7 Gut-Wrenching Books About Everyday Life Under Totalitarian Regimes.
22 de noviembre de 2017Sara Araujo
These must-read stories made us think that reality is about to overcome fiction.
"When we came to Ebensee, the hunger and the labor and the way especially for us Jews, the way we were treated, we were sure that not one will survive that camp, that this was it. The man in charge of our block was a professional killer. He enjoyed so much killing people. The people who went to the hospitals when they were sick there, hardly one came out alive. The people who were not working, who were in that hospital, Jews received half of the rations that the normal worker received. Non-Jews began the regular rations if they were not too long in that hospital. Uh...we went, I remember, to the shower, in that camp. It was the end of February, the beginning of March. It was still cold. When we came out from the shower, we stood outside I don't know how long. Without clothes, without wiping ourselves off. I would never believe that a person can survive standing in the outside in the wintertime without clothes for so long."
This is one of the many stories of Leo Schneiderman, a Polish man who survived the gruesome fatalities of concentration camps in Austria. Most of us have read these heartbreaking narrations more than once, and for sure, they never fail to make our soul ache. It is clear that testimonials like Leo's have been a very strong source of inspiration for amazing but blood-curdling literature. Since totalitarian regimes have been part of society for a long time, the need to talk about it through different portrayals has become stronger over the years.
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
1984 by George Orwell
Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada
Based on a true story, Alone in Berlin is the gripping tale of an ordinary man's determination to defy the tyranny of Nazism. In 1940, at the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, in Berlin, its various occupants try to survive the fascist regime in their different ways. Among them, the unassuming couple of Otto and Anna Quangel change their passive attitude after receiving the news that their beloved son has been killed while fighting in France. Shocked out of their quiet existence, they begin a silent campaign of defiance and a deadly cat-and-mouse game between the Quangels and the ruthless Gestapo inspector Escherich.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard Evans
Considered one of the world’s most distinguished historians, Evans has written one of the most remarkable descriptions of this particular time in history. Evans’s history adds drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis. Moreover, this book shows how Germany's historical context in the early 1930s was preparing the country for such a takeover to occur. The Coming of the Third Reich is a true piece of art you should read if you're really interested in totalitarian regimes and their origins.
Mussolini's Italy by R. J. B. Bosworth
Bosworth vividly brings to life the period in which Italians were part of one of the twentieth century’s most notorious political movements. Il Duce’s Fascists were the original totalitarians, since their cult of violence and obedience inspired many other dictatorships, including Hitler's. But as Bosworth reveals in his book, many Italians resisted this ideology, finding ingenious ways to keep Fascism from rooting in their society as deeply as it did in Germany.
Today, however, we have tools to act against these adversities. We can learn from history and speak against the oppression of others when we have the opportunity to do so. While we might think there's a new mindset in the world, there are still thousands of people thinking totalitarianism is the best way to control others. There's still a long way to go for us to suppress this type of mindset. Nevertheless, we can do so by informing ourselves through these reads and manifest against these regimes.
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