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Mar 28, 2023Liked by Keith Kahn-Harris

Will Storr wrote a book in which he infiltrated a group of Holocaust deniers. As I understand it - I haven't read the book - he discovered they all had personal reasons for needing to deny or minimise the Holocaust - for examples, they had family members who were involved. No doubt some neo-Nazis deny the Holocaust cynically, but I would guess others, like Storr's deniers, do so as a psychological defence mechanism, maybe a way to reconcile their political beliefs with their self-image as a morally upright person.

That circle has been squared in other ways, too. I remember hearing Zizek talk about some SS commander - it may have been Himmler, but maybe not - who told his men that the greatest heroism was to take on the moral burden of performing terrible acts. He didn't tell them killing Jews was good; he told them killing Jews for a greater good was a noble self-sacrifice. I bet even the top Nazis thought they were only doing it because they had no choice. No one is the villain in their own story. The human mind is a sick and depraved thing.

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