Death Penalty Paper

Submitted By ashjquiring
Words: 1736
Pages: 7


A Response to Auschwitz and Memory of the Camps
March 8, 2012
American History

A Response to Auschwitz and Memory of the Camps “Let us remember that we are on the site of the most gigantic cemetery in the world, a cemetery where there are no graves, no stones, but where the ashes of more than one million people lie" said 2005 Polish Culture Minister Waldemar Dabrowski (2005, p. 1). This quote describes the atrocities that took place during World War II in concentration camps such as Auschwitz. While reading Auschwitz (Nyiszli, 1993) and watching Memory of the Camps (1985), I gained valuable information about the horrors that prisoners suffered through during World War II. I found Nyiszli’s description of the workings of the concentration camps in Auschwitz (Nyiszli, 1993) appalling. I learned important information through my reading, but was sickened by the horrors that were described. There are several accounts of World War II through the eyes of a concentration camp prisoner, but very few accounts written from the perspective of someone who was working with the Nazis. I found it interesting to read about what the prisoners and guards had to go through on a daily basis. While I was interested by the way the information was presented, I was also disgusted by the graphic description of German atrocities. I also gained valuable information from watching Memory of the Camps (1985). The graphic scenes shown in the video nauseated me. All of the footage that was shown was filmed by the Allied troops when they invaded the concentration camps. The video linked the horrors I had pictured while reading Auschwitz (Nyiszli, 1993) to actual footage of the camps. It was hard to believe the atrocities that I read about, but seeing them graphically depicted in the video made it real. I thought that Memory of the Camps (1985) was a fantastic companion to Auschwitz (Nyiszli, 1993) because it enhanced the horror of the heinous crimes committed during World War II. Both the book and video are incredible resources for information on the workings of concentration camps. I would definitely recommend both the book and video to anyone who isn’t afraid of becoming queasy and learning the truth about Auschwitz and other camps like it. Both the book and video are excellent sources for anyone who wants to learn more about concentration camps. I would recommend that anyone who is going to read the book and watch the video should read the book first. Auschwitz (Nyiszli, 1993) gives valuable background information on the inner-workings of the Nazis and the prisoners recruited to work for the Nazis, or the Sonderkommando. After reading the book, I would recommend watching the video for a visual representation of what went on in the concentration camps. While reading, the horrors described are often under-imagined, but the video makes the atrocities more real and less ignorable. Through the description of many horrors, Auschwitz (Nyiszli, 1993) left me with an overall lingering bad impression. Nyiszli (1993) writes that the prisoners were killed in multiple ways. Prisoners were killed by suffocation in gas chambers, chloroform injections to the heart, a bullet to the neck, phosphorous bombs and several other methods. The one method that stood out the most to me was the bullet to the back of the neck. According to Nyiszli (1993), 70 young women were taken every night from C Section to be “liquidated.” He described the blood-curdling screams that filled the crematorium hallways. This description made an impression on me because I put myself in the shoes of the young women imprisoned in Auschwitz. I imagined the terror of going to bed each night without knowing if I’d live to see the morning. Nyiszli (1993) writes that after prisoners had been killed in the gas chambers, the bodies were prepped for the crematoriums. I found it appalling the way that the Sonderkommando stripped,