Works Discussed in this Essay:
Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence , by Martha Minow. Beacon Press, 224 pages, $15.00.
Coming to Terms: South Africa's Search for Truth , by Martin Meredith. PublicAffairs, 400 pages, $27.50.
Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa , by Antjie Krog. Times Books, 352 pages, $27.50.
Testifying before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in South Africa, the family of Sicelo Mhlawuli, a murdered political activist, tell how they retrieved his body from the police station and found that his hands had been cut off. Another activist, detained at the same time, reports that the police showed him a hand in a bottle, telling him first that it was a baboon hand, then later that it was the hand of a "communist." He wonders now if it was the hand of his comrade. There are no recriminations from the...