Welcome to Auschwitz

In: English and Literature

Submitted By labradachi1
Words 1313
Pages 6
Mike Pistic
Professor G. Smith
English 111
10 May 2016
Welcome to Auschwitz: The Dark Side of Self-Preservation
The story “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” by Tadeusz Borowski recreates the brutal image of a Nazi concentration camp through astonishing details and the kind of narrative that spreads chills in every scene. With the narrative’s direct approach, the author wants us to take the facts “as is”. Even when the story becomes a fiction, he doesn’t feel the need of editing the gruesome events that led to one of the biggest tragedies in humankind’s history. But was the narrator just a simple senseless and “privileged” prisoner, with immoral ambitions towards survival, or he did care about the Jews where the “naked” truth becomes the only obstacle between the train ramp and the gas chamber? Waiting for the trains to arrive, and witnessing the prisoners’ manifestation, we can certainly point out the psychological damage that the camp life inflicted upon him, and the occasional outburst of emotions in the process of self-preservation.
One of the most tragic and feared element in WWII was the Nazi concentration camp. Officially presented as a labor camp, it came to be known as the final destination for the Jews, one that ended up with death or in this case with mass killing. The German ideology of Aryan race superiority was in high contrast with the Bible and the Jews. Because the Jews are called the chosen people, and being viewed as society’s “parasites” by the Nazis, it resulted in rounding them up from conquered European countries and sending to extermination. Borowski himself was sent in one of the camps, not because he was Jewish, but because of his activism against them. Although the camp is immense, it presents little obstacle for the Germany’s agenda, with its set of rules. One of them is “Ordnung muss sein” and as Mark Shechner explains:…...

Similar Documents


...killed and be taken of their body parts when they were born with them and expected to live a full life. The Nazi’s are ruthless and don’t care about anyone but themselves. No one deserves treatments like these. My third and final point is the most inhumane thing that I’ve ever heard of in my entire life. Anytime they felt necessary a Jew could be shot at point blank range or thousands of them talked into going to a chamber and exterminated in less than a minute. A letter from SS Jahrling to SS general Kammler estimating the number of corpses that can be disposed of in 24 hours in the Auschwitz crematoriums, June 25 1943. Crematorium I could dispose of 340, Crematorium 2 and 3 1440 each, and for the 4th and 5th they could each dispose of 768 Jews. These are just the numbers in the Auschwitz camp alone! Put these numbers all together that around 5,000 Jews killed in a 24 hour period in the Auschwitz camp! The prisoners are told to go into these houses down the stairs and to get undressed to be cleaned and disinfected. They are also told to neatly fold their clothes so they don’t get lost. They then pass through a small corridor that resembles a bathroom. When the desired amount of Jews into the room the doors are shut and locked. Containers filled with the substances are then dropped down into the pillars. As soon as the containers touch the base of the pillars, they release particular substances that put the people to sleep in one minute. A few minutes later, the door opens......

Words: 1008 - Pages: 5


...EN130 English Composition Auschwitz Auschwitz began as a barracks camp in the town of Oswiecim for the polish army in the early 1930's. Germany then captured Poland and needed another location for Polish political prisoners. In 1940, the German SS (Schutz Staffel) sent a commission to Oswiecim to see if the barracks there could be used. The first inspection reported that it could not be used; however, a later inspection stated that after a few minor changes it would be useable. On May 4, 1940 Rudolf Hoss officially established it as a German concentration camp. Auschwitz was originally intended for Polish political prisoners and other Poles. In June of 1940, the first load of prisoners arrived. Included were 728 Poles and a handful of Jews. Soon, though, it became a melting pot of prisoners. Czechs, Soviets, Yugoslavs, Jews, and Gypsies; but only men were housed there. Not until 1942 did women arrive. In January of 1942 it was decided that Auschwitz would become the main Jewish extermination camp. Thereafter cattle cars brought in ship loads of Jews monthly. They were brought from all over in these filthy cars, going for days without food, water, or washing facilities. During the first few months of operation, Auschwitz simply housed the Jews because an effective method for mass extermination had not yet been found. They performed many experiments on the prisoners to find a gas that was cheap and quickly effective. Also, they had not yet begun cremating the bodies so......

Words: 1759 - Pages: 8

The Auschwitz Daily

...The Auschwitz Daily KIPP Atlanta Collegiate | 4/6/2013 | [Edition 1, Volume 1] | The Auschwitz Daily KIPP Atlanta Collegiate | 4/6/2013 | [Edition 1, Volume 1] | Hitler Burns Knowledge “We live and breathe words. That is the reason that the Hitler wants to take away them. Jews have power through language.” “We live and breathe words. That is the reason that the Hitler wants to take away them. Jews have power through language.” Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germans burn Jewish books Adolf Hitler strikes again when he administered the law that there should not be any Jewish books or papers, because it would destroy the innocence of good Aryan Germans. The law was passed and confirmed yesterday at around 4 o’clock, and today marks the beginning of Hitler’s hatred for Jews. At 8 o’clock this morning, all Jewish homes were raided for all books and papers. They were piled in town square, ready to be burned. Many Jews stayed home, afraid of the Nazi power, but the few who stayed to watch their precious belongings burn to the ground shed many tears. Some of the men even tried to take over the Nazis, but were quickly shot down. One small girl named Liesel said she was devastated. She quotes, “It was books that made us feel that perhaps we were not completely alone. Words could be honest with us, and we with them. I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships we formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through......

Words: 380 - Pages: 2


...The Auschwitz concentration camp was the largest complex made up of three main camps (Museum, 2013). It was established in a suburb of the city Oswiecim, Poland by the Nazi regime. Auschwitz was created in May 1940 on the site of a deserted Polish army barracks. The first transport of Polish political prisoners arrived by railroad on June 14, 1940 (BBC, 2013). All three camps, Auschwitz I, II, and III had different methods. However, their purpose was the same and that was to kill as many as possible. Auschwitz I, was the first and main camp. It was constructed to incarcerate real and perceived enemies of the Nazi regime. It was also constructed to have an available supply of forced laborers and to physically eliminate targeted groups of the population. Auschwitz I was a death camp that had a gas chamber and crematorium (Museum, 2013). Medical experiments were also carried out in the hospital by SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele. There was the “Black Wall” where SS guards executed thousands of prisoners. The shooting of women and children here began to cause troops psychological damage. As a result a larger permanent gas chamber was constructed to make the killings more systematic and impersonal. A Star of David was placed above the entrance to the gas chamber. A sign painted in Hebrew said “This is the Gateway to God. Righteous men will pass through” was placed on a curtain covering the chamber’s entrance (BBC, Auschwitz- facts: BBC, 2013). The main camp’s population grew......

Words: 1065 - Pages: 5


...Jews in the ghetto to Auschwitz. On the train the Jews were packed in, with almost no air to breathe, everyone was thirsty and hungry. After some days of traveling the Jews arrived in Czech, and a German officer takes over the train. The officer warned everyone that to give of their valuables or get shot. The train doors were then nailed to prevent people from escaping. Madame Schächter, was the first person to go crazy on the train, she starts to yell about a fire, which is not there. After some time a few boys beat her to silent as her son watches in fear, but the next night she started to yell once again. The Jews arrive in Auschwitz, but it was not as they have been told. They were told although it is a labor camp; the families will be kept as one. As the train traveled through the barb wire they see chimneys of smoke, and there is terrible smell, which they later find out that it is human flesh. The camp that they arrived in is the processing camp for Auschwitz. At Birkenau the Nazis make a selection form those who will live and those who will die. Some of the elders in the camp convince Ellie and his father to lie about their age, in order to stay alive. Ellie and his father were able to stay together, in the work camp. Seeing the body of pits Ellie starts to lose faith in god, and starts to question his acts. The Jews are then stripped, showered, and placed with tattoos on their arms, then they starts the march into Auschwitz itself. In Auschwitz they meet a distant......

Words: 2319 - Pages: 10

Survival in Auschwitz

...Andrew Wax Survival in Auschwitz 1. The physical space of Auschwitz seems to be very, very small with just enough room for everyone to live. There are numerous times throughout the book where Levi describes how miserable and uncomfortable the sleeping and living arrangements are. When describing the topography of his Lager, he says, “The corridors are so narrow that two people can barely pass together; the total area of the floor is so small that the inhabitants of the same block cannot all stay there at the same time” (Levi: 19). All of these terrible conditions are on top of the dehumanization process that the prisoners dealt with upon their arrival. They were all striped of their clothes and shaven bald so that everyone was essentially the same person. The Germans took away all of their rights and privileges right then and there. Levi describes this feeling as, “…now it is all over and we feel outside this world and the only thing is to obey” (Levi: 13). I think this quote describes perfectly the purpose these things serve in the camp. The Germans are trying to kill the prisoners’ souls and make them forget who they were and what the world was like before the Germans came to ultimate power. 2. I completely agree with Levi as he described this situation as a gigantic biological and social experiment. This whole situation was happening in Hitler’s peak of power and he was a very smart man. Had he stayed alive and in power, there is no doubt he......

Words: 780 - Pages: 4


...Over 60 years ago in Poland, there was a large work camp. A lot of people lost their lives because of a horrible event. Today this concentration camp is fading away, caused by the yearly visitors and its natural surroundings. This concentration camp is specifically called Auschwitz. Auschwitz should not be saved. The concentration camp could be preserved as an interesting piece of history. It could be kept open to represent all of the people who had suffered and died in Auschwitz. They could make it into a memorial so no one would ever forget what had happened in that exact place. Some people that survived the concentration camp might want it to be saved. Then they could share their journey with people who want to learn more about Auschwitz. A lot of people are very interested in learning about the concentration camp. According to the article “Can Auschwitz Be Saved?” by Andrew Curry, public interest in the camp has never been higher. Visits have doubled this decade, from 492,500 to more than $1 million in 2009. Some people say Auschwitz shouldn’t be saved. Well there are some valid reasons for that. They should tear down Auschwitz for people who do not want to remember all the horrible things that took place there, and also for people who get emotional when they see it. A lot of people might get scared when they see the concentration camp. They could have lost someone in the camp that meant a lot to them. If someone that survived the concentration camp would want it......

Words: 568 - Pages: 3

The Welcome Table

...“The Welcome Table” Arlene Randolph ENG 125 Introduction to Literature Cicely Young, Instructor November 11, 2013 The Welcome Table The title of the story would lead you to believe that this particular “table” would be welcoming, warm and inviting and the people sitting behind the table would receive you joyfully and happily. It is unfortunate that not all “welcome tables” fit this description. This story captured my interest two ways: because I am familiar with the author, Alice Walker, and having read her Pulitzer Prize book “The Color Purple”. In addition, Ms. Walker established an image at the beginning of the story. As noted in the text an image is a distinct representation of something that can be experienced and understood through the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste). (Clugston, 2010) With the description of the old woman’s attire I was able to picture in my mind exactly what she was wearing and even that she had cataract. “There was a dazed and sleepy look in her aged blue-brown eyes”. (Clugston, 2010) The setting of this story takes place in Georgia during a time when this woman did not have an automobile and had to walk ½ a mile to church. It took place at a time when all parishioners were not allowed to worship at the same church. While reading this story, I found that this old woman was not welcomed in this particular church (table) that she found herself in, I believe, because she was African American and it was a......

Words: 550 - Pages: 3


...In the concentration camp Auschwitz nearly           people died between the years      and       . I have been taught about Auschwitz in two ways. The first way was an informational text called “Arrival at Auschwitz” by Fred Baron. The second way I was taught was by a map activity that included quotes of things people would have said at Auschwitz. I believe that the informational text does the best job of delivering information about Auschwitz because the text is a lot more descriptive than the activity therefore I gain more information. Although I think that the map activity is not as helpful as the text, it still does a good job at teaching about Auschwitz. While completing the activity, I got a very strong feeling of shock because I think about everything that the innocent people had to go through and it is hard to believe. Even though the activity has a strong mood that it fives off there is almost no tone given because there are only short pieces of dialogue. Another thing that I did not think the activity did a great job at was addressing what the audience wants. Even though it is a good activity for younger students and “hands-on” learners, I do not think that it is mature enough for eighth grade students, and it does not let the students have a chance to think about the given information. I think that the informational text “Arrival at Auschwitz” does a very good job at communicating information about Auschwitz. While reading the text, I felt very sympathetic......

Words: 387 - Pages: 2

Welcome to Washington

...Welcome back to Washington Polls before the mid-term elections on November 4th suggested Barack Obama’s party would be beaten, but this was a thrashing. Republicans captured the Senate easily and their majority in the House of Representatives is now the biggest it has been in most Americans’ lifetimes. A Republican candidate in New York was indicted for 20 counts of fraud, but won anyway. Close-up, the results are even worse for Democrats. They thought they could bin a bunch of tax-cutting, union-bashing Republican governors, but nearly all survived. Instead, Republicans captured governorships in solidly Democratic states like Maryland and Massachusetts. Mr Obama cannot escape the humiliating verdict on his presidency. He campaigned in his home state of Illinois, for a Democratic governor running against a Republican who belongs to a wine club that costs over $100,000 to join. The oenophile won by five points. Yet as Republicans toast their triumph, they should be careful not to over-interpret it. Their campaign did not offer voters much of a positive agenda; rather, it consisted largely of urging them to blame Mr Obama for all the trouble in the world. That was enough to secure victory, but does not give them a mandate to pursue a wishlist of conservative policies. Although more Americans than ever hold partisan views, a larger number are weary of gridlock and would prefer their representatives to compromise to get things done. For the voters to be satisfied, America......

Words: 1232 - Pages: 5


...What Was Auschwitz? Built by the Nazis as both a concentration and death camp, Auschwitz was the largest of the Nazi's camps and the most streamlined mass killing center ever created. It was at Auschwitz that 1.1 million people were murdered, mostly Jews. Auschwitz has become a symbol of death, the Holocaust, and the destruction of European Jewry. Dates: May 1940 -- January 27, 1945 Camp Commandants: Rudolf Höss, Arthur Liebehenschel, Richard Baer Auschwitz Established On April 27, 1940, Heinrich Himmler ordered the construction of a new camp near Oswiecim, Poland (about 37 miles or 60 km west of Krakow). The Auschwitz Concentration Camp ("Auschwitz" is the German spelling of "Oswiecim") quickly became the largest Nazi concentration and death camp. By the time of its liberation, Auschwitz had grown to include three large camps and 45 sub-camps. Auschwitz I (or "the Main Camp") was the original camp. This camp housed prisoners, was the location of medical experiments, and the site of Block 11 (a place of severe torture) and the Black Wall (a place of execution). At the entrance of Auschwitz I stood the infamous sign that stated "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("work makes one free"). Auschwitz I also housed the Nazi staff that ran the entire camp complex. Auschwitz II (or "Birkenau") was completed in early 1942. Birkenau was built approximately 1.9 miles (3 km) away from Auschwitz I and was the real killing center of the Auschwitz death camp. It was in Birkenau where the dreaded......

Words: 1011 - Pages: 5

Welcome to Homicide

...Welcome to Homicide Forensic Science is a fundamental component of the justice system. Forensic scientists use scientific techniques and knowledge to assist law enforcement in investigations and solving crimes. They collect and analyze numerous types of evidence, including blood, body fluids; DNA; and human tissue. Forensic scientists assist the decision makers by showing the prosecutor if the issue has merit before it reaches the courtroom thereby reducing the number of cases having to be heard. Their decisions are based on scientific investigations and not circumstantial evidence or unreliable witnesses. Forensic scientists can restore faith in the judicial system with the use of science and technology for facts in criminal and civil investigations. The legal system is established on the belief that the legal process results in justice for all. History of forensic science The history of Forensic science or the applying of scientific principles to legal questions has a lengthy and interesting history. The first recorded autopsy was reported in 44 B.C was on Julius Caesar, where the Roman physician, Antistius proclaimed that he had 23 wounds on his body but only one was fatal. In 1248, a Chinese book entitled “His Duan Yu” (meaning The Washing Away of Wrongs) explaining how to tell apart a drowning from a strangulation. This was also the first recorded use of medicine to assist in solving crimes. In 1590, the first microscope was developed. In 1775,......

Words: 2382 - Pages: 10


...Survival in Auschwitz In the book Survival in Auschwitz, the author Primo Levi illustrates the hardships himself and others endured during the capture of Jews in 1943. Originally titled If This Is a Man, Levi expresses captivating images and vivid emotions of his experience of inhumane treatment. The memories indicate the intense and extreme situations all Jews suffered in the totalitarian state of Nazi control. Levi learns an immense amount of survival tactics in order to breathe every waking day of his new life. The weak were tested physically and emotionally as the path of death was effortless, while the road to survival seemed impossible and unachievable. Throughout the narrative, Primo transforms from an apathetic victim to a progressive survivor in the German concentration camp at Auschwitz. The concept of black marketing, knowledge in chemistry and his spirituality all contributed toward the survival of Primo Levi and others in Auschwitz. According to Primo Levi, illegality, deceit, infidelity and sin were all relevant in the concentration camp. These characteristics made up Auschwitz and were used as necessities in order to survive such horrid conditions. Those who were captured and sent to German camps quickly noticed that this was a place where happiness was extinct. Little pieces of bread, shoes or soup bowls were perceived as rather large when consumed and used by other prisoners. The smallest amount of food attracted any inmates, creating trust......

Words: 989 - Pages: 4

Welcome Address

...owe a lot to you. God speed to our classmates and friends. Above all, we thank you dear God, for making our days on this stage of the educational ladder a SUCCESS. We consider this night the most perfect night as it marks a grand celebration of our victory and fame. We cannot repay you but we guarantee to be good throughout our lives as we carry all the principles of our dear Alma Mater. Mabuhay ang bawat isa! To all of you, we give thanks for the unending love, care, support, and sacrifices you have extended to us. You will always be in our hearts because you made our lives complete and splendid. To our entire guests, visitors, and parents who made it to be here tonight, we welcome you with all our hearts, minds , souls, and hands wide open. We hope you will enjoy your stay. Once again, welcome and bear with us until the end of this celebration. Good evening and long live! Jim P. Salinas Class Salutatorian 2012...

Words: 446 - Pages: 2

The Welcome Table

...I read “The Welcome Table by Alice Walker. The Welcome Table is told in the third person and shifts the point of view from which the story is told. The theme of this story is a simple, but good one. The theme of this is about an old, rundown black woman who staggers the necessary distance in the freezing cold to attend an all-white people church. What captured my interest about this short story is the religious symbolism. Per R. Wayne Clugston “a symbol is an object, person, or action that conveys two meaning: its own literal meaning and something it stands for as well” (Clugston, 2010, p.480). It is filled with symbolism of life and death; good and evil; love and hatred; and peace and anger. Throughout this paper, Alice will demonstrate the significance of how the application of point of view, setting, and symbolism plays a role contributing the theme of a story. In the story, a black woman enters a “white” church. She is a woman of faith; “there was a dazed and sleepy look in her aged blue–brown eyes” (Clugston, 2010) blue symbolizes a peacefulness that this woman has because of her faith. She is not a welcomed visitor to this congregation, though. The parishioners feel “a fear of the black and the old” (Clugston, 2010), the use of the word black is not just to tell us the color of her skin, but to symbolize evil. This is further supported in the words, “many of them saw jungle orgies in an evil place” (Clugston, 2010). The interesting thing about evil here is......

Words: 545 - Pages: 3