The Drowned and the Saved Setting & Symbolism

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Auschwitz

The largest Nazi extermination Lager (camp)—having by 1944 jurisdiction over forty Lagers—Auschwitz is located in Poland. Its historian is Kapo Herman. Author Primo Levi derides Auschwitz as "anus mundi." Tattooing prisoner's numbers on their arms is invented at Auschwitz in 1942; it is gratuitous violence, considering the numbers are sewn onto their clothing. By 1943, Auschwitz is 90-95% Jewish. Two major Lagers begin as part of Auschwitz and remain in its orbit. Birkenau (Auschwitz II) and Monowitz (Auschwitz III), the labor camp where Levi spends his year "down there."

Auschwitz-Monowitz is built and operated by IG Farben Industries, producing Buna synthetic rubber. It also establishes a bricklayer's trade school for prisoners under 18 to meet internal needs. Despite the fact that because of the valuable work performed by prisoners, the normal Lager allotment of a liter of soup per day is doubled, most die of exhaustion or...

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This section contains 1,014 words
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