Can you please in some way connect Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, and Ruth Kluger as Holocaust survivors?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that each of their experiences differ, but there is a need for each of them to bear witness.  The memories of the Holocaust, or revulsion, are strong and dominant enough in their own minds whereby they feel a need to express themselves and bear witness to what they experienced.  For Levi, the question of dehumanization and the level to which human beings dehumanize another become vitally important in his writing.  Levi explores how the battle for humanity must face its adversary with equal magnitude and intensity.  Kluger feels the need to write about her experiences as far back as 1945.  Yet, being able to develop the vocabulary and the psychological frame of reference becomes vital for her to speak her experiences.  For Wiesel, both the need to speak about his experiences as well as articulate the condition of dehumanization from a moral and ethical point of view is what drives his writing.  For all three of them, the connection I see is the need to explore their own subjective experiences and bear witness to what was experienced by all victims.  In this, their subjectivities can operate as possible objective experiences in a time period where all absolutes seemed to be absent.

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