Ausch Essay

727 WordsMar 31, 20143 Pages
Survival in Auschwitz Book Review Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz is a harrowing memoir that shows how humans survive when pushed to their absolute limits. Levi recounts this throughout the book, and I will summarize and analyze how the camp dehumanized the prisoners and stripped away their morals. Levi shows the degradation of ethics and the human essence that he and the prisoners experienced in the camp. Primo Levi is captured by the Italian Fascist militia in December 1943 and admitted that he was an Italian Jew because he felt the punishment would be weaker than if he said he was anti-Fascist. He is then taken to a detention camp by train where the men who look able to work are grouped together, separated and stripped of their possessions. They are then taken to the camp, have their heads shaved, are stripped naked, and forced to stand in the cold. Levi says that it is “the demolition of man” and that “it is not possible to sink lower than this” (Levi 26). They are then tattooed and stripped of their original identities, further dehumanizing them. The conditions were brutal and the washrooms had undrinkable water which was grueling because they were so thirsty. During harsh working conditions, Levi says that they were “killed in spirit” (55). When Levi started work at the camp, his ankle was cut by a metal support he was hauling and he was taken to the infirmary (Ka-Be) to treat the wound. He remained there for a few weeks which was a nice rest but his wound did not totally heal. After Levi left the Ka-Be it was winter, and he found out he was in his best friend Alberto’s block. Unfortunately, they could not share a bunk and he shares one with a stranger. Levi says they dreamt about suffering and wishing of eating, showing how their real lives carried over into their dreams. After a winter of extreme cold and labor, spring came. Even though

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