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Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312425031, Paperback)
During the spring of 1994, in a tiny country called Rwanda, some 800,000 people were hacked to death, one by one, by their neighbors in a gruesome civil war. Several years later, journalist Jean Hatzfeld traveled to Rwanda to interview ten participants in the killings, eliciting extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they perpetrated. As Susan Sontag wrote in the preface, Machete Season is a document that "everyone should read . . . [because making] the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda . . . is part of being a moral adult."
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:48 -0400)
"The genocidal massacre of almost a million people in Rwanda more than a decade ago may be fading into history, but the killers are still with us, and so is the moral problem of trying to understand how such terrible crimes could have been committed. Jean Hatzfeld's account of conversations he had with some of the killers, now convicted and in jail - men who rampaged across the fields, singing as they went, hacking to death 50,000 out of 59,000 of their neighbors - offers extraordinary insights into the nature of this collective crime. But, as Hatzfeld understands, the killers' words raise as many questions as they answer." "The ten men Hatzfeld interviewed had been friends from childhood who had stayed together during their genocidal "job, " as they called it, and then in their flight to exile in Congo, during their subsequent capture and trials, and now in prison. They freely spoke to Hatzfeld about what life had been like during those terrible weeks in the spring of 1994, and what they thought about what they had done." "There has never been a testimony like this. "The offenders know more than the basic facts, " one acknowledges. "They have secrets in their souls." Another simply says, "Killing was less wearisome than farming." "A man is like an animal: you give him a whack on the head or neck, and down he goes, " says another. Why where they willing to talk? Did they distinguish truth from self-defensive evasion about this gruesome killing spree? Did they seek reconciliation, forgiveness, understanding? Were they remorseless, or did they suffer the nightmares of the damned?" "Hatzfeld's report on this horrific testimony is humane and wise, and he relates the unprecedented material he obtained from the genocidaires to what we know of other war crimes and genocidal episodes. It has sometimes been suggested that only depraved and monstrous men could perpetrate such crimes, but it may be, Hatzfeld suggests, that these terrible actions are within the realm of ordinary human conduct."--BOOK JACKET.
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