The Journey Essay

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"The Journey" is the first chapter in the book called Survival in Auschwitz, written by Primo Levi; which originally appeared in English under the title If This Is a Man in 1958. This first chapter brings you through Levi's journey from Turin, Italy to the work camp, Auschwitz, while detailing the routine of blatant inhumanity.

The chapter begins as Levi states the fact that he was captured by the Fascist Militia when he was 24, only after being forced to flee into the mountains because of his segregated life filled with racial laws. The night he was captured, three fascist militia companies broke into their refuge and took him as a suspect person. While being interrogated, Levi decided to admit that he was an `Italian citizen of the
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The morning came quickly, emotions ran high, and after a night of panic, everyone realized they said and did things they wished they hadn't, but the morning continued on.

Suddenly the Germans held the roll-call. When completed, the officer asked the question `How Many?' The corporal replied that there were 650 pieces, and that everything was in order. From there, the humans, who had just been referred to as `pieces' were loaded onto busses and brought to a waiting train, this is where they received their first blows, the captives had to question themselves as of how these men can hit them without anger. Waiting for them were twelve goods wagons, the notorious transport trains, which would never return. Men, women, and children were herded inside and pressed together like merchandise; packed in for a journey with an undeclared destination.

Next, everyone was packed in, the doors were shut, but the train didn't begin to move until the evening. When the trains began to move, the captives inside had finally learnt of their destination with relief; Auschwitz. This name meant nothing to them, but as long as they knew they were going somewhere, that was all that mattered. The train moved slowly, and through slits in the wagon, they could make out familiar cities, until everything familiar was out of sight.

The passengers suffered from cold and thirst, but their constant pleas for something to quench their thirst, were dismissed. Through the slits in the wagon, the

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