The Gestapo officer kept the villa

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Upon the consul's return, however, the Gestapo refused to vacate the premises. But it was a completely different experience reading one as an adult.

It was not unlike what many people who visit the Auschwitz museum share as the things that hit them hardest. Illustrations of this abound in the book - I'm finding myself at a loss to settle on just one or two excerpts to share because there are so many. Whoever was hit with the rock got to keep it. At such times he'd order convicts to lie in rows in the dry or muddy yard.

But above all what

There was nothing subtle about the drama of that history, the crimes so vast as to seemingly obscure any need for nuance. Without overt bitterness, Sruoga has you catching yourself almost laughing at what is simultaneously legitimately horrifying you. Then he'd walk among them and flail the stick every which way.

Every individual crossing over its threshold was actually already condemned to die - sooner or later. But above all, what sets Sruoga's work apart is the singularly evocative tone of his prose. But, with the intervening time dulling the familiarity of the genre, reading this memoir drove home the point that the real power of these histories often lies in the details. Energy evaporated and he quit waving his stick like the chastener of old. The camp world is not just sinister, but absurdly so, and Sruoga's prose manages to make art out of this absurdity.

An infant was considered a full-fledged prisoner, rating a number and a triangle. The Italian took the officer to court and won - but it was a hollow victory, for he landed in Stutthof Camp for his pains.

Every individual crossing over