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At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on by Jean Amery

By Jean Amery

"These are pages that one reads with virtually actual pain...all the method to its stoic conclusion." -- Primo Levi"The testimony of a profoundly critical man.... In its each flip and crease, it bears the marks of the true." -- Irving Howe, New Republic"This amazing memoir...is the autobiography of an awfully acute judgment of right and wrong. With the ear of a poet and the attention of a novelist, Amery vividly communicates the ask yourself of a thinker -- a ask yourself the following aroused by means of the 'dark riddle' of the Nazi regime and its systematic sadism." -- Jim Miller, Newsweek"Whoever has succumbed to torture can now not believe at domestic on this planet. The disgrace of destruction can't be erased. belief on the planet, which already collapsed partly on the first blow, yet in any case, below torture, totally, should not regained. That one's fellow guy used to be skilled because the antiman is still within the tortured individual as accrued horror. It blocks the view right into a global during which the main of desire principles. one that used to be martyred is a defenseless prisoner of worry. it's worry that henceforth reigns over him." -- Jean AmeryAt the Mind's Limits is the tale of 1 man's brilliant fight to appreciate the truth of horror. In 5 autobiographical essays, Amery describes his survival -- psychological, ethical, and actual -- throughout the enormity of the Holocaust. in particular, this masterful checklist of introspection tells of a tender Viennese intellectual's fervent imaginative and prescient of human nature and the betrayal of that imaginative and prescient.

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Sample text

Then it becomes an empire that fills its inhabitants with imperial consciousness and a heated great-power nationalism, like the Soviet Union and the United States. If tomorrow the Americans conquered the entire continent, together with the Latin American states, their imperial consciousness would remain as it already is today. Then they would move with their families from New York to La Paz, just as today they move from New England to Iowa or California, with the elated feeling that all this wide land belongs to them and is subject to the president in the White House.

I have forgotten nothing, including the few brave people I encountered. They are with me: the disabled soldier Herbert Karp from Danzig, who in Auschwitz-Monowitz shared his last cigarette with me; Willy Schneider, Catholic worker from Essen, who addressed me by my already forgotten first name and gave me bread; the chemicals foreman, Matthaus, who said to me with an anguished sigh on June 6, 1944: "Finally, they have landed! " I have many a good comrade. There was the Wehrmacht soldier from Munich, who tossed a burning cigarette through the cell bars after I had been tortured in Breendonk.

Then I could cite the books of Kempner, Reitlinger, and Hannah Arendt and, without any further intellectual effort, come to a rather obvious conclusion. It would follow that resentments persist in the victims because on the West German public scene personalities who were allied with the torturers continue to playa role, because in spite of the extension of the Statute of Limitations for major war crimes the crim- Resentments SOMETIMES it happens that in the summer I travel through a thriving land.

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