By Gitta Sereny
In 1971, Sereny interviewed Nazi Franz Stangl in an attempt to understand how a man could go from being a master weaver to the commandant of two death camps. The most important thing for me was how clearly his life proves that at every point a person has a choice. If he had said, "No, I will not be party to this," he might have been punished, demoted, or even killed. But at the end of his life, he admitted it would have been better to die than to have ended up where he did. It's a story about actively living by your principles and about that certain point when you have to make an absolute moral choice. Stangl was never willing to do that. Not even once.