What is the tone of "No news From Auschwitz" by AM Rosenthal?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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A.M. Rosenthal's article "No News From Auschwitz" was written in 1958 to create awareness about what was sadly going on in the location of one of the most horrifying concentration camps that ever existed during World War II, Auschwitz, a mere fourteen years after the end of the War. 

at Brzezinka, in the ruins of the gas chambers and the crematoria the Germans blew up when they retreated, there are daisies growing. 

Using irony, paradox and rich description as main literary devices, Rosenthal indirectly juxtaposes the "then and now". He represents the "now" using illustrations that greatly and almost grossly contrast with those that took place just 14 years previously. The entire narrative is ironic in both tone and nature. The pretty descriptions that the author uses are not intended to bring out a positive message that better things are happening now.

A brick building where sterilization experiments were carried out on women prisoners. The guide tries the door—it’s locked. The visitor is grateful that he does not have to go in, and then flushes with shame. 

Instead, he subtlety shows his anger at the fact that no news have come from that place in the last decade when, in fact, we should never forget all that took place there; we shall always remember the horrors of Auschwitz. It is not because we must be bound to dwell on the negative, but because Auschwitz was a particularly cruel and evil place and not just one of many places that we can choose to let bypass into anonymity. 

Now, everything there is told as if it had been a story; there are plenty of artifacts to look at, and people cannot, and will never, grasp the magnitude of everything that occurred there

For every visitor there is one particular bit of horror that he knows he will never forget. For some it is seeing the rebuilt gas chamber at Oświęcim and being told that this is the “small one.”

Therefore it is necessary that the tone of the article is ironic, because the entire situation explained in the article is highly ironic indeed. It is ironic that one same place on earth can be witness to so much, for a period of time, and then it all ends...but does it, really? That is the huge irony of it all. 

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