Examples Of Survivor's Guilt

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Survivor’s Guilt Survival -- the term conjures up thoughts of primal instinct. Doing whatever it takes in order to survive. The term can also bring to mind thought of wars or battles where the people who were still left standing were the survivors. In the context of this essay, the term will be used to define the select group of people who managed to continue their physical existence, either through determination or simple happenstance, where the rest of their friends or family members did not. These people are called survivors because they survived the horrors of the Holocaust, and it is true -- their bodies were still intact when the liberation came. What about their minds? By comparing the writings of Tadeusz Borowski’s short story “This…show more content…
In Borowski’s short story, the narrator is a Jewish prisoner living in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The main reason that this character is still alive is because he has taken on work as a member of a forced labor gang called Kommando “who helped to unload the incoming transports of people destined for the gas chambers” (Borowski). The narrator keeps himself fed by the scraps of food left behind on the trains full of new prisoners being sent to their deaths; he is even forced to lie to the prisoners to tell them that they will be fine, so as not to incite anger or resistance. The narrator feels remorse for his role in deceiving the incoming Jews and, unlike some of the other members on the Kommando, he hates himself for what he is doing. The narrator is suffering from survivor’s guilt a “term used to describe the feelings of those who…emerge from a disaster which mortally engulfs others” (“Survivor Guilt…”). In comparison, Art Spiegelman, who is a second-generation survivor, writes in length about the way he feels about his own brand of survivor’s

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