Survival in Auschwitz Themes

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Killed In Our Spirit Long Before Our Anonymous Death

Levi spends a great deal of effort in the autobiography developing the theme of the destruction of the human will or soul before the death of the actual physical body. For many millions, forcible deportation to the concentration camps meant murder and cremation; this was not the case for Levi. He was deemed capable of physical labor and instead of being instantly murdered, was assigned to a forced labor camp. These forced labor camps were composed of young men in excellent physical condition who could perform extended and demanding physical labor in horrible working conditions. Even given their initial healthy state, survival in the labor camps averaged only three months.

These few months were filled with psychological attacks on dignity and demands upon normal morality, which could never be satisfied. The entire camp experience was designed to ridicule, belittle and...

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This section contains 865 words
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