What we know about war crimes often comes from survivors. They're often more interested in justice and retribution than root causes. The perpetrators themselves are often not much help in explaining themselves at the time.
But author James Dawes thought they should have some insight into how atrocities happen. He put his questions to convicted Japanese war criminals... men who helped unleash terror on China during the 1930s and 40s. They had lots to say. James Dawes wrote about their thoughts in his book: Evil Men.
And again, a warning that some of this conversation is graphic.
James Dawes was in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also a professor of English, and the founder of the Human Rights Program at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Other segments from today's show: