Over the Garden Wall

In the March issue of New Criterion, the critical doctor reviews a new film depicting the fictionalized home life of Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz, while focusing on the human tendency for the mental compartmentalization of evil.

But the argumentum ad Hitlerum, as it has been called, is, or can be, mentally lazy. It is a way of avoiding the difficult and painful demands of thought. For the fact is that compartmentalization is inevitable in a complex world such as ours. We go about our lives, with our petty concerns and projects, despite our awareness of the enormous evils prevalent in the world, even some that are close at hand.

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