What Nazi Crimes Against Humanity Can Tell Us about Torture Today

Susan Derwin

in Speaking about Torture

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242245
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242283 | DOI:
What Nazi Crimes Against Humanity Can Tell Us about Torture Today

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Writing of their violation at the hands of their Nazi tormentors, Holocaust survivors Primo Levi and Jean Améry describe how torture left them with intense feelings of abandonment and estrangement from their communities. While Améry formulated the impact of torture in terms of the primordial anxieties it triggers about human dependency and broken attachments, Levi's earliest text reveals a muted rage that becomes explicit in his later works. Taken together, the writings of these two men convey the enduring and volatile aftermath of torture that many survivors must face. This chapter thus considers the writings of Levi and Améry in an effort to understand the impact of the Bush administration's sanctioning of torture on the Iraqi citizens who were detained as a result.

Keywords: Auschwitz; Primo Levi; Jean Améry; Holocaust; Abu Ghraib; Muselmann; Survival in Auschwitz; The Drowned and the Saved

Chapter.  5948 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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