“Rearing by Auschwitz”

Thedor W. Adorno wrote once:

“Wohl sind ein paar Worte über Kälte überhaupt erlaubt. Wäre sie nicht ein Grundzug der Anthropologie, also der Beschaffenheit der Menschen, wie sie in unserer Gesellschaft tatsächlich sind; wären sie also nicht zutiefst gleichgültig gegen das, was mit allen anderen geschieht außer den paar, mit denen sie eng und womöglich durch handgreifliche Interessen verbunden sind, so wäre Auschwitz nicht möglich gewesen, die Menschen hätten es dann nicht hingenommen.”

Free translation:
Blessed are a few words about the cold. If it were not a fundamental trait of anthropology, that is the nature of the people as they are really are in our society. They would therefore not profoundly indifferent to what happens with all others except for the few with which they are closely connected and possibly by tangible interests. Auschwitz would not have been possible.

In reference to this quote and the picture shown below, we consider the following questions:

  • Where can you find the coldness and indifference mentioned by Adorno in the episode of the Mercedes driver and the photo of the shooting of the Jews?
  • In which part of the novel tells Michael something about the education by Auschwitz?
  • How is Bernhard Schlink’s skepticism about a moral Holocaust education clarified?


Members of the German military killing Jews © by Ullstein Bild
Members of the German military killing Jews © by Ullstein Bild

Leave a Comment