The Kindly Ones as satire

In a very interesting review posted at,  Ina Friedman writes:

The Kindly Ones is a satire on the Nazi endeavor, a matter in itself so black and so exaggerated that one can be forgiven for missing the trick Littell is playing.

And like all satire worth its salt (think Voltaire or Swift), it plants a seed of suspicion that something of us may be mirrored here – that “in a given set of circumstances,” in Aue’s words, we too are capable of growing hardened and indifferent to what may once have seemed outrageous and of surrendering ourselves to the flow, that the arrogant Aue may have had a sliver of a point when he declared at the start that “this concerns you.” And we read on, and on, essentially in a quest to dispel those disturbing thoughts, without realizing, of course, that the degree to which we succeed is in inverse proportion to the degree we deserve to.”  Read more.

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