November 9th, 2012
How was it like at Auschwitz’s Concentration Camp?
“Why is it that nobody cries out, nobody spits in their faces, nobody jumps at their throats? We doff our caps to the S.S. men returning from the little wood; if our name is called we obediently go with them to die, and—we do nothing. We starve, we are drenched by rain, and we are torn from our families. What is this mystery? This strange power of one man over another? This insane passivity that cannot be overcome? Our only strength is our great number—the gas chambers cannot accommodate all of us” (Borowski). “This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” by Tadeusz Borowski displays how survival and death have a close relationship. In Tadeusz’s story we learn about the daily life of the survivors of the camp and the S.S officers. The thought of being led to one’s own death without even knowing is what went through the minds of many Jews during the Holocaust. It was essential to endure these issues in order to survive the concentration camp.
Back in the 1940’s the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was established by the Soviet Army. “Auschwitz was the largest of the Nazi concentration camps (Gutman).” It had more than 40 camps spread all over filled with Jews and Gypsies. The camp owes its importance to its size and its special role as both a death camp for Jews and Gypsies and the headquarters of a slave-labor camps housing Jews, Polish political prisoners, and homosexuals (Adler). Life as a prisoner in Auschwitz women, children and men were treated more like animals than humans by the Nazis. The Nazi’s had a way of separating the Jewish people. It was called “Selection” which took place at the railroad tracks. Children, elderly, the sick, and the large number of man and women were selected for death and marched immediately to the gas chambers others were sent to the came for labor work (Gutman). The prisoners living conditions were...
Cited: Alder, jerry. "The Last Days of Auschwitz’s" ebsco 'host. 01 1995. 12 2012 <ebscohost.com>.
Borowski, Tadeusz. “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.” The Story and its Writer. 7th ed. ED. Ann Charters. New York: Bedford/St. Martins. 2007. Print.
Gutman, Israel . "Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp" 04 1994. 12 2012
Nataupsky, Mark . "Auschwitz: Camp of Death" 03 1997. 12 2012 <holocaust-trc.org>.
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