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‘The most fantastic association of men imaginable’

I am trying to write about the fact that no matter how terrible or previously unimaginable a politician or an ideology might be, if you turn over enough rocks you can find people fully ready to offer their support. There is no place on the political spectrum, and no manner of evil, that lacks ready supporters, at all times, at any time.

I am trying to figure out if these under-rock dwellers are there all along, in every society, simply waiting for their moment, or if they somehow spring up like mushrooms in response to the emergence of the person or ideology they have been waiting for.

This idea first struck me when I was reading what was for me a formative textbook on the Holocaust: Approaches to Auschwitz, by Richard Rubenstein and John Roth. In their chapter on the Nazi regime, Rubenstein and Roth briefly profile various SS figures we


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