Like Being in Warsaw in 1941

Merely to know that somewhere, far away, there are men who torture other men by inflicting all sorts of humiliations and inhuman degradations and sufferings on them; and for three months constantly to look on while these defilements and tortures were being inflicted, are two very different things; and Nekhlyudov felt this. More than once during these three months he asked himself: ‘Am I mad that I see what others do not, or are they mad who do these things that I see?’ Yet they (and there were so many of them) did what seemed so astonishing and terrible to him, with such quiet assurance that what they were doing was necessary, and was important and useful work, that it was hard to believe they were mad; nor could he—conscious of the clearness of his thoughts—believe he was mad. This kept him in a continual state of perplexity.

–Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection

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