Thoughts on Survival in Auschwitz

I come from a Jewish family, and I regularly attended synagogue and services when I was younger. Because of this my parents and grandparents have always placed an importance on learning about the horrors of the Holocaust, and have had me read quite a few books about the Holocaust in the past. Most notably I have read the story called Night by Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor quite a few times. A few years after first reading his story he came to my synagogue as a guest speaker and it was incredible to finally see and hear the  man whose story hit me so hard in person. He had spent time in the grueling camps of Auschwitz and Buna, as well as Buchenwald.  Being able to put a face and a voice to the words that I had read previously was an indescribable experience, and it made me even more disgusted by, and interested in the Holocaust. There are not many Holocaust survivors still alive today, and I’ve been fortunate enough to hear a few of them speak about their tragic stories. Primo Levi was one of a very small amount of people contained in Auschwitz that survived, and he was able to survive due to a number of circumstances. Children, women, and the elderly were usually killed very early, leaving mainly young healthy men to work in the camps. As well as being a young healthy man, Primo was able to use his education to his benefit by gathering extra food rations to stay as nourished as possible. And he also was fortunate enough to fall ill at the perfect time, which actually ended up saving him, as Auschwitz was abandoned right around that time. I look forward to speaking about the story in class, as the Holocaust is something that I feel should be taught about in all schools.





1 thought on “Thoughts on Survival in Auschwitz

  1. Speaking of Elise Wiesel’s book Night, I have it, but I have yet to read it.

    I sort of envy your connection to the holocaust, though at the same time, I do not desire it. I studied world War 2 a lot when I was younger, and was horrified at the scale of the destruction of the Holocaust. Though I really have no solid connection to Europe, I find myself lucky understand… to a limited extent the horrors of war and this particular terror. This partially came from the visit to the Hisroshima Atomic Bomb museum, which may not have been the same, but it really hit home the darkest side of war. It also came from other works about the Holocaust. To be honest, I didn’t really understand Anne Frank’s diary that well, but I read Maus and another book called Laura’s Twin. Both were critical to my understanding of my life in the ghetto and the camps. So I find myself in a rather strange position. You have a personal connection and were brought up knowing of the Holocaust. I found myself discovering it on my own, but I sort of feel a disconnect, and yet I yearn to understand the survivors. At the same time, I know that if I had that type of connection to the holocaust, one of my family would have experienced that horror…

    Oh and in this image… I was searching it up (A little NSFW) is Elise Wiesel, in the second row from the bottom, seventh from the left.

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