The Drowned and the Saved - Chapter 8, Letters from Germans Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 8, Letters from Germans Summary and Analysis

Levi first publishes Survival in Auschwitz in 1947 and it sells poorly. A 1957 reprint does well and it is translated, adapted for the stage, and discussed in schools. Prospects of a German translation in 1959 encourage Levi: He will get to corner the oppressors and "indifferent spectators," not for revenge (which the Nuremberg trials and hangings satisfy) but to understand why the masses do nothing to stop the ferocious beasts. He recalls an exception. a German technician who stands up to the guard to demand the prisoners' admittance to a bomb shelter. Imagine if other Germans had shown such modest courage.

Not trusting his German publisher, Levi demands to check it chapter by chapter. The translator is Levi's age, an anti-Nazi fighting with the Italian partisans, who after the war is snubbed as a deserter. He feels...

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