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Holocaust paper2 - Memoirs pg 1 Molly Ingeman History 3727W...

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Memoirs pg 1 Molly Ingeman History 3727W- Section 1 Dr. Stephen Feinstein April 1, 2008 Memoirs Auschwitz and After and Survival in Auschwitz are written accounts of surviving the Holocaust in both Birkenau and Auschwitz. However, the written accounts are based on different perspectives and their main objectives are different. Auschwitz and After , written by Charlotte Delbo, includes three short stories titled: “None of Us Will Return,” “Useless Knowledge,” and “The Measure of Our Days.” These tell of different narratives on Auschwitz, a Frenchwoman's journey from Auschwitz to Ravensbrück, and survival in Auschwitz. The novel Survival in Auschwitz , written by Primo Levi, is written based on his account of his experience in Auschwitz. Extremely detailed and many times disturbing, his novel serves as a reminder of what he dealt with while living in Auschwitz. The two memoirs, while personal accounts of people's experience during the Holocaust and in some parts have scattered similar points, are drastically different from one another. The two memoirs offer different viewpoints; Delbo's writing are from a more feminist point of view and because the writing is so tender and evocative, it makes the readers soul feel heavy with grievance for the other characters. Levi's memoir is more about his personal account, his survival while his piercing, indelicate descriptions captivate his emotions and irregular and driftless thoughts during his captivity in Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz depicts what occurred to Levi after he was arrested in 1944. When he and 650 other people were arrested in, Levi had to ride for four days on a freight train without food or water to Auschwitz. Levi was one of the few from the freight train who was not sent to the gas chambers upon arriving. Levi writes of the experience, “Later, a simpler method was adopted that involved
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Memoirs pg 2 merely opening both doors on the train. Without warning or instruction to the new arrivals, those who by chance climbed down on the side of the convoy entered the camp; the others went to the gas chamber” (Levi 20). Only 135 people of the 650 were sent to the camp; the rest were sent to the gas chambers. Using both poem as a prose and broken fragmented sentences that are often repeated through the writing, Delbo admits to the reader that, “Horror cannot be circumscribed” (Delbo284). The three trilogies goal is to convey to the reader the horror of the Holocaust and one of the poems in the beginnings, titled “O You Who Know,” speaks to the reader about what they cannot understand. One line reads, “Could you know how in the morning you crave death, Only to fear it by evening?” (Delbo 11). Her questions make the reader stop, pause their reading, and ask it to themselves, realizing they can only grasp so much.
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