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

By Jean Amery

At the Mind's Limits is the tale of 1 man's fight to appreciate the truth of horror. In 5 autobiographical essays, Jean Amery describes his survival -- psychological, ethical, and actual -- throughout the enormity of the Holocaust. mainly, 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. Amery depicts the futile makes an attempt of the mind to deal with the overpowering realities of Auschwitz. His torture is perceived as a discount of self to the basically actual, with an accompanying lack of religion on this planet. He struggles to come back to phrases with exile from his native land in addition to his emotions upon returning to the rustic of his persecutors. ultimately, Amery, as soon as the utterly peripheral Jew, explains how entire attractiveness of his Jewish identification, as pressured through his reports in Auschwitz, is the one manner during which he can regain human dignity.

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France has even found an argot word that nicely plays down a beating by the police. ” Mostly, the public does not prove to be finicky when such occurrences in police stations are revealed now and then in the press. At best, there may be an interpellation in Parliament by some leftist-oriented deputy. But then the stories fizzle out; I have never yet heard of a police official who had beaten a prisoner and was not energetically covered by his su­ perior officers. Simple blows, which really are entirely incommensurable with actual torture, may almost never create a far-reaching echo among the public, but for the person who suffers them they are still experiences that leave deep marks—if one wishes not to use up the high-sounding words already and clearly say: enormities.

W here docs the strength, where docs the weakness come from? I don't know. One does not know. No one has yet been able to draw distinct borders between the “moral” power of resistance to physical pain and “bodily” resistance (which likewise must be placed in quotation marks). There are more than a few specialists who reduce the entire problem of bearing pain to a purely physiological basis. Here only the French pro­ fessor of surgery and member of the College de France, Ren6 Leriche, will be cited, who ventured the following judgment: “W e arc not equal before the phenomenon of pain,” the professor says.

A murder is committed, but it is part of the news­ paper that reported on it. An airplane accident occurred, but that con­ cerns the people who lost a relative in it. The Gestapo tortures. But that was a matter until now for the somebodies who were tortured and who displayed their scars at antifascist conferences. T hat suddenly you your­ self are the Somebody, is grasped only with difficulty. That, too, is a kind of alienation. If from the experience of torture any knowledge at all remains that goes beyond the plain nightmarish, it is that of a great amazement and a fnreignnessir^the wflrJd tKat-tiJim otfac compensated by anv sn rtn f snhsequent human communication.

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