Analysis Of Five Chimneys By Olga Lengyel

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After pre-reading the memoir, I now know that the writer, Olga Lengyel, is telling a horrific true story. A story that she herself experienced in the concentration camp at Auschwitz and Birkenau. The memoir paints a picture of a nightmare that the writer had to live through without being able to wake up. The cover of the book seems to be a picture of the concentration camp. A brick structure covers the majority of the picture with a gate in the middle of the structure. There appear to be train tracks leading to the front gate where there are people standing. I believe this cover was chosen to show how much of a prison the concentration camp was. The tracks leading to the gate could symbolize the trains bringing the prisoners into the camp. …show more content…
In 1947, the book was originally published under the same title, Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz. I purchased the illustrated edition. The memoir begins in 1944 in the city of Cluj, which at the time was in Transylvania. This was the year that Olga and her family were brought to Auschwitz. This event happened in May when Olga’s husband was to be deported to Germany. The story describes her life in the concentration camp until the end when she was able to escape. Her escape occurred in January of 1945 when the concentration camp was being evacuated. She was not liberated until February when she escaped to a little village that the Germans were retreating from. The Russians arrived in this village and liberated it, meaning that Olga was free. The book is told through the view of Olga. Her experiences and the experiences of others are told from her point of view. That is why this book is an autobiography of her life while at Auschwitz and …show more content…
She lost all her loved ones at Auschwitz and Birkenau. Her husband, parents, children, and her godfather all died due to the Holocaust. She dedicated the book to her fellow inmates because they all experienced the hardships together. The memoir tells the tragic stories of their lives so that they will not be forgotten. “Mea culpa, my fault, mea maxima culpa!” This the epigraph that starts the first chapter in the book. This Latin phrase is used to indicate how Olga blames herself for letting her family die in the Holocaust. She is saying that it is entirely her fault with this message. This gives an aura of guilt from Olga that is present throughout the entire memoir. So, this epigraph foreshadows the tragic events that are to transpire in the first chapter and in the memoir. The structure of the book takes the story all over the place in terms of the timeline. Olga is telling many stories from before her time in Auschwitz. Her own story is told in chronological order for the most part. The memoir begins when she and her family are brought to Auschwitz and ends with her liberation. In between are stories of her own time there and stories from before she was a prisoner at the camp. Though the time that the stories takes place jumps around, each story points to the same conclusion. The Germans were horribly mistreating human beings and mindlessly slaughtering

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