Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Mother Night|
|Release Date: 08-11-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group||Store Sales Rank: 9698|
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|Parent title||Mother Night|
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The Third . . .
My name is Howard W. Campbell, Jr.
I am an American by birth, a Nazi by reputation, and a nationless person by inclination.
The year in which I write this book is 1961.
I address this book of mine to Mr. Tuvia Friedmann, Director of the Haifa Institute for the Documentation of War Criminals, and to whomever else this may concern.
Why should this book interest Mr. Friedmann?
Because it is written by a man suspected of being a war criminal. Mr. Friedmann is a specialist in such persons. He had expressed an eagerness to have any writings I might care to add to his archives of Nazi villainy. He is so eager as to give me a typewriter, free stenographic service, and the use of research assistants, who will run down any facts I may need in order to make my account complete and accurate.
I am behind bars.
I am behind bars in a nice new jail in old Jerusalem.
I am awaiting a fair trail for my war crimes by the Republic of Israel.
It is a curious typewriter Mr. Friedmann has given to me-and an appropriate typewriter, too. It is a typewriter, too. It is a typewriter that was obviously made in Germany during the Second World War. How can I tell? Quite simply, for it puts at finger tips a symbol that was never used on a typewriter before the Third German Reich, a symbol that will never be used on a typewriter again.
The symbol is the twin lightning strokes used for the dreaded S.S., the Schutzstaffel, the most fanatical wing of Nazism.
I used such a typewriter in Germany all through the war. Whenever I had occasion to write of the Schutzstaffel, which I did often and with