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And Along Come Tourists

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by Robert Thalheim

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Auschwitz wasn´t what Sven, a young German, had in mind when he signed up to do his civil service abroad. For him, Auschwitz is a small town in Poland, a strange language, a concentration camp, all the musty grayness of high-school German history classes. As the weeks go by, Sven begins to discover both Auschwitz and Oświęcim, the place of horror and the Polish town, the memorial to inhumanity and the tourist industry that has sprung up around it. Yet within this push and pull of conflicting sensations grow love for Ania, compassion for Krzemiński, and the troubling, challenging realization about his own role in preserving the memory of this place...

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