Primo Levi 'Survival in Auschwitz'

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EXAM QUESTION 1 PART A Survival in Auschwitz written by Primo Levi is a first-hand description of the atrocities which took place in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. The book provides an explicit depiction of camp life: the squalor, the insufficient food supply, the seemingly endless labour, cramped living space, and the barter-based economy which the prisoners lived. Levi through use of his simple yet powerful words outlined the motive behind Auschwitz, the tactical dehumanization and extermination of Jews. This paper will discuss experiences and reactions of Jews who labored in Auschwitz, and elaborate on the pre-Auschwitz experiences of Jews who were deported to Auschwitz and gassed to death on their arrival, which had not been…show more content…
Levi recalled "it was too tiring … to remember and to think. It was better not to think". The process of belittlement worked until men inside the camp had no value for their own life, or were simply too exhausted to resist. PART B Those who were murdered upon arrival at Auschwitz were for the most part composed of the elderly, ill, women, and children. Most of these people were rounded up from over crowded Jewish ghettos through out Europe. The Lodz, Warsaw, and Krakow ghettos alone held roughly 700,000 thousand Jews. Every day deportations to concentration camps and other ghettos, and random murders took place. Major food shortages emerged within the ghettos alongside epidemics, and people were dropping dead of hunger and disease in the streets. SS Sturmbanfuhrer Hoppner proposed a more humane way of exterminating Jews, rather than letting them starve to death he had gas vans in mind. The vans were tested north of the Lodz ghetto in Chelmno, and they had proved to be an effective and humane way of extermination. These mobile killing units are estimated to have killed 150,000 Jews. The deporting of people into extermination camps was carried out by cramming people into cattle carts attached to trains.
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