Interview with a Zyklon B Handler

You must keep your reasons for doing it
in the forefront of your mind at all times.
There may be things you like about your victims,
things your mind will tell you to try and stop you;
there may be consequences you’d rather not deal with—
mourning families, a guilty conscience,
pleading, begging,
a sleepless night or two,
that sort of thing—
but when the moment comes to kill
the time for such considerations is past.
The death will have pros and cons,
which is why it’s always a sacrifice.
You make a compromise with the universe
when you decide to take a life:
“I’m willing to give up this person’s good traits
to get rid of their bad ones.”
So you tell yourself whatever you need to;
you do what you have to, and,
depending on how well you’ve convinced yourself,
the universe may hold you to a debt of guilt.
You may wish there was another way,
but you can’t just kill a part of someone—
you cannot choose which portions to get rid of—
you have to kill all of them,
the whole body, you understand?
You cannot kill the Jewish in someone and keep the body.
And the Jews were all one body.
There were good people,
men, women, children, even infants…
you had to kill all of them.
They were sacrifices for the future of Deutschland,
a burnt offering made to the god of the Reich.
We didn’t hate the human part of them,
just the Jewish part, and
we hated it enough—
we knew the reasons well enough—
that we were willing to sacrifice the humans
to be forever rid of the Jew.