Auschwitz True Stories From A Grotesque Land Analysis

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Within the 1930s, anti-semitism was something that was very prominent throughout Europe. In Germany at this time, not only were citizens filled with hatred towards Jews, but the government had very strong anti-semitic roots which led to concentration camps and death camps throughout the country. In Sara Nomberg’s Auschwitz: True Stories From a Grotesque Land, she tells her story of her experiences within Auschwitz. Likewise, Primo Levi tells his story of his encounters during his time in Auschwitz in “The Gray Zone”. In her essay, “The Concentration Camps”, Hannah Arendt writes that “the next decisive step in the preparation of living corpses is the murder of the moral person in man”. Given this, as well as Sara Nomberg’s Auschwitz: True …show more content…
Similarly to Sara Nomberg, Levi also spent time in Auschwitz, collaborated with the Nazis and consequently resulted in their survival. Levi described his belief by saying that “it is absurd to think that National Socialism sanctifies it’s victims: on the contrary, it degrades them” (Levi, 40). To articulate this, he speaks of something that Nomberg also touched on - movies made on the Holocaust in Hollywood. Many people believe that the Holocaust occurred in a very black and white, us versus them way with a happy ending in which the allies rescue all of the prisoners, but that is not the case, as most victims of the Holocaust were killed (Levi, 40). This idea between where the victim and perpetrator comes into play is where the gray zone lies. Whilst addressing his experiences within the Auschwitz camp, Levi describes what newcomers to the camp faced. He speaks on the ways in which newcomers were harshly treated (Levi, 37). Many envied newcomers due to the fact that they had more time on the outside and had not been suffering as long as they had. In Levi’s words, “…was envied because he still seemed to have on him the smelll of home”’ (Levi, 39). Newcomers experienced a great amount of trauma within their first few days at the camp. Those who entered the camp ordinarily believed that they would find a sense of solidarity among the rest of the prison population, but this deemed to be untrue. Newcomers were beat by prisoners who greeted them and then dehumanized them along with the S.S. According to Levi, newcomers were treated this way due to envy and collaboration with the Nazis (Levi, 39). A group of collaborators that Levi spoke of great detail on was the Sonderkommando. The Sonderkommando were a group of prisoners, usually Jews, and were the ones who would greet the prisoners, deceive them, and then take them to be gassed. Following this, they would then

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