by Primo Levi
"[B]ecause the Lager was a great machine to reduce us to beasts, we must not become beasts; that even in this place one can survive, and therefore one must want to survive, to tell the story, to bear witness; and that to survive we must force ourselves to save at least the skeleton, the scaffolding, the form of civilization. We are slaves, deprived of every right, exposed to every insult, condemned to certain death, but we still possess one power, and we must defend it with all our strength for it is the last - the power to refuse our consent." (p. 41)
Primo Levi was at the German death camp of Auschwitz for ten months, and that was the advice given to him from another prisoner when he was teetering on the brink of giving up hope. Survival In Auschwitz is the story of the survival of both his body and his humanity. It does not dwell on the deaths, the gas chambers and ovens. It shows the reader how he and a number of others endured sickness and deprivation, cheated "selections", and sometimes just through sheer "dumb luck" lived to tell their own stories.
I will let the quote stand alone as a testament to the heart, soul and courage you will find in the pages of this remarkable memoir.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!