Thank God for The Infernal Devices, that is all self can say.
If not for those books, she’d be stuck reading her way through The Third Reich at War, by Richard J. Evans.
Imagine going through London with those miserable pictures in her head: the German soldiers, at least some of them, kept diaries. And Evans is nothing if not painstaking as he sifts through each individual soldier’s journals, picking out passages that highlight the emotion.
Most of the time, what the German soldiers/diarists felt when they looked at the slowly starving, slowly dying Jewish population in the Occupied Territories was terror.
It is 1939. For months, the Jews have been confined to the ghettos, isolated and starved. The German soldiers look at the lines, hundreds of people long, full of resigned, awful, starving faces.
When they see a man fall over — which happens quite often — well, it’s all right, because these people are animals. Just look at them! Dressed in sacks and rags! And look at the children, wailing non-stop! The dehumanization is the only thing that can stave off the soldiers’ terror.
Terror is in itself dehumanizing. So the soldiers are as dehumanized as the objects of their contemplation.
Naturally, they hate being put in that position. Hate, hate, hate it.
Now and then, an occasional soldier will write something like: “The wretchedness of the children brought a lump to my throat.”
But, in the next breath: “I clenched my teeth.”
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.