Synopses & Reviews
Arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Dachau, Robert Antelme recovered his freedom a year later when François Mitterand, visiting the camp in an official capacity, recognized the dying Antelme and had him spirited to Paris. Antelme's story of his experiences in Germany--his only book--indelibly marked an entire generation, "a work written without hatred, a work of boundless compassion such as that is to be found only in the great Russians."
"[Antelme's] grave and moving plea, not for retribution but for understanding, is reinforced by his endurance . . . human dignity in a nutshell." --New York Times Book Review
"The Human Race
is an astonishing book, a unique book. It is a masterpiece of literature without anything literary, it is a document in which the words render the whole richness of a lived experience. It is a work whose pure simplicity roceeds froma profound sense of human complexity, for Antelme never ceased to be aware that the tormentor who seeks to deprive his victim of his human quality is himself a human being. It is a work written without hatred, a work of boundless compassion such as that found only in the great Russians."
Rescued in 1945 from Dachau where François Mitterand, his onetime comrade in the resistance, recognized him among the thousands of quarantined prisoners Robert Antelme set out to do what seemed "unimaginable," to describe not only his experience but the humanity of his captors. The result, The Human Race, was called by George Perec "the finest example in contemporary French writing of what literature can be."
About the Author
Robert Antelme was 26 years old when, in 1943, he joined a French Resistance unit in Paris headed by Francois Mitterand. The Human Race was his sole publication. He died in 1990.
Table of Contents
Homage to Robert Antelme