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According to Premo Levi's book The Survival of Auschwitz how did Auschwitz systematically dehumanize prisoners - Essay Example

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Countless numbers of prisoners in the Auschwitz German concentration camp embraced death. Human beings were internally destroyed first before being killed brutally. …
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According to Premo Levis book The Survival of Auschwitz how did Auschwitz systematically dehumanize prisoners
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According to Premo Levi's book The Survival of Auschwitz how did Auschwitz systematically dehumanize prisoners

Download file to see previous pages... Men, women and children were dumped in the concentration camps not for the purpose of reformation and rehabilitation. Their spirits were totally subdued before their bodies were disposed of through heinous procedures. Primo Levi writes, “Then for the first time we became aware that our language lacks words to express this offence, the demolition of a man. In a moment, with almost prophetic intuition, the reality was revealed to us; we had reached the bottom. It is not possible to sink lower than this; no human condition is more miserable than this, nor could it conceivably be so.”(16) Even the garbage that is being lodged in the dumpers commands some sort of discipline and procedure for disposal. But the human beings in the concentration camps were stripped of all their possessions, their self-respect included. Levi’s only apprehension was what he was going to lose next? Was there anything more for being robbed at all! Dehumanization is the psychological process; one’s feelings and emotions are attacked. It is more vicious than the physical violence. In the psychological torture of an individual he is made to feel not worthy, he is the lesser category of a human being. He is alienated from the normal society, mocked at for no personal fault. His individuality is put to test severely and conditions are created that he will be facing death at the time, only place and manner to be decided by the authority that has imprisoned him. That was the philosophy of the people who created Auschwitz. When you were confronted with the dehumanizing process, in the circumstances prevailing in Auschwitz, physical confrontation with those responsible for that malicious activity was impossibility. But you were forced to fight for your humanity and to protect the individual dignity. You were conscious in your inner world that you did not deserve the treatment that you were getting. You had the vague conviction that something dramatic would happen and there was going to be an end to the mean process. Those who were in charge of the camp were treating the prisoners like the animals, and you would not like to be one; you resist that with all the inner strength at your command. To survive in those grim circumstances for ten months spoke about the grit and strong will power of Primo Levi, as many of the fellow-suffers in the camp perished. The beginning of the dehumanization process—was it dehumanization or much more? Auschwitz was not the beginning; it was one of the terminals of the dehumanization process. Levi writes, “With the absurd precision to which we later had to accustom ourselves, the Germans held the roll-call. At the end the officer asked, “Wieviel stuck?” The corporal saluted smartly and replied that there were six hundred and fifty “pieces” and that all was in order.”(5) Primo Levi’s desperate struggle against this demonic process began before his arrival at Auschwitz. From Italy preparations for transportation of a group of six hundred and fifty people began and they were to be condemned to death. At the time of boarding the train the dehumanization process began. Levi writes, “Here we received the first blows: and it was so new and senseless that we felt no pain, neither in body nor in spirit. Only a profound amazement: how can one hit a man without anger?”(5) In the wagon where he was seated, there were forty-five people and only four survived, including Levi. During the journey to Auschwitz they had to encounter cold, torment, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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