Perception! That seems to be the topic of the town. I’m reading a book Black Cross by Greg Iles. A story set in the period of World War II. Stern is a Jewish terrorist, whose help is sought by the Allied forces to break into a Nazi concentration camp at Totenhausen, Germany. Smith is a Brigadier with the Allied forces. And this conversion ensues at one point.

Stern: What’s the inmate population at Totenhausen?
Smith: Very low. Fluctuates between two and three hundred depending on the pace of the gas tests.
Stern: So we’re going to sacrifice three hundred innocent people to kill half as many SS men?
Smith: No, we’re going to sacrifice three hundred doomed prisoners to save tens of thousands of Allied invasion troops.
Stern: A matter of perspective?
Smith: Everything is in war, Stern. To Major Dickson you’re a bloodthirsty terrorist. To your own people you’re a hero.
Stern: And what am I to you, Brigadier?
Smile: (smiles thinly) Useful.

Black Cross is an incredible story of emotions and survival amid savage brutality. A reiteration of the cruel past to reinforce the value of humanity.

I’ve read only 2 books by Iles. This one and The footprints of God. And if this is any indication, he’s already among my favorite writers.


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