Auschwitz Report — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Both were left behind when the camp was evacuated and so their time at Auschwitz coincided exactly. De Benedetti was a medical doctor, though he only acted as a doctor in the final weeks of his time at the camp.
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His survival was truly amazing given that he was in his 40's when he arrived, as normally those over the age of 30 were sent directly to the gas chambers on arrival. Much of the report describes the facilities for treating the sick.
Treatments were rudimentary, medicine was in short supply and the skill of the nurses was minimal. Normal practices of hygiene were ignored. Cross-contamination and infection were widespread.
The hospital was only set up a few months prior to Levi's arrival; there had previously been no medical treatment at all. Sick inmates worked until they collapsed, at which point they were beaten; if they moved they were sent back to work and if not they were sent to the crematoria. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Also see Auschwitz Protocols.
Auschwitz Report: An Extract
Dewey Decimal. Some of what it does contain—for instance, the authors thought the S onderkommandos were criminal inmates rather than Jews—we now know to be inaccurate. Despite this, the publication of the document gives readers, and especially Holocaust scholars, new insights into Levi's work. An excellent introduction by editor Gordon gives an astute overview of the stylistic and historical relationship between this work and Levi's later autobiographical writings.
A midwife’s report from Auschwitz
Levi's training as a chemist and his friend and fellow survivor De Benedetti's training as a physician bring to the piece a dispassionate tone that has, in a sense, prefigured the best writing about the Holocaust. This is an important addition to Holocaust literature, but probably of limited interest to the general reader.
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- Auschwitz Report by Primo Levi with Leonardo de Benedetti.
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