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So, what do Germans think about polygamy?

Published September 26, 2012 7:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A polygamy reporter hears from some interesting people.

Today, I had coffee with a German graduate student who's doing her master's thesis on —you guessed it — polygamy.

Fabia Krusenotto, who is 24 and studying at the University of Wuerzburg, said she didn't know anything about Mormons until she was studying abroad in Ireland and she came to Utah on a ski trip with her host family.

Her interest was piqued again when she read The 19th Wife for a class, and then she picked up Carolyn Jessop's Escape. Her professor suggested she check out "Sister Wives" for a different take on polygamy and now she's visiting Utah, to do research for her paper.

In Germany, she said, information about fundamentalist Mormon polygamy is hard to come by, but on her first trip to the library in Park City, she came away with a stack of books.

It's always interesting to hear what people outside the U.S. think about plural marriage. Fabia's reading of Escape got her interested in the FLDS in particular. We started talking about the people who still hold Warren Jeffs as a prophet, something she related to her countrymen's horrifying history under Hitler. Not that the two men are exactly comparable (Jeffs is definitely not a good guy, but certainly no mass murderer), but rather the concept of turning a blind eye to what's going on around you.

It was a fun conversation, and hopefully it gave her some new leads for her research — though I'm more concerned about making sure she's not overwhelmed! You could write a stack of books on this stuff, and she's only got 80 pages.

What do you think? Anything in particular she should read, or anyone she should talk to?