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Another problem of evil

Nic Dunlop's investigation into a prison commandant sheds light on the Cambodian holocaust not by asking why it happened, but how it happened

By Victor Mallet   July 2006

The Lost Executioner by Nic Dunlop (Bloomsbury, £16.99)

Nic Dunlop’s compelling addition to the literature of the Cambodian holocaust examines not only the banality of evil but also its ambiguity, and the resulting doubt and confusion among perpetrators and victims in the aftermath of one of the greatest crimes in history.

Like many of those who visit the Tuol Sleng museum in Phnom Penh, Dunlop was haunted by the display of curiously beautiful individual photographs of some of the 20,000 men, women and children who died there when it was the notorious Tuol Sleng prison. He became obsessed with finding…

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