Title: A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confront the Legacy of Apartheid
Author: Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Published: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 208
Rating: 4/5

Psychologist Gobodo-Madikizela, who grew up in a black South African township, reflects on her interviews with Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned death squads under apartheid, and the struggle to forgive.

This was a highly interesting book to read, and one that's sparked a lot of thoughts in me.

It is, in part, about Gobodo-Madikizela's interviews with de Kock, but it's also in large parts about her work on the Truth Commission set up after apartheid, the stories she heard and how and why to forgive after such horrible things have happened.

I found it very interesting to read about the authors thoughts and feelings around meeting and getting to know de Kock, a man who was obviously struggling with what he had done. But can one forgive someone, even though they knew what they did was wrong? It's a difficult question to answer.

I also found it very interesting to read about the nature of forgiveness, what it can do for both the victim and the perpetrator, and how it should be done for the victim to be able to move on. All of this is discussed in the light of apartheid, which makes it even more difficult, but also perhaps more important.

Overall, this was a fascinating book to read, and eyeopening as well. If you're not that familiar with the history of apartheid, there is a chapter in the back that is a short summary of it. The book itself is a bit dense at times, and I think an interesting in psychology is important to enjoy it, but I would recommend it if it sounds like something you would like.

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You can read more about it on Goodreads

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