It took me about three chapters in to realize what I was reading about – where this novel is set, and in which time. The language – a mixture of German, English, Polish words, an Austrian dialect, and Nazi slang – would make much of this inaccessible to people who do not speak the languages. I do. But even so, referring to “Stucke” – which in proper German is Stücke, meaning pieces, to refer to body parts of chopped up Jewish prisoners – takes some getting used to. It got worse page by page from the moment that I realized what was being described – the giant death camp and rubber works at Auschwitz III. But this connected me to the name of the novel: IG Farben, the builders of the Buna Works, was a German chemical industry conglomerate, notorious for its role in the Holocaust. (Continue reading…)
Read about by Lionel ASBO by Martin Amis.