Just 1 story, and it stirs me. The story about the police captain who falsified papers so that Jews can stay in Swiss.
It is not just a recount of what happens but also explanations of why it happens, with modern explanations why people do what they did.
I remembered LP and I were talking about neutral good/evil. We weighed our options before committing.
I found that this weighing of options, would properly mean I would have done the opposite, if I was in his shoes. Sending the Jews back to Austria.
I had a break before reading the whole chapter, (waiting for my wife to finish her facial) and I thought to myself, if everyone is like him, wouldn't the place be swarmed with Jews and become a obvious target of hilter, who already annexed Austria?
The author addressed this point, the "delegate" or shifting of obvious responsibilities to higher "doctrination", it also attempt to explain why the Nazis were able to do systemic killings. In short, they hid behind "were told to so", "others were all doing it" and there is a "greater reasoning" for all these.
The 3 factors applied also to the other side, who simply followed orders to send back the Jews to Austria.
There is also one explanation that the "proximity" to the refugees, is why the police captain couldn't say no, while other captains "afraid of moral dilemma" simply delegate the duties of sending teh Jews back to more junior officers.
The explanations are backed by modern experiments and not just by theories. There is this experiment of effect of "carrot and stick" but the test was just carrot, and someone need to press the button to send electric shock of various intensity to a actor who will pretend to be uncomfortable, protest, shriek in pain and pass out. There are various variables introduce for the experiments but a high 60% of people would just continue to administer pain even if the actor is at the verge of passing out
After the police captain was caught breaking the law, not only was he dimissed, experince hardship, but also had his reputations smeared that he was corrupted and receive monetary and sexual favors from those he helped.
I shall not go into details, but the book classify those with moral courage into 2 groups, one who simply did what is right within his power, and others with conviction to lead opposition (change the world), the police captain belonged to the former.
While I was marveling at what moral courage he possessed and thinking he was angel on earth and happy they history has finally returned his name, the author wrote that the "glorifying" of his deeds decades after he died is yet another example of how he is extraordinary, gave the masses the excuse to delegate responsibility to be good to others within our power. We all could have done the choice under his circumstances, we need no superpower. It was like a big slap in my face and I felt ashamed. It's a bit like how my centuries, China has abused "Confucius" to confuse and enslaved the masses.
A book that is worth reading. I am glad I picked the book. My paraphrasing of the content might not be accurate, just feel really like blogging about reading it. Pardon me.