Gray zone's in the Holocaust

2999 Words12 Pages
Primo Levi’s The Gray Zone is a gripping essay which communicates the everyday horrors of concentration camp life for those involved, particularly those conscripted into the forced labor programs. The proposed idea of Levi’s article however focuses not on the fact that prisoners were involved in forced labor, but how a minority of them (which now compose the majority of survivors) conceded to becoming unwilling participants in the final solution. It was these certain prisoners, seen by some as equal to that of the German perpetrators, who were involved in many unspeakable and horrendous tasks which ended in the death or harm of many Jewish brethren. The scope of this article will be the examination of such gray zones, how it was possible for such a situation to exist and why. This will include examples varying from that of the Sonderkommando who worked the gas chambers and crematoria, doctors who participated in Nazi research, corrupt Jewish officials and the Jewish staff who help supervise the death camps. This examination of gray zones will also include a discussion of the moral problems created in modern context which prohibit the understanding of such situations. Modern language and moral ideologies prevent us from conceptualizing such a scenario, thus providing us with an inadequate ability for social identification with life in the camps and ghettos. This modern barrier also creates a challenge when it comes to understanding the events which occurred because it is impossible for one to comprehend something so misanthropic without actually experiencing it. It is for this reason of comprehension that many of those who entered this gray zone did so willingly, not merely for their own survival but in hopes that they would be able to bear witness as a way of venerating those who did not survive. In order to create an understanding of this we must first examine the
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