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Book Review – Survival in Auschwitz, By Primo Levi Review by Walter S. Zapotoczny In the book Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi paints a detailed picture about living as a Jew in fascist Northern Italy and then being transferred to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. By 1943, the Nazis had moved south and set up holding camps around Italy to detain political prisoners and those of the Jewish nationality until they could be transported to established concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Dachau. This book depicts what happened to Levi after his arrest in 1943. Along with 650 others, he was loaded into a freight train for a four-day journey without food or water and without the liberty to leave the train at anytime. Upon their arrival at the camp of Auschwitz, Poland, the first of a precession of selections took place. Th e German SS Soldiers separated those they deemed capable of work from those they deemed incapable, such as women, children and elderly. Only 135 of the 650 from Levi’s train were admitted into Ausc hwitz, the other 515 went immediately to the gas chambers. Levi recalled with remarkable accuracy the humiliation and confusion felt as he was forced to assimilate into his new surroundings. The food rations were too insufficient to stave off the hunger. Thousands of others around him were suffering and unavoidably dying as a result of this insufficient food supply. Although he was new to the camp, his experiences w
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