Survival in Auschwitz - Study Guide Chapter 3 "Initiation," Summary & Analysis

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Levi is assigned to Block thirty. Conditions are so cramped that each bunk is shared by two inmates, so Levi sleeps alongside Diena, who is friendly but exhausted. Levi passes his first night in confused, restive sleep. In the early morning the workers are summoned to work. They are issued an insufficient ration of bread and rushed to a washroom to bathe in fouled basins. For several weeks Levi will wrestle with the concept of cleanliness—he wonders what could be the point of bathing in sordid, fouled water which cannot clean the body. In the end he comes to agree with a man named Steinlauf and many of the camp's oldest survivors; bathing is a ritual, symbolic act which maintains human dignity whether or not it is physically effective. Bathing, even if physically fruitless, maintains the scaffolding...

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This section contains 176 words
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