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In April-May 1994 in Rwanda, 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis were massacred by their Hutu fellow citizens - more than 10,000 a day, mostly being hacked to death by machete. Jean Hatzfeld reports on the results of his interviews with nine of the Hutu killers, all of whom are now in prison, some awaiting execution. Hatzfeld elicits extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they perpetrated. Each describes what it was like the first time he killed someone, what he felt like when he killed a mother and child, and how he reacted when he killed a cordial acquaintance. Each reflects on his feelings of moral responsibility, his guilt, remorse, or indifference to the crimes. Since the Holocaust, it has been conventional to presume that only depraved and monstrous evil incarnate could perpetrate such crimes, but it may be, Hatzfeld suggests, that such actions are within the realm of ordinary human conduct. To read this disturbing, enlightening and very brave book is to consider the foundation of human morality and ethics in a new light.
Born in Madagascar in1949, novelist and journalist Jean Hatzfeld worked for several years as foreign correspondent for French daily newspaper Liberation, covering both the conflict in Yugoslavia, where he was wounded by machine-gun fire in 1992, and the Rwandan genocide. He lives in Paris. 45
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- ID: 9781852429881
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