It has long bothered me that groups of people such as Nazis were able to destroy millions of other people who certainly did not will to be destroyed. Why does the free will of evil people to torture and kill override the will of others to live a simple and peaceful life? Surely free will is equal among men, so how can this happen? I don’t know if I’ve expressed this correctly, but I’m sure you understand what I mean.
Those who were victims of the Nazis did not lose their free will or have it overridden. They remained free in their response to that evil. Some responded heroically, some responded passively, some lay down their will to live, others fought to remain free agents in the face of unimaginable suffering. What the Nazis had was not greater free will but greater power to control and destroy millions of people.
Paradoxically, it could also be said that the more evil the Nazis committed, the more enslaved their souls became to that evil – while those who maintained their humanity by choosing to act humanely in the face of that evil oftentimes found that their souls became more free, even though their bodies remained imprisoned.
Man’s Search for Meaning** by Viktor E. Frankl