The role of the Holocaust in American life is disproportional to the amount of knowledge Americans (and the English, for that matter) tend to have about it. Both in popular discourse and in moral philosophy, the Holocaust is invoked as the ultimate example of evil; as Pauer-Studer and Velleman put it, “a convenient source of toy examples of immorality” (127). Yet the ignorance surrounding it is staggering. More exactly, quite a lot of (often lurid) attention is devoted to Holocaust victims, while its perpetrators receive comparatively little. With the exception of Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem no work of philosophy written in English has attempted to understand the moral psychology of a Nazi. The result is not just historically but morally problematic: evil becomes something that other people did, in ways and for reasons as murky and inaccessible as light waves trapped in a discrete...

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