El's Reviews > Survival in Auschwitz

Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
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Jul 23, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: cultural-studies-and-other, holocaust
Read in July, 2008

Primo Levi was a 25-year-old chemist when he was taken from his home in Turin to Auschwitz. His time spent in the concentration camp totaled just less than one year, but as he describes in his memoir of those experiences, the time aged him significantly. His direct approach to his memoir is indicative in his lack of emotional response to his ordeals; his impressions are not dulled by the absence of traumatic outbursts, but instead seem to be enhanced by the focus on his memories. He spends a considerable amount of time talking about the different languages of the prisoners and the connections he made, also focusing on the seemingly mundane daily acts which one takes for granted but when one is taking prisoner in a concentration camp those are exactly the things that make it possible to live day by day.

This is not written in the same emotion as was Night, nor is it apparently as beloved as The Diary of Anne Frank. In my opinion this does not decrease its importance in terms of Holocaust literature, but I consider its value much closer to Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning which, coming from me, is considerably high praise.
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