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...in this war morality, national solidarity, patriotism
and the ideals of freedom, justice and human dignity had all
slid off man like a rotten rag. We said that there is no crime that a man will
not commit in order to save himself. And, having saved himself,
he will commit crimes for increasingly trivial reasons; he will
commit them first out of duty, then from habit, and finally--for pleasure.
Borowski, p. 168.
Tadeusz Borowski killed himself in 1951,
at age 29, after having become an agent of the Communist government and
author of hate literature.
It can happen, and it can happen everywhere. I do not intend to
nor can I say that it will happen...it is not very probable that all the
factors that unleashed the Nazi madness will again occur simultaneously
but precursory signs loom before us...It only awaits its new buffoon (there
is no dearth of candidates) to organize it, legalize it, declare it necessary
and mandatory, and so contaminate the world.
Levi, Drowned, pp. 199-200.
Primo Levi died in 1987, age
68, in a fall down the stairs of his Turin apartment house. This
is thought but not known to have been suicide.
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