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I Sleep in Hitler's Room: An American Jew Visits Germany Paperback – September 27, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Four months on the Spiegel Best Seller list of Germany (equivalent to the New York Times' Best Seller list in the USA)!

"A Stunner."
WABC

"Asking questions nobody else does, either because they are too improper, awkward, embarrassing or explosive, is the definition of courage -- and this book is a 'kamikaze' ride of discovery into Germany's national character." 
Die Zeit


"Hugely entertaining, terribly funny. A tremendous book."
National Review

"Clear, pure, unfiltered truth." 
Jüdische Allgemeine

About the Author

Tuvia Tenenbom is a journalist, author, dramatist and is the founder of The Jewish Theater of New York. Tuvia studied for his Doctorate in English Literature at St. John's University, earned his MFA in Playwriting at CUNY-Brooklyn, BS in Mathematics and Computer Science at Touro, and finished his Rabbinical Studies in Jerusalem. He also studied Christianity and Islam in Israel and NY, as well as Journalism, Acting, Theater and Finance (at NYU). Tuvia was named "Founder of a new form of Jewish theater" by the French Le Monde, "Founder of The Theater of Catastrophe" by the German Die Zeit, "The New Jew" by the Israeli Maariv, "Free artist who fights for truth & tolerance" by the Belgian Le Vif L'Express and "One of the most iconoclastic and innovative of contemporary dramatists" by the Italian Corriere Della Sera. Critic D.J.R. Bruckner. reviewing for the New York Times, described Tuvia's theatrical work "irresistibly fascinating," and Alisa Solomon, writing for the Village Voice, called it "theater of integrity, inquiry and chutzpah." As a journalist, Tuvia writes essays and op-ed articles for various publications. His articles and essays have been published in newspapers including Die Zeit of Germany, Corriere della Sera of Italy, and Yedioth Ahronoth of Israel as well as on various internet sites.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Theater of New York, The (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098393990X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983939900
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am writing as a non-Jewish American who has lived in Germany and Austria for 23 years. Tuvia Tenenbom's book is flawed, but should be read. Because he was forced to self-publish, the book is sloppy and needs an editor. Also, he overstates his case in his preface, undermining what he then goes on to write. The preface states, "this is a country that has not changed since Hitler's days in power." This is ridiculous hyperbole. There is a huge difference between people thinking that Jews control banks and people thinking that Jews are vermin that should be exterminated.
It's too bad, because much of what he captures in his Gonzo/Borat style is very true and very important. I will here repeat the wisdom that anti-Israeli attitudes are not of themselves anti-Semitic--but when I first came here and heard German opinions about Israel, my first thought was, "These people don't know any Jews." All of us know that the situation there is complex, but I have consistently experienced a strong sympathy for the Palestinian people and very little sympathy for the Jews who live in Israel and the constant threat they live with.
Also, he really gets at the dilemma of having a large Islamic minority living in a Western democracy. Although there are strong anti-Turkish attitudes among German people, the politically correct Germans bend over backwards to be tolerant--which winds up indirectly supporting fierce Islamic anti-Semitism. Tenenbom exposes this contradiction graphically.
Of course, as others have pointed out, both phenomena, anti-Israeli attitudes and large Islamic minorities, are common to every Western European country, and may be even more problematic in the UK and France than in Germany.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Truly entertaining book. I usually don't even take the time to write reviews about the books I read, but this book was truly exceptional. It's funny, It's sad, It's shocking! I recommend this to anyone interested in Germany, the Holocaust, or WW2.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is really for a North American audience. While German and other audiences might see some of the humor that is in the book, from looking at the comments most of them don't fully understand the book. The story is a classic cynical "East Coaster" visits the other and makes snarky comments left and right with obvious irony. The author could have been visiting Oklahoma, Timbuktu or Japan. Through his journey in Germany he learns about himself and provides a great narrative into the absurdities of mankind. Most European commenters are framing the lesson of the story as this: Germans are anti-semitic because they don't like Israel. That is not the story that I read. I read a story where a person who grows up with one culture (New York, Jewish, American) (Okay that was multiple cultures!) travels to another country where the standard story that people in that one culture (lets just say Americans this time) hear is very monotone - Germans feel guilty for the Holocaust and none of them could ever be anti-semitic, (with an American thinking that their definition of anti-semitic is the only version). What he finds is that Germans are people too. They are quirky and full of contradictions and hypocrisy just like everyone else because hey they are human. It also shows how people can become disconnected from history but firmly anchored to it at the same time. The author was trying to provide insight into why people think the way that they do and of course can not. After reading this book, my views on Germany or Germans or Jews has not changed. But it did provide insight into the fact that we are all humans and as such we will have weird opinions that can have important consequences. It is important to realize this and discuss this rather than trying to sweep it under a rug.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This account demonstrates that anti-Semitism is still alive and well in Germany. I much appreciated Tenenbom's sardonic humor that mirrors some of my departed relatives.
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Format: Paperback
Hello!

First of all, please forgive me: My english is for sure not the best, as I am not a native english-speaker. I am from germany.

There is one thing you need to know: I am 38 years old. The storys of war - I only know them from my teachers, my grandpa (who is dead now), the books, and the cinema. "Schindler's list": a masterpiece. When I was a teen, I saw it with my class in cinema. And I had tears in my eyes. I wished them from my eyes, so that the other boys could't see them. Well, I am sure that one or another boy also shared one.

When first I heard of this book, I was really curious about it.
Now, I am really disappointed. And it makes me sad - when reading all these comments here - that there are people who really think that the typical german is antisemitic. The author has spoken with a few people, and he makes conclusions which seem to me very, very strange.

In reality, most people in germany really do not care if you are a jew or not. It simply does not interest them. In germany, you normally will never be asked if you are a jew. It does not matter. It matters, what kind of person you are, and your religion or your ethnic background is of no importance. I will not say that this is generally so. There are still people who share prejeduces. But they are everywhere. In every land. In germany, in the USA, as well as in Israel. Tenenbom also seems to be full of prejeduces. And it seems to me that he made his travel only for one purpuse: to confirm them.

It is true: Most germans do not agree with the politic of Israel. Does that make them antisemitic? I think: no. Because it's a political criticism, not one borne out of prejeduce against a religious or ethnic background.
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