Irish Playwright, George Bernard Shaw, once said, “The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity.” Inhumanity is mankind’s worse attribute. Every so often, ordinary humans are driven to the point were they have no choice but to think of themselves. One of the most famous example used today is the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night demonstrates how fear is a debilitating force that causes people to lose sight of who they once were. After being forced into concentration camps, Elie was rudely awakened into reality. Traumatizing incidents such as Nazi persecution or even the mistreatment among fellow prisoners pushed Elie to realize the cruelty around him; Or even the wickedness Elie himself is capable of doing. This resulted in the loss of faith, innocence, and the close bonds with others.
Primo Levi’s tales of his labors in “Survival in Auschwitz” connected Marx’s ideas with work under extreme and unique circumstances. In the Lager, workers suffered extreme working conditions, were deskilled in labor, became one with the masses, and were dehumanized. Through Marx’s four estrangements (estrangement of man from the product of his labor, estrangement of man from the act of labor, estrangement of man from humanity, and the estrangement of man from man), it became evident the ways in which the Holocaust is a product of a heightened version of capitalist modernity.
How can people overlook such a horrible event happening, and not do anything about it? This paper will follow a young man, Elie Wiesel, whose terrifying journey was carried on throughout the Holocaust. Wiesel uses imagery and vividly describes many of the horrific sights he saw at the camp when he was younger, to establish and describe the tones fear, shock, and gloom (darkness).
In “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen,” the author Tadeusz Borowski describes the systematic dehumanization of the camps and attempts to convey the horror of that places. Borowski uses lively and imaginal language, such as “multicoloured wave of people” and “pours from the train,” to depict how these people get off the train when they arrive the camp. Borowski successfully illustrates dehumanization not of new arrivals but of those who have been the camp. He depictures the ugliness of human in the concentration camp during World War II. Therefore, it seems that for those labor gang working in the camp were apathetic to this situation, and they just upload these Jews from the cattle cars and send them to their death in the gas chamber.
...urvivors, how fortunate was he to be among them! Primo Levi’s voice in this novel is so emotionless, that one is forced to jettison all biases regarding the Holocaust until completion of the novel. He does not concern himself with how the reader will look at his role in the story he tells; it is his story, thus the reader need only read and formulate their own conclusions. Because his is the story that so many will never get the chance to tell. He comes off as the quiet submissive type, yet underneath this façade is a very perceptive and clever human being. In fact, the saying “still waters run deep” just about sums up Levi’s personality. Recalling what was just written of Levi’s personality, it was premature to say that pure luck was the only guiding force in Levi’s survival; some credit must be given to the individual also. So it is of utmost importance to mention that his determination to survive and to provide an accurate, albeit, detailed account of what he had endured was also a major factor in Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz.
The Jewish prisoners were treated like animals to the point where they acted like animals. The prisoners of the camp were beaten and worked to death; they knew nothing else but this inhumane treatment inflicted upon them and Eliezer forgot to see himself as a person, “I was a body. Perhaps less than that even: a starved stomach. The stomach alone was aware of the passage of time” (Wiesel, 50).
And smart enough to realize he must use it in order to possibly save his life and improve his circumstances. His treatment in Auschwitz is the same as every other prisoner’s — inhumane. Levi realized pretty early that he would need to improve his conditions physically in order not to succumb to malnutrition, disease, etc. The best way to do that was to be of value to his captors. His education provided that avenue. They needed chemists in the laboratory, so Levi took the chemistry test to determine whether he could work there or not. As winter was approaching, the Kapo of the Chemical Kommando announced that three men had been chosen to work in the laboratory and Levi was one of them. He instantly received better treatment “as a specialized worker, [he] had the right to a new shirt and underpants and must be shaved every Wednesday,” which was something none of the other prisoners had access to (139). Being one of the skilled laborers “...[meant] a strong probability of not falling seriously ill, of not being frozen, of overcoming the selections,” which was a godsend for Levi (140). But despite this blessing, Levi knows that it was “...the gift of fortune, to be enjoyed as intensely as possible and at once; for there is no certainty about tomorrow,” (140). Staying grounded despite a glimmer of hope kept Levi in a good place in order to survive this hell on
Thousands of people were sent to concentration camps during World War Two, including Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel. Many who were sent to the concentration camps did not survive but those who did tried to either forgot the horrific events that took place or went on to tell their personal experiences to the rest of the world. Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi wrote memoirs on their time spent in the camps of Auschwitz; these memoirs are called ‘Night’ and ‘Survival in Auschwitz’. These memoirs contain similarities of what it was like for a Jew to be in a concentration camp but also portray differences in how each endured the daily atrocities of that around them. Similarities between Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi’s memoirs can be seen in the proceedings that
...s advised early on that incurable illness lead to one’s downfall (Levi). When Levi contracts scarlet fever, he knows what is to come of him. Either he will die from the disease or will be put to death due to his inability to work (Levi). Luckily, the Soviet army pushes its forces closer and closer to the camp, leaving the chances of liberation possible (Levi). The Nazis lead an evacuation of the entire camp, except for those in the Ka-Be (Levi). Some believe that staying behind will only lead to their execution and decide to participate in the evacuation. Nonetheless, the Soviets arrived at Auschwitz several days later to liberate the camp (Levi).
In Gulag Voices, Isaak Filshtinsky’s story is about a woman who is promoted until she because a powerful leader. This highlights the possibility of becoming free from the camp. Levi begins by believing he could have a better job in Auschwitz as well. Although Levi believes there are better jobs such as working as a chemist compared to hard labour, those ideas or hopes became false. “How can we still think about the chemistry examination and our illusions of that time?” This means that although both memoirs had a sense of hope that they could live better in the camps, only one memoir proved this
On December 13, 1943, a twenty four year old, Jewish-Italian man’s life was changed forever. This Jewish-Italian man’s name is Primo Levi. Survival In Auschwitz, a book written by Primo Levi, portrays the horrific experience Levi lived through. Levi was captured by the Fascist Militia who forced Levi, along with hundreds of others, into wagons where they would be transported to a holding camp until they were taken to Auschwitz. There were 12 wagons that would take all of the 650 captured men to the camp of Auschwitz in Poland. Immediately upon their arrival to the camp, they were asked simple questions, such as “healthy or ill?’. Depending on the response they would give, they would be sent in two different directions. The book describes this
Through Levi’s journey at Auschwitz he learned that, “there comes to light the existence of two particularly well different categories of men – the save and the drowned” (Levi 87). The difference between the “drowned” and the “saved” will be shown by discussing the threats to survival in the camps such as poor hygiene, the factors and strategies that enabled Levi and a few fellow prisoners to survive Auschwitz for instance luck, and the ultimate meaning of survival to Levi which we came to find out is remembering who you are while in the Lager.
In the memoir Survival in Auschwitz: If This is a Man, written by Primo Levi he explicitly expresses his hardships, wants, and his survival of being held in a concentration camp. Levi dreams of his arrival back home, he wishes to be reunited by his family’s side. Home is not just a place of shelter, it is much more than that. A home to Levi is a vision of his family being welcoming with arms wide open, and in utter shock of his survival. This is a team of support, a home with physical presence of excitement. Levi lacks, and craves physical and emotional interaction. He hopes it is obtained through the forms of hearing his story with an emotional and physical reaction; such has a hug, or being able to have a shoulder to cry on. Home is where Levi will finally be able to be himself, in the form of self expression once again. A place where his stories will be heard and reacted from. Levi’s ultimate goal is to prove to them he's alive, and survived off the hope of finding his home once again. His survival is through the hope of reconnection to family, and his dreams are his escape of his horrible reality; Auschwitz being his
The book, Survival in Auschwitz, was a very intense depiction of the events that occurred in the Nazi concentration camp called Auschwitz. Levi was captured, on December 13, 1943, at the age of twenty-four by the Fascist Militia, when he admitted to being an Italian citizen of Jewish race. Much of the first chapter is about the way that Levi was unaware of just how horrible the camps were actually going to be. He begins to experience these true horrors when he is taken aboard the train for the ride to Auschwitz. He is packed into a train car along with hundreds of other Jews who are deprived of food and water and left to freeze on the way to the death camp. It goes on to describe the daily events in the camp which was primarily using the Jews as a workforce that was basically slaves.
Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness and Primo Levi’s book of essays The Drowned and the Saved explore two instances of human oppression in the 20th century – European imperialism of Africa and the Nazi German oppression of Jews in the Holocaust. The former text supplies a fictional narrative of one man’s journey into the heart of the African Congo, where he witnesses the poor treatment of African natives by employees of a Belgian ivory trade firm. Levi, in his collection of essays, reflects on his own experience as a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp to derive some form of understanding of the exterminations perpetrated by the Nazis and the sometimes controversial choices that victims made at the expense of others in order