Dr. Gitchoffs troublesome commentary.
The good doctor makes Panzram out to be something that he was not.He practically lionized a serial killer and rapist! It’s one thing to say that we should learn from Panzram history. That what he went through helped create the monster that he became. But to say that Panzram gave his life is to put this psychopath on par with a GI from WWII or the people on United 93. Panzram is deserving of only our contempt. Plenty of human beings have been brutalized. Few react with the level of malevolence that Panzram did.
Furthermore, Panzram’s “insight” into what makes people bad while salient for an unlearned man is for those who are aware of the world outside of themselves, is problematic. For example, many Nazis were not abused or maltreated as youths. But they grew up to be monsters who committed some of the most ghastly crimes know to man. Frankly, Dr. Gitchoff’s worldview is much too simplistic. Dr. Ramsland to me offers a much more nuanced and accurate view of Panzram. Gitchoff seems to be making excuses for a person completely unworthy of them.
THis film also speaks to the general lack of awareness of Americans to the past and the world around them. The bit about Panzram leaving a warning about brutalizating prisoners conveniently forgets that prisoners were regularly brutalized the world over for thousands of years before the US came into being. But the people i this film act as if such brutality is unique to America and her prisons. My gosh, Americans need to get out more. This Americancentric view of everything is warping our minds.