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In 1960, Israeli undercover agents orchestrated the daring kidnapping of one of the worst of the Holocaust?s masterminds, Adolf Eichmann. After capturing him in his South American hideout, they transported him to Israel to stand trial.

There, prosecutors called a string of former concentration camp prisoners as witnesses. One was a small haggard man named Yehiel Dinur, who had miraculously escaped death in Auschwitz. On his day to testify, Dinur entered the courtroom and stared at the man in the bulletproof glass booth?the man who had murdered Dinur?s friends, personally executed a number of Jews, and presided over the slaughter of millions more. As the eyes of the two men met?victim and murderous tyrant?the courtroom fell silent, filled with the tension of the confrontation. But no one was prepared for what happened next.

Yehiel Dinur began to shout and sob, collapsing to the floor. Was he overcome by hatred? By the horrifying memories? By the evil incarnate in Eichmann?s face?

No. As he later explained in a riveting 60 Minutes interview, it was because Eichmann was not the demonic personification of evil that Dinur had expected. Rather, he was an ordinary man, just like anyone else. And in that one instant, Dinur came to a stunning realization that sin and evil are the human condition.

?I was afraid about myself,? Dinur said. ?I saw that I am capable to do this?exactly like he.?

Dinur?s remarkable statements caused Mike Wallace to turn to the camera and ask the audience the most painful of all questions: ?How was it possible for a man to act as Eichmann acted? Was he a monster? A madman? Or was he perhaps something even more terrifying? Was he normal??

Yehiel Dinur?s shocking conclusion? ?Euchmann is in all of us.?


Michael G. Moriarty, The Perfect 10: The Blessings of Following God?s Commandments In A Post Modern World, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1999; pgs. 219-220.

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