Edited by Tyrone S. Pitsis, Ace Simpson and Erlend Dehlin
Chapter 14: Managing the _ód_ ghetto: innovation and the culture of persecution
‘I, Haim Rumkowski: why am I so hated and cast down? Decades after my death at Auschwitz I remain the subject of derogatory portrayals. But who knows me? Does Mr Primo Levi, for instance, that “expert survivor”, know me? He describes me as “disturbing”: “uneducated”, “authoritarian”, “despised”, “derided”. Who will speak for me (who ever speaks for the Jew)? Well, I will. Here I am still. Here I am! Haim Rumkowski is my name. I suffer but I do not flinch and I do not hide. It pains me but I shall remind you of my history. If this is to be Haim Rumkowski’s Testament, then let no one say that it did not look history in the face or that it hid away from truth. “So dazzled by power and prestige”, Mr Levi describes me, as to forget my “essential fragility” as a human being. Neither dazzled nor fragile, Mr Levi, Sir . . . And you know it yourself: the Jew has no time, no place, to be either dazzled or fragile. In the ghetto of Litzmannstadt even less than other places.
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