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400 pages, Hardcover
First published October 18, 2022
His [Walter’s] faith had been firm that, once people knew that death awaited them, they would not walk quietly towards it. Now he understood that information alone was not enough. The inmates of the Czech family camp had had the information. They could see the crematoria with their own eyes; the chimneys were just a few hundred yards away. They had known that the Nazis were murdering the Jews they had brought to Auschwitz. The trouble was, they never believed this scheme applied to them.
. . . Only when it was too late did they see that they had been entirely wrong.
. . . And yet life in the family camp went on as it had before. The musicians staged concerts, the amateur actors put on plays. The rival political factions kept debating the ideal future, even though the only certainty was that they had no future. Walter concluded that even incontrovertible knowledge of one’s fate was not enough. If people were to act, there had to be a possibility, even a slim one, of escaping that fate. Otherwise it was easier to deny what was right in front of you than to confront the reality of your own imminent destruction. . . . (136–137)