Activity 3 - The Camps

1. "Auschwitz was hell". (Fela Bernstein, survivor)

Auschwitz has been described as a different universe and an indecipherable world. Consider, for example why inmates might kill a fellow prisoner for stealing an inmate's bread. Write down your thoughts using examples from the testimonies in the section Camps.

2. Think about the ordinary, everyday language used by survivors to describe deportation by train. Now consider those words used to describe arrival at Auschwitz. Throughout these testimonies, you will hear familiar words that are used in everyday conversation. These words, however, take on a very different meaning within the context of the Holocaust.

  • Having completed the worksheet, discuss your thoughts. What have you learned about language used today compared to that used by Holocaust survivors?


3. "There was a revelation at Auschwitz, of a dreadful and devastating sort, of what happens when a principle of evil is harnessed to up-to-date technology and in an atmosphere that is denuded of morality." (Hugo Gryn - Auschwitz survivor).

  • Think about Auschwitz as a different moral universe. Consider the role of medicine, science and technology in a camp such as Auschwitz. Was it used to benefit society? Can you think of modern day examples, which can either be used to benefit or to destroy society? Record your responses.