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The Drowned and the Saved
In his final book before his death, Primo Levi returns once more to his time at Auschwitz in a moving meditation on memory, resiliency, and the struggle to comprehend unimaginable tragedy.Drawing on history, philosophy, and his own personal experiences, Levi asks if we have already begun to forget about the Holocaust. His last book before his death, Levi returns to the subject that would define his reputation as a writer and a witness.Levi breaks his book into eight essays, ranging from topics like the unreliability of memory to how violence twists both the victim and the victimizer. He shares how difficult it is for him to tell his experiences with his children and friends. He also debunks the myth that most of the Germans were in the dark about the Final Solution or that Jews never attempted to escape the camps. As the Holocaust recedes into the past and fewer and fewer survivors are left to tell their stories, The Drowned and the Saved is a vital first-person testament.Along with Elie Wiesel and Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi is remembered as one of the most powerful and perceptive writers on the Holocaust and the Jewish experience during World War II. This is an essential book both for students and literary readers. Reading Primo Levi is a lesson in the resiliency of the human spirit.
One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps
For over 100 years, at least one concentration camp has existed somewhere on Earth. First used as battlefield strategy, camps have evolved with each passing decade, in the scope of their effects and the savage practicality with which governments have employed them. Even in the twenty-first century, as we continue to reckon with the magnitude and horror of the Holocaust, history tells us we have broken our own solemn promise of "never again."In this harrowing work based on archival records and interviews during travel to four continents, Andrea Pitzer reveals for the first time the chronological and geopolitical history of concentration camps. Beginning with 1890s Cuba, she pinpoints concentration camps around the world and across decades. From the Philippines and Southern Africa in the early twentieth century to the Soviet Gulag and detention camps in China and North Korea during the Cold War, camp systems have been used as tools for civilian relocation and political repression. Often justified as a measure to protect a nation, or even the interned groups themselves, camps have instead served as brutal and dehumanizing sites that have claimed the lives of millions.Drawing from exclusive testimony, landmark historical scholarship, and stunning research, Andrea Pitzer unearths the roots of this appalling phenomenon, exploring and exposing the staggering toll of the camps: our greatest atrocities, the extraordinary survivors, and even the intimate, quiet moments that have also been part of camp life during the past century.
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