Primo Levi Prisoners In Auschwitz Summary

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Primo Levi’s story of prisoners in Auschwitz is a story of his own life, accompanied by others, all who endured years of mass torture, such as: starvation, abrupt climate changes, traveling conditions, dehumanization, humiliation, all which strip them from their own humanities slowly without knowing. Levi was tested mentally and physically throughout his entire story. Levi was captured by the Fascist Militia on December 13, 1943 and taken to multiple places around Germany that were not at all maintained for essential living capabilities. Once Levi arrived at Fossoli, a detention camp near Modena, there were about 150 prisoners. Just a few weeks later, there were over 600 prisoners. There comes a time when self-interest and humanity are both…show more content…
The prisoners taken captive with Levi were given these jobs at the detention camps once they arrived that were challenging and dangerous, but the leaders gave no sympathy. A quote that stands out by Levi is, “But this was the sense, not forgotten either then or later: that precisely because the lager was a great machine to reduce us to beasts, we must not become beasts; that even in this place one can survive, and therefore one must want to survive, to tell the story, to bear witness; and that to survive we must force ourselves to save at least the skeleton, the scaffolding, the form of civilization.” Levi illustrates that he, as well as others, have thought the worst thoughts and has had to hold themselves back from doing things they would regret, but they continue to be wise and stout for the end of their misery. Making friends aside from working and sleeping was crucial for survival, and Levi had made a lifelong friend, Alberto. They were “the two Italians” and became inseparable. They were bunk-mates for six months and had been through everything together until Alberto left. This is an example of “self-interest versus humanity” in a sense of friendship. Levi’s humanity was not completely consumed in the camps, but he was one of the few who still had it. Not many
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