What makes people murder, rape, rob, and engage in all sorts of cruelty? Every day we read of public officials who betray our trust, criminals who shoot acquaintances or foes, and sports fans who are just downright rude. The same kind of hatred that sparks petty but vicious acts is at the root of the more destructive and cruel behavior that results in murder and genocide. LOVE AT WAR portrays the brutality of WWII. Soldiers and civilians died in that mayhem, and human beings carried out horrific atrocities upon each other.
Why do people commit such awful acts? Perhaps such behavior stems from original sin, but people who commit crimes against others (and against sentient creatures) view others as irrelevant. This week alone, the newspapers reported on a woman who gave birth and left the child exposed to the elements. A man killed the father of his grandchild because they disagreed on the child's upbringing. Local police arrested one disturbed young man for having sex with his pet husky. Another man was arrested for systematically torturing cats. An Alabama fan exposed himself and assaulted an unconscious LSU fan. These tales of deviant behavior accompanied tales of murder, rape, and corrupt politicians and reflect the kind of cruelty that leads to destruction. The people who commit these crimes on the local scene see their victims as irrelevant and disposable.
What do all of these horrible acts have to do with war? In WWII, the Nazis and their allies convinced themselves that some people were inferior to others. People could be eliminated or tortured. In LOVE AT WAR, Nuala swallows her disgust when her Nazi lover revels in revealing his cruelty. As a covert operative, she must convince him of her attraction, but his brutality repulses her and forces her into a situation where she must match his brutality.
Mundane cruelty and thuggish behavior? How does it reflect war time behavior? Human beings have the potential to commit cruel acts as children. Bullies are made in childhood. Who hasn't been the victim of a childhood bully? Those people, unless checked, grown into the Nazis of tomorrow.