From Auschwitz; from the Gulag

Adolf Eichmann was one of the Nazi architects of the Holocaust… during [his] trial… one of the material witnesses was a man named Yehiel De-Nur, and when he came into testify, he saw Eichmann in the glass booth and immediately broke down, falling to the ground and sobbing… Sometime later De-Nur was interviewed by Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes. Wallace showed De-Nur the tape of him falling down and asked him why it happened. Was he overwhelmed by painful memories? Or with hatred? Is that why he collapsed? 


De-Nur said no – and then said something that probably shocked Wallace and should shock almost all secular Western people. He said that he was overcome by the realisation that Eichmann was not some demon but was an ordinary human being. “I was afraid about myself… I saw that am capable to do this… exactly like he… Eichmann is in all of us.

– Tim Keller, ‘Encounters with Jesus’

‘If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?’

– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, ‘The Gulag Archipelago’

If there is any goodness in us at all, any thing that has so far checked and restrained us from unadulterated evil – it is grace. Pure, sheer, grace.

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