Survival in Auschwitz

4 April 2015
An analysis of the book by Primo Levi with an emphasis on the concept of “drowned and saved”.

This paper introduces and discusses Primo Levi’s concept of the drowned and the saved in chapter nine of Survival at Auschwitz. Specifically it compares two individuals that are not mentioned in that chapter, as examples of men that Levi might put into those two categories, and what it is about these men that put them in these categories.
Levi’s concept of the drowned and the saved is simple. He describes those who make it through living in the concentration camp of Auschwitz, and those who do not. The bottom line is, those who make it are the saved, and those who do not are the drowned. There is much more to it than that, and Levi tries to delve into the people themselves, and what made them give up, or not give up, but essentially, the principle is the same, there are saved and drowned individuals in each of the camps.

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the drowned, form the backbone of the camp, an anonymous mass, continually renewed and always identical, of non-men who march and labor in silence, the divine spark dead within them, already too empty to really suffer (Levi 82).”

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