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 technique to its stoic conclusion." -- Primo Levi"The testimony of a profoundly severe man.... In its each flip and crease, it bears the marks of the true." -- Irving Howe, New Republic"This outstanding memoir...is the autobiography of an awfully acute sense 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 right here aroused via the 'dark riddle' of the Nazi regime and its systematic sadism." -- Jim Miller, Newsweek"Whoever has succumbed to torture can not think at domestic on this planet. The disgrace of destruction can't be erased. belief on the earth, which already collapsed partially on the first blow, yet in any case, lower than torture, absolutely, aren't regained. That one's fellow guy used to be skilled because the antiman continues to be within the tortured individual as gathered horror. It blocks the view right into a global during which the primary of desire ideas. one that was once martyred is a defenseless prisoner of worry. it truly is worry that henceforth reigns over him." -- Jean AmeryAt the Mind's Limits is the tale of 1 man's amazing fight to appreciate the truth of horror. In 5 autobiographical essays, Amery describes his survival -- psychological, ethical, and actual -- in the course of the enormity of the Holocaust. mainly, this masterful list 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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I had been just as afraid of the simple private in his field-gray uniform as of the brown-clad Nazi official with his swastika armband. I also could not rid myself of the sight of the Germans on a small passenger platform where, from the cattle cars of our deportation train, the corpses had been unloaded and piled up; not on a single one of their stony faces was I able to detect an expression of abhorrence. Let collective crime and collective guilt balance each other and produce the equilibrium of world morality.

Enemy bomber," fine, but for me these were the German bombers that were laying the cities of England in ruins, and not the flying fortresses of the Americans, which were attending to the same business in Germany. The meaning of every German word changed for us, and finally, whether we resisted or not, our mother tongue became just as inimical as the one they spoke around us. Here, too, our fate was very different from that of those emigrants who lived in safety in the United States, in Switzerland, in Sweden.

What remains to be said, perhaps, is that I do not find much to talk about with the people I meet there on highways, in trains, in hotel lobbies, and who always show extreme politeness -and for that reason I cannot judge how far and how deep their apparent urbanity goes. Now and then I have something to do with intellectuals. One cannot wish them more refined, modest, and tolerant. Nor more modern; and it always seems unreal to me when I think how many of them, who belong to my generation, only yesterday swore by Blunck and Griese,u Because not a trace of it can be found in our conversations on Adorno or Saul Bellow or Nathalie Sarraute.

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