ELLI- Coming of age in the Holocaust.
Elli, her mother and all of the prisoners they meet all have to undergo numerous physical and psychological hardships when they are forced into the concentration camps. They are treated like cattle on their way to the slaughterhouse when they are taken from their houses to the ghetto, then to the synagogue, and eventually to Auschwitz, the death camp. The majority of suffering that was inflicted on Elli and her associates was physically inflicted, this was in the various forms of: beatings, rapes, murders, hard labor, and also subjective forms such as being exposed to diseases. The Germans also toyed with different ploys to beat the Jews, such as sterilization. This is demonstrated in Chapter Twenty in the book, they hear the rumor circulating that the Germans are putting “Bromide” in the prisoner’s food. The prisoners are provided no forms of personal hygiene such as showers, except the one they receive when they enter and leave the camp, other than that they are given no forms of washing or grooming. Their toilet facilities are non-existent, and instead they have to balance precariously over a pit that is never emptied of the stagnant waste that remains inside. They receive no protection from the sun in summer and because of this they develop numerous blisters and scars all over their bodies. In one part of the story Elli gets a chance to see what she looks like and she is shocked at her appearance, because she hadn’t for so long. She claims she looks like a clown because of the blisters on the sides of her face, also she says her hair looks like thorns protruding from her head instead of hair. Likewise, in the winter they are given little protection from the elements, in the barracks they are only given two blankets per five people, one to lay on and the other to cover themselves with. Being exposed to the kind of horror that Elli was, you can expect her to have many problems. She has to...
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