DebbieK's Reviews > Survival in Auschwitz

Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
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Dec 15, 08

Read in October, 2008

Searing account of life in Monowitz, aka Auschwitz III. What makes this book remarkable is not so much the style—though much of the description is, indeed, beautifully crafted—but the sheer will it must have taken to write it. Most survivors, at least most that I'm aware of, could only cope by refusing to talk about their experiences.

Still, some topics seem too painful to broach, even for Levi. Not only does he omit his family, he also, as much as possible, excludes himself from the book. “Survival at Auschwitz” is a personal tale written as if from above, with a liberal sprinkling of “us” and “our” and “one” rather than “I” or “my” or “me.” Levi’s detached style creates a calm, scientific dissection of life in the camps as it occurred, though his descriptions are often filled with anger and pain. It is as though Levi had to distance himself from the experience in order to face it.

Fascinating and important read.
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