Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Civilized Man

These photographs depict a seemingly civilized man, intelligent and well-educated, unlikely ever to harm anyone.

The man in the photographs was reared in middle-class circumstances, had studied law, and later was to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy.

The man in the photographs is Siegfried Seidl, commandant of Terezin and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Seidl was one of the lynchpins of the Nazi effort to destroy European Jewry. In 1944 alone, he organized the deaths of at least half a million persons from Hungary in a mere three months.

After the war, Seidl was sentenced to death by Austria, the land of his birth, for crimes against humanity.

Seidl was 35 years old at the time of his death by hanging.

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