Speak You Also: A Survivor's Reckoning by Paul Steinberg
In 1943, 16 year-old Paul Steinberg was arrested in Paris and deported to Auschwitz. He survived the death camp due in part to his admitted ruthlessness and not a little to luck. Some 50 years later, Steinberg describes his strategies for survival, the maneouvres and tactics he applied with cold competence. In an unsparing act of self-examination he traces his passage from artless adolescent to a ruthless creature determined to do anything to live. Steinberg was assigned to work in the camp's laboratory alongside Primo Levi, who would later immortalize his fellow inmate as "Henri", the ultimate survivor, the paradigm of the prisoner who clung to life at the cost of his own humanity. Of Levi's judgment, Steinberg says, "no doubt he saw straight. I probably was that creature, prepared to use whatever means I had available. I will never know whether I am entitled to ask for clemency from the jury." But, he asks, "is it so wrong to survive?".