Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience by Gitta Sereny

January 2016

I had to buy this after reading snippets of it for a translation I was working on; it was too horrible and fascinating not to read from start to end. I only read it during the day because descriptions of extermination camps aren’t really bedtime reading. A horrific, infuriating book - it’s shocking how you can convince yourself that something isn’t happening, or isn’t really bad, or isn’t really anything to do with you. Shocking how you can allow your scruples and morals to erode, first permitting one thing, then another, until you come to embody evil. Unfortunately, the last 30 pages were missing from my second-hand copy - I had to go online and piece together the bits I didn’t have (where Stangl and his wife eventually kind of admit their guilt…for all the good that did).

Further reading…