One of my favorite readings so far is “This Way For The Gas, Ladies And Gentlemen”, by Tadeusz Borowski. It is an easy to read text that is about events that happened, not this specific story but the history around it. It gives us, with plenty of details, about how those people lived in the camps by just mentioning one task that they had to go through. That task is to unload the trains that moved people into the camps, separate them into which will go to the camps (women and men separately) and which will go straight to get killed and also how they had to take off the dead bodies.The task in addition with the protagonist’s thoughts it made me feel very emotional. That is a reason why I think this is a Great Work, not just because you learn something about this historical event but also that with just words you feel all these emotions and you have pictures of what it might be like for them.
I liked the scene in this story where there is a “tall, grey-haired woman” (702), where she sees the protagonist struggling to complete his order, she kindly helps him and tells him “my poor boy”. I think that this is a very strong scene with just a few lines, that made me realize how those people even in those very difficult and inhumane times they would try to help each other. This also reminds me of our current situation with the pandemic, where people will try to help each other even if they wouldn’t do it before the pandemic, and it gives me a positive vibe which is opposite of the theme of the text which is a sad story.
I have heard many times the phrase “history repeats itself”,and I think that texts like this one, that not just states the facts but triggers emotions are important because we certainly would want to avoid something like that happening again.
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