Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land Summary & Study Guide

Sara Nomberg-Przuytyk
This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Auschwitz.
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Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land Summary & Study Guide Description

Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land by Sara Nomberg-Przuytyk.

Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land was written by Sara Nomberg-Przytyk though this was not clear to the editor for years after the manuscript was discovered. The typescript was written in 1966 and Roslyn Hirsch did not even know the author was still alive when he began translation in 1981. While the horrors of Auschwitz have been covered many times, the manuscript that comprises this book has a unique capacity for character portraits and effectively illustrates how the horrors of Auschwitz affected real individuals.

Roslyn Hirsch eventually tracked down the author, Sara Nomberg-Przytyk, who was born September 10th, 1915 in Lublin, Poland, who was raised Hasidic and became a political radical at a young age. Thus Sara was a political prisoner long before she was a Jewish prisoner. From 1941 to 1943, Sara survived in the Bialystok Ghetto and in August 1943 she was taken to Sutthof and from there to Auschwitz.

The book covers Sara's shipment to Auschwitz, the year she spent there and her eventual escape and return to Lublin. It is composed of forty short entries, some only a page or two long. The first several chapters tell the story of Sara's arrival at Auschwitz and her terrible struggles as a member of the "zugang" or new arrivals at Auschwitz. Because of her political connections, she was able to get a job working at the camp infirmary, which was headed by the infamous Dr. Mengele, whose person and sadistic acts of slaughter feature prominently in the book.

The subsequent chapters introduce a number of characters nearly all of whom are women and most of whom are Jewish. Sara was isolated to the female part of the camp and was restricted to a Jewish block for some time. There she meets many women, some of whom are clerks at the infirmary, others nurses and others are the horrifying Jewish cell block leaders who have betrayed their people to serve the SS and receive the privileges associated with it. Other chapters describe Mengele's horrific and maniacal torturing and murdering of the elderly, children, gypsies, midgets, and Jews.

The last chapters reach the end of 1944 when the Russians closed in on Poland and Auschwitz had to be evacuated. Sara is taken into Germany when she is eventually released by an Auschwitz soldier and escapes to a small town and a train station. The book ends when she returns to Lublin. The book then contains an editor's afterword, written by Eli Prefferkorn and David Hirsch, which gives a literary analysis of Sara's writings.

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This section contains 425 words
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