Of all Primo Levi’s searing stories, the one that I can’t get out of my head is his account of his arrival at Auschwitz, parched with thirst after days in a boxcar with no water, and reaching for a glistening, crystal-clear icicle hanging out a window. An SS guard slapped it out of his hand. “Why?” asked Levi. “Hier ist kein warum,” growled the Nazi. “Here, there is no why.”
Western civilization arose on why. We had better keep asking it, draining every fetid pool of political correctness that lies in the way of an answer.
- From Myron Magnet's "Liberty-If You Can Keep It" essay in the 2016 City Journal