Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Pro-lifers, Partial Birth Abortion, and Quiet Good Taste

By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. ( articles ) | Jun 06, 2003

Whenever I read protests that it's emotionally manipulative of pro-lifers to display photos of the concrete results of abortion, I'm reminded of Adolf Eichmann's testimony to his own squeamishness as evidence of his nobility -- this during his Nuremberg trial for crimes against humanity -- as described in Hannah Arendt's 1963 classic Eichmann in Jerusalem:

A captain of the Order Police came to greet them, led them to a few small wooden bungalows, and began, "in a vulgar uneducated harsh voice," his explanations: "how he had everything nicely insulated, for the engine of a Russian submarine will be set to work and the gases will enter this building and the Jews will be poisoned. For me, too, this was monstrous. I am not so tough as to be able to endure something of this sort without any reaction. ... If today I am shown a gaping wound, I can't possibly look at it. I am that type of person, so that very often I was told that I couldn't have become a doctor. I still remember how I pictured the thing to myself, and then I became physically weak, as though I had lived through some great agitation. Such things happen to everybody, and it left behind a certain inner trembling."

Eichmann was chief of subsection IV-D-4 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). He was concerned with "emigration and evacuation" of Jews, gypsies, and others to the death camps. It appears the jury was unimpressed by his sense of delicacy.

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