We are slaves, deprived of every right, exposed to every insult, condemned to certain death?? (Levi, 41). One would be hard pressed to find passages in Survival in Auschwitz that portray victims of the camp as being martyrs. The treatment of the Jews in the book explicitly spells out the dehumanization to which they were subjected. It is important to look at how the Jews were degraded in the camp, and then examine whether or not they came to embody National Socialism after this.
Dehumanization in Night In the novel, Night, Elie Wiesel narrates his experience as a young Jewish boy during the holocaust. The captured Jews are enslaved in concentration camps, where they experience the absolute worst forms of torture, abuse, and inhumane treatment. Such torture has obvious physical effects, but it also induces psychological changes on those unfortunate enough to experience it. However, these mutations of their character and morality cannot be accredited to weakness of the Jews' spirit, but they can be attributed to the animal-like treatment they receive. They devolve into primitive people, with savage, animal characteristics that are necessary for survival under such conditions.
Philip Zimbardo, a social psychologist, believes that anonymity and the situation a “good” person is in can cause them to act monstrously. Although the effects of a monster can be devastating, communities come together to combat them through reconciliation as well as the promotion of heroism. In the novels Night and Frankenstein, both Wiesel and Shelley express that human injustice towards outsiders makes both individuals who act unjustifiably and individuals affected by those actions monsters. In Night, the prisoners that were taken to the camps were stripped of their morales of what is right and wrong because of the intense oppression due to the Nazis. Elie describes that he “dug [his] nails into unknown faces.
Through their inevitable acceptance and continuation of the dehumanization displayed by the Nazis, prisoners of the WWII concentration camps were doomed to slow and painful deaths. The subjection of fellow man to both words and actions meant solely for animals or objects begins with the actions of the Nazis. Prior to even entering the work camps, Wiesel and his fellow Jews are tragically dehumanized. Wiesel comments that “[t]here was a new decree: every Jew must wear the yellow star” (8). In forcing labels upon the Jewish people in Sighet, Nazi soldiers are subjugating them to the wishes of Hitler, an evil and malicious man with no consideration for their names or their identities.
The men and boys were separated by work ability, the strong lived and the weak died. In these death camps, the prisoners were physically beaten and abused, starved and treated as inhuman. The acts of violence and horror we... ... middle of paper ... ...ink this could not happen again. The underlying lesson from the story was to “Never forget” so that future generations would look upon the Holocaust and feel the pain and suffering for the millions of innocent people who lost their lives in the death camps and for those who lived to tell about it. If we allow ourselves to forget, then we open ourselves to evil, and darkness could creep into our souls.
The purpose of the camps were not merely a place for physical extermination, but a mental one as well. Primo Levi exposes these small and large acts of deprivation and destruction within his two texts in order for readers to become aware of the affects such a system has on human beings, as well as the danger unleashed by a totalitarian system. Levi immediately introduces the Nazi’s process of useless violence within the first chapter of Survival in Auschwitz. Placed in a detention camp in Italy, a group of Germans arrive to inspect the camp. They begin to make a public scene condemning the quality of the camp, and even going so far as to say an infirmary will be opened soon.
The complete abandonment of morals by the people in the concentration camps is most perfectly stated by one of Elie’s Blockäteste, “In this place it is every man for himself” (110) in regard to the re... ... middle of paper ... ...oup has had to endure. The entire idea of using Jews, or any other human as a slave is just unethical. The Holocaust was a revolting time, started by a loathsome man, whose only goal in life was to take those who were not like him, and rip their lives apart, making them abandon their morals and humanity There is almost nothing as horrible as the Holocaust, but the emotional and physical wear on the minds of the Jews can be compared to the 9/11 attacks. These attacks shocked our nation, and nearly brought us to our knees. The same dread and shock occurred when Hitler rose to power, except, the murder was multiplied hundreds of times with the concentration camps.
Tadeusz Borowski’s “This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” is a story told by Tadek, the diminutive of Tadeusz, recounting the Nazi atrocities that took place in Auschwitz. In his rendering of daily life in Auschwitz, Borowski explains his role as a kapo: a non-Jewish inmate who works and schemes to survive amid daily slaughter. In the ‘concentration universe’ social relations are determined by access to basic goods needed for survival, like food and clothing, and by the surplus of these that can buy their possessor a place in society (Kennedy 160). Tadek works his way up the inmate social latter in order to survive in the camp for so long. His tactics include bartering for privileges and goods, lying and stealing.