“Life lie,” somehow worse than a regular lie.

Online translator discussions have proposed English equivalents such as grand illusion, sustained delusion or “a self-deception on which your life is based,” as in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman. A sham existence, living a lie.

German media descriptions of the C.I.A. malfeasance documented in a classified 6300-page Senate report investigating post-9/11 torture by the U.S.A. said, among other things, that the Bush administration’s assertion that their torture prevented attacks on the U.S. was a Lebenslüge.

Other items in the suppressed report, as described in German media:

  • Some of the worst lying the agency or agencies did was to Congress.
  • Often people told interrogators what they knew, and then they were tortured.
  • The C.I.A. did not even follow its own, light, regulations about maltreating prisoners.

(LAY bens LOO gah.)


Permanent exhibit in the former Stasi interrogation prison at Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, where 40,000 East Germans were held prisoner. Includes photos of the prisoners, descriptions of how they were treated (torture, solitary, permanent surveillance, silent shoes on the guards, and prisoner uniforms deliberately issued in the wrong sizes, in “a system designed to break people”), evidence found of prisoners’ courage and good humor (bronx cheers and Latin vocabulary exercises written on napkins using coffee as ink). Also, as director Hubertus Knabe pointed out, the museum has added a new section with information about the Stasi prison’s guards. “What kind of people worked here? How did they live? How were they held together ideologically and brought in line? You can find that out here too.”

(Bear LYNN   ho! en shin HOW’S en   ow! ss shtell OONG.)

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