Anyone Who Utters a Consoling Word Is a Traitor

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LWB885
Alexander Kluge’s work has long grappled with the Third Reich and its aftermath, and the extermination of the Jews forms its gravitational center. Kluge is forever reminding us to keep our present catastrophes in perspective—‘calibrated’—against this historical monstrosity. Kluge’s newest work is a book about bitter fates, both already known and yet to unfold. Above all, it is about the many kinds of organized machinery built to destroy people. These 48 stories of justice and injustice are dedicated to the memory of Fritz Bauer, determined fighter for justice and district attorney of Hesse during the Auschwitz Trials. ‘The moment they come into existence, monstrous crimes have a unique ability,’ Bauer once said, ‘to ensure their own repetition.’ Kluge takes heed, and in these pages reminds us of the importance of keeping our powers of observation and memory razor sharp.

Alexander Kluge

Alexander Kluge (b. 1932) is one of the major German fiction writers of the late twentieth century and an important social critic. As a filmmaker, he is credited with the launch of the New German Cinema movement. His awards include the Italian Literature Prize Isola d’Elba (1967), and almost every major German-language literary prize, including the Heinrich von Kleist Prize (1985), the Heinrich Böll Prize (1993) and the Schiller Memorial Prize (2001). He has also received the Georg Büchner Prize (2003), Germany’s highest literary award.