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This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen Paperback – February 28, 1976

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (February 28, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140041141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140041149
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is a spare simple honesty about Tadeusz Borowski's fictionalized account of his experiences in Auschwitz and Dachau - so much so that it almost seems false to use the same language while recommending it to others. There is nothing I can say that will adequately recreate the intensity Borowski achieves without resorting to hyperbolic extremes, which would actually diminish, rather than augment, his effectiveness. His stories need neither critique, sanction, nor acclaim.

What I can say about this collection is that I had an immediate visceral reaction to the events and descriptions of the first story - This Way for the Gas - and though some of that wore off as I continued, it was replaced with an increasingly uncomfortable feeling that what I think I know about myself and the world, instead of being based on a lifetime of experience, is actually a comfort zone of what I'm willing to believe. Borowski's account of 'normal' behavior in the camps - a direct result of the insane horror of the conditions - is a frightening addition to the crematoriums and the gas chambers. The idea that there was a third group, one between the perpetrators of evil and their victims, who were victims and forced to be complicit too, and who could develop a routine in the midst of the horrors they witnessed and the actions required for their survival, is elementally disturbing, and does not release any human being from its conclusions.

Once or twice, I had some small trouble following the thread of a story, but this in no way altered the impact of his overall objective. Borowski's style is plain, simple and direct - and admirable. 'This Way for the Gas' is a literature of truth, and unafraid to voice its implications, however hard they may be to see revealed. Highest recommendation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many dozens of books on the Holocaust: history, psychology, personal accounts, but this book of short stories, particularluy the first one, blew my mind. I won't say why: it would lessen its impact.
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By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a person who really enjoys learning about the Holocaust and World War II, I would strongly recommend this book. The author actually experienced the cruelty of the holocaust first hand and struggled to deal with what he encountered in the camps. He explained what it was like to live day to day, always wondering what he would have to do to get that extra scrap of food, or maybe do lighter work. It sort of reminded me of the book "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" which I read years ago. Please read this book to better understand the kind of suffering that the victims of the Holocaust endured so that it never happens again.
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Format: Paperback
A grim and concise set of short stories about life in Auschwitz; unlike the authors of many Holocaust memoirs, the author was not Jewish, and thus had a relatively privileged existence- a little more food, a little higher chance of survival. Borowski summarizes his stories in one sentence near the end of the book: "the weak work for the strong, and if they have no strength or will to work- then let them steal, or let them die."
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