Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

by Jerry Stahl
Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

by Jerry Stahl


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A guided group tour to concentration camps in Poland and Germany allows Stahl to confront personal and historical demons with both deep despair and savage humor

"Gonzo meets the Shoah in this wildly irreverent—and brilliant—tour of Holocaust tourism . . . Stahl knows his Holocaust history . . . but he was also prepared to be surprised . . . A vivid, potent, decidedly idiosyncratic addition to the literature of genocide."
Kirkus Reviews, a Best Nonfiction Book of 2022

"Stahl embarks on Holocaust tourism in this meditative yet humorous account, weaving personal narrative with reflections on current and past global events."
New York Times Book Review

"[Stahl's] razor-sharp gallows humor will have you howling one moment, breathless the next in the presence of wrenching generational pain, of humanity at its very worst, and goodness at its camouflaged best."
Brooklyn Rail

"An audacious, emotional journey."
The Village Voice

In September 2016, Jerry Stahl was feeling nervous on the eve of a two-week trip across Poland and Germany. But it was not just the stops at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau that gave him anxiety. It was the fact that he would be traveling with two dozen strangers, by bus. In a tour group. And he was not a tour-group kind of guy.

The decision to visit Holocaust-world did not come easy. Stahl’s lifelong depression at an all-time high, his career and personal life at an all-time low, he had the idea to go on a trip where the despair he was feeling—out-of- control sadness, regret, and fear, not just for himself, but for the entire United States—would be appropriate. And where was despair more appropriate than the land of the Six Million?

Seamlessly weaving global and personal history, through the lens of Stahl’s own bent perspective, Nein, Nein, Nein! stands out as a triumph of strange-o reporting, a tale that takes us from gang polkas to tour-rash to the truly disturbing snack bar at Auschwitz. Strap in for a raw, surreal, and redemptively hilarious trip. Get on the bus.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781636140254
Publisher: Akashic Books
Publication date: 07/05/2022
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JERRY STAHL has written ten books, including the best-selling memoir Permanent Midnight, made into a movie with Ben Stiller; the essay collection OG Dad; and the novels Pain Killers; I, Fatty; Perv; Plainclothes Naked; Happy Mutant Baby Pills; and Bad Sex on Speed. A Pushcart Prize–winning author, Stahl’s work has appeared in Esquire, Vice, the Believer, Tin House, Los Angeles Review of Books, and the New York Times, among other places. He has written extensively for film and television, including HBO’s Hemingway & Gellhorn, which earned a Writers Guild Award nomination; Bad Boys II; and the cult classic Dr. Caligari; series credits include Maron, CSI, and Escape at Dannemora, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Stahl’s writing has been widely translated, and he has taught with the InsideOUT Writers program for incarcerated youth, edited The Heroin Chronicles for Akashic Books, and participated in the documentary series, San Quentin Film School. He has two daughters, and lives with artist Zoe Hansen.

Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1: The Kramah! The Kramah!
CHAPTER 2: Roadkill
CHAPTER 3: Stalin’s Syringe, Lucky Jews, and a Warsaw Cowboy
CHAPTER 4: Google “Polish Bus Rash”
CHAPTER 5: Empathy Party
CHAPTER 6: Revenge of the Kraków Soup-Cougher
CHAPTER 7: Get Carter
CHAPTER 8: A Brief Digression (“Meet the Jewgina!”)
CHAPTER 9: Comfortable Shoes
CHAPTER 10: The Maw of the Oven
CHAPTER 11: Unworthy
CHAPTER 12: Trauma Nosh
CHAPTER 13: An Annoying and Self-Righteous Ogre
CHAPTER 14: Restaurant Hangman
CHAPTER 15: Munich
CHAPTER 16: Bear Pit
CHAPTER 17: Jedem das Seine
CHAPTER 18: How Can the Dead Respect the Living?
CHAPTER 19: Walking into Glass
CHAPTER 20: In Nazi Times
CHAPTER 21: Judgmental at Nuremberg
CHAPTER 22: Dachau Blues
CHAPTER 23: With Apologies to Ms. Thorne
CHAPTER 24: Stanley Manly
CHAPTER 25: Stepping on the Faces of the Dead
CHAPTER 26: The Mortal Agony
CHAPTER 27: Compassion Portal


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