For Every Sin is the moving and unforgettable story of a young Holocaust survivor's struggle to deal with the horrow of his past. Imprisoned when he was a student, Theo is now a young man without family or friends, a man with nothing save an overwhelming desire to return home. Desperate to escape the painful memories of the camps, he sets out across Europe on foot, determined to remain in solitude until he regains his strength. In his nightmarish world he enters, haunted by images from his past and peopled by his stunned fellow survivors, Theo is forced to confront his new and terrible knowledge of the depth of man's brutality, as well as the shattered world he has inherited and the condition from which he cannot escape.

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When he awoke the light was already prostrate in the window. He sat up in bed. Mina's absence only disturbed him superficially, as thought it were a question of some small misunderstanding which would soon be resolved. In the labor camp people would fight over a piece of bread at night and part forever the next day. Sadness was as though abolished from the heart, leaving only a strong feeling, fed by hunger, that this life, cruel and temporary, would finally rest anchor in another region. Strangely, that feeling didn't make the people any better. People fought avidly and angrily over every scrap of food and every scrap of free space. Now he saw their faces with a kind of cold clarity: faces that knew the shame of suffering but were not refined, only coarse and blemished. Now too he knew that one mustn't reproach them, but nevertheless he couldn't overcome the repugnance that surged up within him. They let her go away. She had deep wounds in her legs. "Why did you harm her?" he raged. As though she weren't one of them but taken prisoner by them.

Afterward his memory gradually emptied out. He felt it emptying out. His temples pressed in, and his eyes seemingly closed by themselves. Fear gripped him. It seemed to him that he would never see his mother's beloved face again. He put out his hands and touched his feet. His feet stood firmly on the ground. That firmness pleased him, and he opened his eyes.

For some reason he headed south. The light that had greeted him on his arrival there now flowed thickly and with great abundance. The thin shadows were scattered along the valley to its rim. The hillcrests rose, naked and empty.

For a long while he walked. The father south he got, the stronger the feeling within him, that once again he was walking on the straight course he had seen with such a thirst from the camp, a broad coarse, empty of people, which would him straight and easily, as though by river, to his home....



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