Talk about deluded.
Brigitte Höss, the 80-year-old daughter of former Nazi bigwig Rudolph Höss -- who admitted to killing one million Jewish people in the Holocaust -- recently referred to her father as "the nicest man in the world."
As a child, Höss lived at Auschwitz, surrounded by cooks, nannies, and a rotating number of household help, which sometimes even included prisoners. The Höss family could even make out the crematorium from their home. And while Höss says she feels remorse for the victims, she also questions how there could be so many Jewish survivors if so many have, supposedly, been killed.
It gets even better.
Höss also wishes someone would please be a dear and move that pesky National Holocaust Museum from Washington, D.C., to somewhere much, much farther away from her home in northern Virginia? She even has two suggestions: Israel or Auschwitz -- take your pick.
Look, I get the desire to defend our parents. Perhaps Höss's ex-husband is right when he says Brigitte is a human being who is not responsible for her father's actions. But at what point must we, as grown children, take a good, hard objective look at our parents and other role models and evaluate them based on who they really are and not who we would like to believe they are?
How is this example any different from countless others, including Shane Vicars, the elementary school teacher who, despite being convicted of molesting boys in an after-school program, still enjoyed the support of several family and friends. Before sentencing him to 26 years in prison, the judge even used the words "good man" to describe Vicars.
Have we forgotten what it actually means to be "good"? Are we really setting the bar this low? Or is it impossible sometimes to divorce ourselves from certain people in our lives and really see them for who they are?
At the end of the day, is it more important for us to continue to believe our parents are nearly perfect so that we can feel good about ourselves? Or can we only truly grow when we see and admit their warts and all?
Have you come to terms with all or some of your own parents' faults? If so, do you think it made you stronger?
Image via Joel Kramer/Flickr