In numerous communities in Nazi-occupied Europe, it was not only Nazis themselves, but also a significant number of local residents of those communities, who actively participated in the gruesome mass killings of their own Jewish neighbors. At the same time, in those same occupied countries, other local people ' non-Jewish individuals as well as collective groups ' risked their own lives and those of their immediate families in order to save Jewish lives, even when these people were strangers to them. This horrendously bifurcated pattern ' murderous neighbors juxtaposed against compassionate strangers ' is not limited to the context of mid-twentieth century Europe. Acts of genocide and atrocity have been and still are being carried out across a wide expanse of time and space, including the deliberate physical and cultural extermination of indigenous peoples, the forced conscription and often permanent 'mind-poisoning' of child soldiers, and the never-ending cycle of far too many situations of ethnic cleansing, genocide, violence, and retaliation. And yet each of these horrible acts has affected some people, alone or in groups, in quite a different way, moving them to take action, in various ways, against these horrors. What prompts this tremendous difference in response? This seminar examines this question in depth, using as a tool for inquiry the concept of 'difference' or 'Other' as developed, critically examined, and used in the discipline of anthropology. At the same time, this course also gives students a chance to become familiar with other ways of framing and exploring this question, making use of complementary insights from fields such as literature, history and international law.