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Old 03-27-2007, 11:22 PM
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Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

Amazing book. I read it (along with Mein Kampf) for my History of European Civilization II class last quarter here at Chicago. If you've read Night by Elie Wiesel, it's along the same lines. I felt this book was so much more *real* though. It details the story of (obviously) a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz - from his being sent to the camp to the German abandonment of the camp in the face of the Red Army's approach.

It's less emotional than Night, which showed a very sorrowful side of the camp - focusing on how terrible the Holocaust was.... this shows a different aspect of the tragedy, focusing on what life in the camp itself was like, how someone could survive living under these conditions, etc.

To anyone interested in concentration camps and their survivors or the Holocaust, I definitely recommend it.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:25 PM
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Sounds fascinating ~ I need to go find it in my local library.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:29 PM
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Sounds fascinating ~ I need to go find it in my local library.
Have you read Night by Elie Wiesel or Maus by Art Spiegelman?
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:38 PM
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Night, no.

Maus, yes ~ I thought it was really well done.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:53 PM
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Ah!! I read this too. You should read some of Primo Levi's poetry. My favorite one is called "Shema."

I didn't like Night as much as Survival in Auschwitz. You're right, it's much more "real."
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:10 AM
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They're both very real to me in different ways.

Night made me grasp the horror of the Holocaust as far as one man's desperation - his family murdered, relatives, friends, everyone died due to the barbarous nature of the Nazis. Survival showed someone dealing with the camp completely differently, and a day-to-day routine of the terrible nature of Auschwitz.

My friend visited Europe in 2001, and ended up visiting Dachau - said it was a very sobering experience to see these places.
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:22 AM
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Elie Wiesel came to speak at Chapman U here and I went to hear him. Very, very interesting person. He once said about Primo Levi that "he died at Auschwitz forty years later." I think Primo Levi killed himself in the 80s? I don't remember.

But the ending of Night when his father died was very depressing. I don't remember much of that book since I read it sophomore year. All I remember is the running ("traveling") they had to do; that part was pretty dynamic for me. I should reread it sometime.

I have a friend who visited Dachau as well, and she claimed that she could still smell the burnt corpses (the smell of death, maybe?) I don't know if that's true.
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