010), CAN A PERPETRATOR WRITE A TESTIMONIO? Moral Lessons from the Dark Side. Journal of Religious Ethics, 38: 5–42. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2009.00413.x
- Issue published online: 27 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 27 JAN 2010
- moral psychology;
- moral evil;
- Nazi perpetrators;
- Albert Speer;
- Rudolph Hoess;
- Adolf Eichmann
By posing a heuristically provocative question, this essay compares and explores in some detail the testimonies of three infamous perpetrators from the Nazi period—Albert Speer, Rudolph Hoess, and Adolf Eichmann—for what they reveal about their motives, ideological thinking, and strategies of denial and self-deception, as well as influences from their social, political, and cultural context. The conclusion drawn is that many of the external and internal factors at work in them are recognizable to us as features of our own moral experience and, further, that this recognition is particularly important for motivating self-scrutiny in our own lives for any hints of impending complicity with moral evil.