chapter  26
16 Pages

Bystandership—One Can Make a Difference: Interview With Ervin Staub: Nancy R. Goodman and Marilyn B. Meyers


Ervin Staub is an exemplary witness of the Holocaust, mass killing, atrocity, and individual acts of dehumanizing behavior. He is not only willing to face all of these terrible events but also fully brings his mind to them. In his scholarly work, he brilliantly creates concepts depicting what factors lead to the horrors of genocide and what can be learned to prevent genocide. Ervin was a hidden child of the Holocaust who was protected by active bystanders who risked their own lives to save him and his family. Ever since, he has been motivated to bring active witnessing and intervention to others. The titles of his recent books speak directly to the aims of his extensive research and direct work on interventions: The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence (1989); The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults and Groups Help and Harm Others (2003); Overcoming Evil: Genocide, Violent Conict, and Terrorism (2011); and The Roots of Goodness: Inclusive Caring, Moral Courage, Altruism Born of Suffering, and Active Bystandership (2012). We were determined to end this book by demonstrating the importance of bringing the power of witnessing to all inhumanities and traumas. As we read the work of Ervin Staub, we knew we needed him. We are so grateful to him for helping make his ideas available to the readers of this volume.