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fernholz's profile pic

fernholz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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"No News from Auschwitz" by A.M. Rosenthal displays irony through a few different living things. One example of situational irony occurs when the children are playing and laughing. This shouldn't be happening in the same place where so many Jews were tortured and brutally murdered. The Holocaust will never be forgotten.

Not only the children playing, but also the beautiful nature surrounding Auschwitz are ironic. It seems like everything should be dreary and sad. The beautiful nature is anything but dreary. We actually become more cheerful when we see children playing and pretty flowers; therefore, it's ironic. It's not what we expect.

The title is ironic because we have actually heard a lot of news about Auschwitz in the past. We still hear about Auschwitz. Survivors never want us to forget about what occurred there.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One definition of irony is that it is an outcome of events that is contrary to what would be expected.  The story is ironic in this sense.

In 1958, AM Rosenthal of the New York Times visited Auschwitz and filed the story you refer to.

The whole point of his story is that Auschwitz, which was once the site of one of the greatest horrors of the 20th century, was such an unimportant place just thirteen years later.

When Rosenthal got there, what he saw was children playing and sunlight on the poplars and not much else -- nothing going on.  How could that be in a place where something so important had happened?

As Rosenthal says

And so there is no news to report about Auschwitz. There is merely the compulsion to write something about it, a compulsion that grows out of a restless feeling that to have visited Auschwitz and then turned away without having said or written anything would somehow be a most grievous act of discourtesy to those who died here

This reflects the irony -- there's nothing going on in a place that has so much meaning for our history and for the people who died there.