Summary Of Death Dealer By Primo Levi

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Let this essay be a reminder to the world that totalitarian ideologies will bring forth catastrophe just as National Socialism did in Nazi Germany. The memoirs of Rudolf Hoss, Death Dealer, is one of the most detailed accounts of a man who was the Commandant of Auschwitz, and is known as one of the greatest mass murderers in history. In the forward Primo Levi wrote to Death Dealer, he stated that even though this autobiography is filled with evil and has no literary quality, it’s one of the most instructive books ever published because it describes a human life exemplary in its way (Hoss, 3). In this essay, I will argue that Primo Levi thought Death Dealer is one of the most instructive books because it seeks to explain how ordinary men could…show more content…
Hoss reflects that he was a model prisoner because he was always taught to be obedient to the point of painstakingly neatness so this made him fit into prison life quite well because he always performed his duties to the satisfaction of the foreman and loved the daily routine of it (Ibid, 70). These orders of authority from prison guards makes Hoss satisfied, to the point where the reader almost feels that Hoss enjoyed prison life because of its regular routine and authority of the guards. Hoss’ comfort in prison life foreshadows how Hoss would easily be able to become enthralled by the totalitarian ideology of National Socialism because just like in prison he obeyed higher authority in the SS without question. An interesting moment in Hoss’ memoirs, which show his feeling of devotion and duty towards Germany, is when an inmate tells Hoss that the reason he was in jail was because he killed a pregnant mother and several children. Hoss becomes enraged at the man’s savageness for killing innocent people and never stops to think that he acted the same way when he killed the innocent man that betrayed his friend Schlageter, but justifies the murder he committed as a political murder that was done to protect Germany. Analyzing Hoss’ childhood to his time in prison is very important because it shows how Hoss was shaped into obeying orders from higher authority and how he developed a sense of duty and devotion to protecting Germany. Hannah Arendt, the author of Origins of Totalitarianism, explains that National Socialism was a totalitarian ideology that built itself on the idea that higher authority from Himmler and Hitler was never to be judged whether they were right or wrong because by following these orders
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