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Turning meaningful contemplation of evil into the banality of meaningless repetition
on February 9, 2014
If this were merely an artistic monument and commemoration to the one and every one of the murdered Jews, it might have had some value. However, artistic memorials of the victims of the Shoah and horrors of the Nazi era of greater depth and significance have been created, such as Micha Ullman's breathtaking monument at Bebelplatz.
If the author would have taken the longer road, and written down the name of each Jew murdered by the Nazis on a scroll, leaving empty spaces for each one of the nameless, he would, likewise, have contributed something valuable, helping the Someone in every single one stand out.
With all his good intentions (as I assume he has, and not merely using the simplistic gimmick for self-serving purposes), the author has let the machine repeat, `copy and paste', the word 'Jew' to the point where meaningful contemplation of the coldest of evil turns into meaningless repetition, taking away from the singularity of the crime. As a reviewer so rightly says, "To have a name was to assign a human quality." That is exactly why this book would have been a major accomplishment, if it would, as I suggest, have the every name of the Nazi victims written down, with the no less horrific empty spaces in between for those countless victims whose names are not known, often because the entire extended family was assasinated in the biggest of human crimes.
Dr. Erel Shalit, author of Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return.