Survival In Auschwitz Essay

798 words - 4 pages

Andrew Wax
Survival in Auschwitz
1. The physical space of Auschwitz seems to be very, very small with just enough room for everyone to live. There are numerous times throughout the book where Levi describes how miserable and uncomfortable the sleeping and living arrangements are. When describing the topography of his Lager, he says, “The corridors are so narrow that two people can barely pass together; the total area of the floor is so small that the inhabitants of the same block cannot all stay there at the same time” (Levi: 19). All of these terrible conditions are on top of the dehumanization process that the prisoners dealt with upon their arrival. They were all striped of ...view middle of the document...

The Germans used all these things in the camp to see how humans would react to certain, adverse situations. I would imagine you would learn a lot from observing humans in life or death circumstances. Some cool aspects that you saw throughout the story were developments of new social structures and even a currency based on how these humans adapted to their circumstances.
3. I do believe the language was very important in camp life. Many of these men in the camp did stereotype each other based on physical condition and such and it was very interesting with them using the terms good/evil and saved/drowned. These two groups are definitely visibly separate in the camp as time went on. Levi has a great quote about the saved/drowned phenomenon; “This division is much less evident in ordinary life; for there it rarely happens that a man loses himself” (61). Each man is really on his own so it is only up to him whether he survives. One of Levi’s friends that he met put this situation into great context. “ According to Henri’s theory, there are three methods open to man to escape extermination which still allow him to retain the name of man: organization, pity and...

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