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Guilt, victimhood and the German ’68ers

A fascinating intellectual history of the 1968 generation of radicals in West Germany charts their descent into the very thing they professed to loathe

Utopia or Auschwitz: Germany’s 1968 Generation and the Holocaust By Hans Kundnani (Hurst and Company, £16.99)

A traveller on the London tube, glancing up from his or her book, may read a series of short aphorisms or poems, supposedly sponsored by Transport for London and the office of the (Conservative) London mayor. At the moment one of these is a quotation from Friedrich Engels, in life a frequent visitor to the city and, in death, the co-occupier with Marx, Lenin and Stalin, Mao or Fidel, of a million revolutionary banners and posters. It reads, “an ounce of action is…

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