Survival In Auschwitz Essay

1690 Words 7 Pages
Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz; The Nazi Assault on Humanity. 1st edition.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

I. Survival in Auschwitz is the unique autobiographical account of how a young man endured the atrocities of a Nazi death camp and lived to tell the tale. Primo Levi, a 24-year-old Jewish chemist from Turin Italy, was captured by the fascist militia in December 1943 and deported to Camp Buna-Monowitz in Auschwitz. The trip by train took 4 long days in a jam-packed boxcar without food or water. Once there, interrogations by the SS of age and health determined life as a prisoner or untimely death. Levi along with hundreds of fellow Jews were stripped of their clothes, given rags to wear, had their heads shaved
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Levi soon recovered and returned to what can only be described as hell. In August of ‘44, news traveled to the Buna yards that the allies had landed in Normandy, and the Russians were pushing towards Auschwitz. For a fleeting moment there was hope of rescue, but the bombardments would go on for months. In January ‘45, Primo Levi fell ill to Scarlet Fever and returned to the Ka-Be. During this time, the Russians were getting closer to the camp, and the Germans decided to evacuate. All healthy patients would join the other haftlings for the evacuation march. They were never to be seen again. Many of those left behind did not survive. They would succumb to the starvation, frigid cold, or their particular affliction. On January 27, 1945, with the aid of the Russians, Primo Levi was one of twenty or so men to leave the camp alive. He attributes his survival to sheer will, strength, intellect, but mostly luck.

II. This book is an excellent example of how Hitler and the Nazi's disregarded the idea of enlightenment. Chapter after chapter, Levi describes the inhumane actions of those who held them prisoners. Their lives were lived to serve the needs of the camp and the Nazi's. The Jewish haftlings were like robots; void of their own thoughts and feelings. They could not speak let alone share their opinions, and forget reasoning. Equality was not even in existence amongst prisoners.
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