The Drowned and the Saved - Chapter 6, The Intellectual in Auschwitz Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 6, The Intellectual in Auschwitz Summary and Analysis

Hans Mayer is born in Vienna in 1912, studies literature and philosophy, and clashes with the Nazis. With the passage of the Nuremberg Laws (1935) and the annexation of Austria (1938), Mayer sees that every Jew is slated to die, and, though agnostic and ignorant of Hebrew culture—a perfect "prodigal Jew—he flees to Belgium and becomes Jean Améry. He does not fare well as a French writer and joins the Resistance, looking to "return the blow" against Nazism. Belgium falls in 1940, Améry is arrested by the Gestapo only in 1943, and after savage torture, goes to Auschwitz. Améry and Levi never see one another after Liberation, but correspond and read one another's books. Améry writes about the pros and cons of being an intellectual in Auschwitz. His definition of...

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