5-24 - I. Primo Levi and the Camps A. Background 1. 2. The...

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I. Primo Levi and the Camps A. Background 1. The Italian Jew: from Torino 2. Scientist—PhD in physics 3. 1941: Nazis take over; sent to Auschwitz in February 1944 after being transferred from a camp in Italy B. Main Insights 1. Dehumanization and Guilt: he recounts how all moral norms of human society disappear when Jews are interred. The camps/the Nazis dehumanize Jews and make killing them easier. 2. Sinister use of mundane objects: use of trains are an example of mundane objects which are used for sinister purposes. Sinister acts become mundane—killing and beatings are so everyday that they become mundane. 3. “Grey Zone”: all are tainted by the concentration camp; the best did not survive, only those who were willing to compromise for their own survival 4. The Nazi war against memory: Intent was that no one would survive to tell tales about the horrors of the Nazi regime, particularly the Jewish genocide. Levi’s determination to survive came from wanting to bear witness. 5. The possibility to escape: There was not a lot of resistance because there was no real hope, no possibility to escape. There was nowhere to escape to, nowhere that wasn’t hostile. II. Resistance A. Nature of Nazi Occupation— Europe became a Nazi Empire, but the degree of control varied from region to region 1. Collaboration, Vidkung Quisling— Collaborative Nazi government in Norway;
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5-24 - I. Primo Levi and the Camps A. Background 1. 2. The...

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