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The Good Times Are Killing Me

I'm a nerdy girl with too much time on her hands, and too many books on her to-read pile.

Currently reading

Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm, Lucy Crane, Walter Crane
Natasha Wimmer, Roberto Bolaño

Survival in Auschwitz

Survival in Auschwitz - Primo Levi, Stuart J. Woolf, Philip Roth I deeply believe that no one can finish this book and leave unscathed. Primo Levi's one year experience in Auschwitz is one of those tales of survival that puts in perspective everything in your life; every notion of discomfort and pain, and every thought on humanity.On "If This is a Man" Levi describes the process that took away from him every preconcieved notion of what it meant to be a human in the XX century, and made him a faceless, hopeless slave that saw death at the turn of every corner. And even now, decades after these events happened, when people are faced with new forms of horror and the future is as uncertain as ever, his words remain powerful and current, warning us about the dangers of power and the fragility of everything we think is inherent to our nature as human beings. This book also got me thinking about the little details in my daily life that I take for granted. I couldn't help but feel guilty about reading such a memoir in my bed, surrounded by blankets and nursing a slight fever with proper medication and the care of a mother. I also thought about the massacres that happen so often in my country, specially of things like the death by execution of 4 policemen that had been kidnapped 12 years ago, at the hands of the criminals that took them. One of them had a kid that was battling cancer, and who never got to meet his dad. The fifth prisoner got away at the last minute, and this morning I heard him talk about the inhuman conditions he and his partners had to endure in the jungle, with chains all over their bodies and completely disconnected to everything they knew and loved. And what about the Rwanda genocide, and the conflict in the middle east, and the Guantanamo tortures? It seems that as time goes by we find more and more excuses to turn against each other, while also believing that the horrors of the holocaust will never repeat again. This is why I think that "If This is a Man" (or Survival in Auschwitz) has to be read by everyone: it reminds us that horror is not in a movie, that we are both the monsters and the victims, and that, if we let ourselves be carried away by fear and lies, we may very well become the next slaves, or the quiet, powerless people at the other side of the fence, witnessing injustice and doing nothing about it.