This work was (and is) highly contreversial and has lost none of it's power to offend. Hannah Arendt, no doubt felt that she was being honest and straightforward. Her narrative often seems far more critical of Israel than the perpetrators of The Holocaust. This is a hard, cold and uncaring narritive. There is an almost complete absence of sympathy for the victims of The Holocaust - only the flippant dismisal that is only appreciated by those who exercise it. It is easy to see why Arendt is often portrayed as a "self lothing Jew". Her unrelenting theme seems to be: this was a ridiculous and unneccesary show trial and look at all the bad and silly things that Israel is doing. Why - how dare Israel kidnap Eichmann and take him to Israel. When she occasionally manages to put her axe aside, the details are useful. Apart from this the "Banality of Evil" can easily be applied to Hannah Arendt herself.
I have no problem saying that I am a Christian. Christianity has suffered at the hand of popular media over the past years. Elizabeth Smart's testimony shows the power and strength of faith in the face of complete and absolute evil. There are parts of this book that are extremely hard to read. It is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine two individuals more demonic than Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. Forgiveness and compassion are essential cornerstones of Christianity. But forgiveness and compassion do not come without effort. Brian David Mitchell and Wand Barzee easily and happily lived at the same level of the worst SS guards at Auschwitz. Mitchell and Barzee are completely devoid of humanity. One example of the power of God is that he can forgive SS guards at Auschwitz, Mitchell and Barzee when we cannot.
This is a fascinating look at the investigations into the ripper killings. The daily lives of the victims is vividly illustrated by the testimony of the people who knew them personally as well as the police and examiners who worked the case. The actual facts of this case are more compelling than any fictional account. These accounts serve to underscore the absolutely brutal and soulless nature of the killer.
This book has received some negative reviews on amazon.com. One of the main complaints is that this is a rehash of other books. A good deal of this book does come from verbatim testimony taken during the investigations. This is necessary detail for a serious investigation that adds to the credibility of the work.
The author, Trevor Marriott; a retired police investigator, does raise some very worthwhile points and challenges some long accepted points in the case.
- The Goulston Street graffito; the famous "The Juews..." message, long assumed to be the work of the killer, may have and may not have had anything to do with the killings.
- While not new, Marriott explores killings beyond the canonical five victims that may have been the work of Jack the Ripper.
- Many more...
I grew up in a town close to Camp Forrest where German POWs were held in the continental United States during the war. Although this book deals with German POWs held in The United Kingdom, this book was of particular interest to me. I was shocked at how prevalent the ideas about people in territories invaded by nazi troops were. It seemed to be more or less accepted that regardless of any written rules of conduct (which seem nebulous at times), that committing rape and murder were perfectly acceptable practices. Any small act was accepted as a pretext for the most appalling crimes against humanity. The "thousand year reich" will certainly be remembered for far more than a thousand years for these acts. I pray that we do better.
This is a good and fairly structured fiction based on the Jack the Ripper killings in the late 19th century in Whitechapel. It suffers from the same problems seen in fictional accounts of the sinking of the Titanic and other historical fiction; the actual facts and case are far more interesting than the fictional characters. The actual history outshines this story.
This book is a bit hard to take. It comes across as a dump of Popular Science, The National Enquirer and the same arrogant ignorance behind the "Coexisit" bumper sticker. The text offers an extremely contradictory suggestion that we accept The Gospel of Christianity with the surrender to God offered by Islam. Christians surrender to God by accepting Christ as our saviour - in other words, Christians surrender to God by accepting the Good News of The Gospel. Islam denies the death and Resurrection of Christ. Islam rejects the very foundation of Christianity. For a Christian, this is not optional and not up for debate. A religion that merges the major religions would be complete folly and solve nothing.
This book is an unfortunate mix of truths and half-truths. Read it (or listen to it) with your eyes and ears open. Listen carefully to who this book suggests we worship.
The who Forgotten Voices series is quite excellent. There is, unfortunately, one individual who when interviewed (Gerald Cheek) who mumbles so badly that he is unintelligible at very best. They should have read this persons responses. There are times when you can't understand a single word. Every other person interviewed is clear as a bell by comparison.
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