Elie Concentration Camp Analysis

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A single needle attached to a pen holder took away someone’s identity. A pair of disheveled, ill-fitting rags stripped someone of their individuality. Depriving someone of basic necessities took away their soul. Upon arrival at the camps Elie and his father were separated from his female family members, never to see them again. Immediately, Elie along with the other prisoners were subjected to camp life. This entailed deplorable living conditions, cruel physical punishment from the S.S. officers and food deprivation. Although Elie survived despite these many challenges and the vacillating weather, his father was not as fortunate. Eventually, when the camp was liberated in 1945 Elie was so emaciated that after looking into a mirror he only …show more content…

Upon Elie’s arrival at Auschwitz he was punctured with tattoo, immediately being reduced to a number. “I quickly became A-7713. After that I had no other name” (31). Using symbolism to indicate the inhumanity of the concentration camps, Elie demonstrates just how apparent and instantaneous it was to lose a sense of identity. Using the word “quickly” proved that dehumanization was not a lengthy or lingering process, the goal was to break them then and there. Elie was not just a number, he “became” a number and was only referred to as that, not a human being. “I felt the sweat run down my back.” “A-7713!” “I came forward” (42). The process of tattooing your identification on is degrading. The sensation and pain of being called a number is far more demeaning. The fact that S.S. officers could discount the essential human quality that we all possess -names- and replace it with something so cold and impersonal such as an identification number made the dehumanization process simple. What were people without names? In the Nazis minds they were superficial beings, without names in a camp, therefore they deserved any barbaric treatment thrown their way. To Hitler, the fact that Jews could potentially be broken this promptly proved he was in a step into the right direction at dehumanizing and eliminating the Jewish

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