Read the following excerpt:
At a hearing of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, policeman Jeffrey Benzien demonstrated the ‘wet bag’ torture, which involved sitting on a prisoner’s back, stuffing his head into a wet bag and suffocating him nearly to death. A former detainee, Tony Yengeni, confronted Benzien and demanded, ‘What kind of man can do that kind of thin?’ Benzien had no good answer.
‘I (…) have asked myself that question to such an extent that I voluntarily (…) approached psychiatrists to have myself evaluated to find out what type of person I am, ‘ Benzien replied.
- How do the victim and the perpetrator benefit from having an opportunity to talk to each other?
Contrast this with the words of the Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who spent almost 10 years in a detention camp under harsh conditions:
If our tormentors had been in our shoes they would have behaved as we did. If we had been in their shoes, we would have been able to become as them.