EXAM QUESTION 1PART A Survival in Auschwitz written by Primo Levi is a first-hand description of the atrocities which took place in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. The book provides an explicit depiction of camp life: the squalor, the insufficient food supply, the seemingly endless labour, cramped living space, and the barter-based economy which the prisoners lived. Levi through use of his simple yet powerful words outlined the motive behind Auschwitz, the tactical dehumanization and extermination of Jews. This paper will discuss experiences and reactions of Jews who labored in Auschwitz, and elaborate on the pre-Auschwitz experiences of Jews who were deported to Auschwitz and gassed to death on their arrival, which had not been included in Survival in Auschwitz. Upon arrival into Auschwitz, Leviâ€™s group of 650 was quickly divided into two groups.Only 135 of the 650 from Leviâ€™s train were admitted into Auschwitz, the other 515 went immediately to the gas chambers. The remaining 135 are brought into the camp where they are immediately stripped naked, shaved, and tattooed on their arm a number which would become their identity.
Levi recalled the confusion and humiliation he felt as he was forced to assimilate into his new surroundings. The process of admitting prisoners into the camp was hurried, as to not allow time to gather oneâ€™s thoughts. Amongst the many discomforts of camp life the two most destructive were the insufficient amount of food, and the seemingly endless labour.The food rations were too small to ward off the hunger.Thousands of prisoners around Levi were suffering and dying as a result of this. The prisoners worked 16 hour days and if one were eventually to succumb to their exhaustion, they would be beaten.
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Levi recalls the barter-based economy of the camp, where prisoners would exchange valuables such as bread rations, clothes, and shoes. Levi quickly learned the importance of conserving everything, also to protect oneâ€™s belongings from being stolen. The dehumanizing properties of the camp were most notably; the inability to communicate with others, due to the many obscure languages of the camp; not knowing what time of day it is at any given time, being only able to tell time by the positioning of the sun; and the exhausting labour would not permit time nor capacity for thought.
Levi recalled "it was too tiring â€¦ to remember and to think. It was better not to think".The process of belittlement worked until men inside the camp had no value for their own life, or were simply too exhausted to resist.PART B Those who were murdered upon arrival at Auschwitz were for the most part composed of the elderly, ill, women, and children.
Most of these people were rounded up from over crowded Jewish ghettos through out Europe. The Lodz, Warsaw, and Krakow ghettos alone held roughly 700,000 thousand Jews. Every day deportations to concentration camps and other ghettos, and random murders took place. Major food shortages emerged within the ghettos alongside epidemics, and people were dropping dead of hunger and disease in the streets.
SS Sturmbanfuhrer Hoppner proposed a more humane way of exterminating Jews, rather than letting them starve to death he.