Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz tells the story of a 25 year old Italian citizen that is taken by the Nazis because of his Jewish race. He must then learn to live a life working in the Jewish concentration camp “Auschwitz.” Here, they are forced to work to near death. Primo Levi weaves the theme of freedom and respect through each page. Levi was treated unfairly, with violence and hatred only because of his race, and was forced to work for his own freedom. This book is very unique in my eyes. It was extremely enlightening, as well as inspiring to read the story of this man who went through it all first-hand, and told his story. The author writes the story through his own experiences, so I agree with both of their opinions and views of the Holocaust and the concentration camps. As anyone who would have to survive through that, Levi felt that him being forced into the camp was unfair because although he was Jewish, he still was an Italian citizen. With that aside, he felt no one, Jewish race or not, should have to endure such torture with both the labor aspect, and leaving your family as well. This book is very one-sided, in the sense that it tells the story though the victim’s point of view. One thought that readers may question is the relationships between the camp members, and why they are so civil to each other. You might wonder, wouldn’t they be bitter without family, friends, or any comfort? Well each person arrived in that camp void of any comfort, so the only place they can find comfort is in each other if they build relationships. The only bad part is, soon after you may build a relationship, they can be forced to leave to the gas chambers, or sent to a different camp.  Overall, I enjoyed this book very much. It really gave you a wide outlook on how bad Auschwitz was, and because the author endured it first-hand, the feelings and emotions come across even more personally. You will enjoy this book very much if you are looking for an inspiring book that will really make you open your eyes to see things differently.

Reviewed by Bella S.   9th grade

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