The Duty to Bear Witness to Brutality

The black-and-white photos are 75 years old, and if you look closely at them—at the wretchedness and the agony—you will notice one person standing in many of the shots. He is an American.

It is startling to see him there, if you aren’t expecting it and don’t know the context. But his presence in those scenes of abject inhumanity was no coincidence. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted to bear witness, and in so doing send a message to every corner of the planet: Even in the most ghastly, unthinkable circumstances, compassionate…

Leave a Reply

Back to top