If This Is a Man

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 131
  • Published : January 17, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
14/01/2013

If this is a Man, by Primo Levi

First Gobbet

« Mais l’Allemand comprit, et parla d’un ton grave à l’interprète en indiquant quelqu’un ; alors nous avons vu l’interprète avaler sa salive, puis il dit : «  L’adjudant vous demande d’ôter votre bandage, on vous donnera celui de M. Coen. » Ces mots-là avaient été prononcés d’un ton amer, c’étaient le genre d’humour qui plaisait à l’Allemand. » (P28)

This passage is from the book written by Primo Levi, If this is a Man. Primo Levi was an Italian Jewish who had been deported to a concentration camp and then to a forced-labor camp near Auschwitz. He writes this book to show people from other religion and even people in general who didn’t know what was really going one, and tell the truth about those camps. In this book, Primo Levi talks about the ghastly conditions in which prisoners were living in and the atrocious treatment they suffered from. Unfortunately, Primo Levi was only one man in the middle of millions of other people who suffered from this racial policy.

Even if they just arrived the deportees with whom Primo Levi was with, they assisted at the humiliation of one of them; in despite of the serious tone of the German, we can see that humiliating people is one of the jokes the Germans like. Or maybe, conversely, not all the Germans were approving this humiliation technique because he didn’t laugh at all when he said the ‘joke’, he didn’t even smile or look satisfied. But it is more likely that he was just trying to humiliate them, like he maybe did with lots of others prisoners before and after them. The fact that the German says to M. Bergmann, who had to wear a truss, that he had to remove it and take the one of M. Cohen rather come from mistreatment than other thing. This was one way the Germans felt that they had all the powers, that they would have been able to do everything, and humiliating Jewish was one of those things, to feel powerful and to take advantage of it. This can be a result of the end of World War I where the Germans had been humiliated to death, and they wanted a revenge and the Jewish where only a punchbag.

The mistreatment and the humiliation add to the reality of this extract, the fact that Germans who hated Jewish humiliate and mistreat them was more likely to happen. The truss history is probably unique or it may have happen a few times but it’s not something people get easily. I think that it really happened and that, and even if it did not take place, there is a good probability that an event like this one really take place. This passage is typical for the mentality of the Germans, the way that they operate before with the concentration camp and the extermination camp but it is exceptional in the way that even if they make the Jews become like beasts the Germans are still trying to humiliate them a maximum and used everything from them, from their energy to their hair.

[pic]
Second Gobbet

« Et même si Null Achtzehn n'est pas particulièrement éprouvé physiquement, personne ne veut travailler avec lui. Car tout lui est à ce point indifférent qu'il ne se soucie même plus d'éviter la fatigue et les coups, ni de chercher de quoi manger. Il exécute tous les ordres qu'on lui donne, et il est fort probable que lorsqu'on l'enverra à la mort, il ira avec la même indifférence. » (P60)

This passage is from the book written by Primo Levi, If this is a Man. Primo Levi was an Italian Jewish who had been deported to a concentration camp and then to a forced-labor camp near Auschwitz. He writes this book to show people from other religion and even people in general who didn’t know what was really going one, and tell the truth about those camps. In this book, Primo Levi talks about the ghastly conditions in which prisoners were living in and the atrocious treatment they suffered from. Unfortunately, Primo Levi was only one man in the middle of millions of other people who suffered from this racial policy.

Null...
tracking img