A Dante Of Our Time : Primo Levi and Auschwitz by Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri

By Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri

This unique and well timed quantity info the impression of Dante's Inferno on Primo Levi's vintage Holocaust narrative, Se questo è uomo, and his final e-book of essays, I sommersi e i salvatie. Such key options as reminiscence, justice, and the area of the impartial sinners - «la zona grigia» for Levi - are given specific emphasis. 3 questions shape the spine of the ebook: Can reminiscence be triumph over? the place is justice for the Holocaust survivor? and, Is there a center flooring among sufferer and oppressors, and the way does Levi outline it? abundant use of interviews with the writer show how Levi relates those 3 inquiries to such modern figures as Sigmund Freud, Franz Stangl, Rudolf Höss, Jean Améry, Liliana Cavani, and Kurt Waldheim

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The squad worked with death as part of its daily chores and yet, when faced with an individual case, the members found themselves overcome by pity. They revived the girl and a doctor was called in. Just at that moment, SS Commander Muhsfeld happened by. The doctor explained the case to him. 38 The Grey Zone and the Neutral Sinners Muhsfeld listened and then decided: the girl must be killed. Loathe to carry out the order with his own hands, he called in an underling who shot the girl with a bullet to the nape of the neck.

In the case of the mass extermination of the Jews, the three men mentioned above-Ross, Stangl, and Darquier de Pellepoix-were able to argue more or less successfully that they knew by rumor, they only knew later, or they did not know at all. Where Levi would part company with Munsat's theories is over the implication that victims can also use their own volition to stop active remembering. " They are powerless to stop the flow of their memories; remembering, the "action verb" that began in the death camps, has no end for them.

19 The difference then between the grey zoners and the neutral sinners is that the former acted while the latter refrained from acting. Nonetheless, these two groups occupy similar niches in their respective infernos since they lived neither in bono nor in malo but per se. Thus said, this opening toward a non-schematic, non-dichotomous vision of human nature does not make Levi a moral relativist. "Non vogliamo confusioni, freudismi spiccioli, mobosita, indulgenze. "20 The Nazis themselves were not unaware of the moral abyss that often separated them from their victims and they devised devious ways to bridge this gap.

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