Silence

Silence

TADEUSZ BOROWSKI (1922-1951) Polish short story writer, poet, essayest, and journalist, was a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Dachau.  (published in 1959)

At last they seized him inside the German barracks, just as he was about to climb over the window ledge. In absolute silence they pulled him down to the floor and panting with hate dragged him into a dark alley. Here, closely surrounded by a silent mob, they began tearing at him with greedy hands.

Suddenly from the camp gate a whispered warning was passed from one mouth to another. A company of soldiers, their bodies leaning forward, their rifles on the ready, came running down the camp’s main road, weaving between the clusters of men in stripes standing in the way. The crowd scattered and vanished inside the blocks. In the packed, noisy barracks the prisoners were cooking food pilfered during the night from neighbouring farmers. In the bunks and in the passageways between them, they were grinding grain in small flour-mills, slicing meat on heavy slabs of wood, peeling potatoes and throwing the peels on to the floor. They were playing cards for stolen cigars, stirring batter for pancakes, gulping down hot soup, and lazily killing fleas. A stifling odour of sweat hung in the air, mingled with the smell of food, with smoke and with steam that liquified along the ceiling beams and fell on the men, the bunks and the food in large, heavy drops, like autumn rain.

There was a stir at the door. A young American officer with a tin helmet on his head entered the block and looked with curiosity at the bunks and the tables. He wore a freshly pressed uniform; his revolver was hanging down, strapped in an open holster that dangled against his thigh. He was assisted by the translator who wore a yellow band reading ‘interpreter” on the sleeve of his civilian coat, and by the chairman of the Prisoners’ Committee, dressed in a white summer coat, a pair of tuxedo trousers, and tennis shoes. The men in the barracks fell silent. Leaning out of their bunks and lifting their eyes from the kettles, bowls and cups, they gazed attentively into the officer’s face.

“Gentlemen,” said the officer with a friendly smile, taking off his helmet-and the interpreter proceeded at once to translate sentence after sentence-“I know, of course, that after what you have gone through and after what you have seen, you must feel a deep hate for your tormentors. But we, the soldiers of America, and you, the people of Europe, have fought so that law should prevail over lawlessness. We must show our respect for the law. I assure you that the guilty will be punished, in this camp as well as in all the others. You have already seen, for example, that the S.S. men were made to bury the dead.”

“. . . right, we could use the lot at the back of the hospital. A few of them are still around,” whispered one of the men in a bottom bunk.

“. . . or one of the pits,” whispered another. He sat straddling the bunk, his fingers firmly clutching the blanket.

“Shut up! Can’t you wait a little longer?” Now listen to what the American has to say,”a third man, stretched across the foot of the same bunk, spoke in an angry whisper. The American officer was now hidden from their view behind the thick crowd gathered at the other end of the block.

“Comrades, our new Kommandant gives you his word of honour that all the criminals of the S.S. as well as among the prisoners will be punished,” said the translator. The men in the bunks broke into applause and shouts. In smiles and gestures they tried to convey their friendly approval of the young man from across the ocean.

“And so the Kommandant requests,” went on the translator, his voice turning somewhat hoarse, “that you try to be patient and do not commit lawless deeds, which may only lead to trouble, and please pass the sons of bitches over to the camp guards. How about it, men?”

The block answered with a prolonged shout. The American thanked the translator and wished the prisoners a good rest and an early reunion with their dear ones. Accompanied by a friendly hum of voices, he left the block and proceeded to the next.

Not until after he had visited all the blocks and returned with the soldiers to his headquarters did we pull our man off the bunk-where covered with blankets and half smothered with the weight of our bodies he lay gagged, his face buried in the straw mattress-and dragged him on to the cement floor under the stove, where the entire block, grunting and growling with hatred, trampled him to death.
tr. Barbara Vedder

(The Schutzstaffel (SS) or “Defense Squad” was the elite Nazi military corps. Created in 1925 as Hitler’s bodyguards, the SS, or Black Shirts, controlled German security, including the Gestapo (secret state police) and concentration camp guards.)

Answer each of the following questions in complete, gramatically correct sentences. After you have answered the questions, follow the essay instuctions given at the end of this page.

  1. What is the narrative point of view of “Silence”? How is the point of view suited to the ideas expressed in the story?
  2. In what way does the behavior of the prisoners change when the American officer arrives? How do you account for this change?
  3. How do the prisoners react to the American officer’s speech? What is their opinion of him? How do we know?
  4. Does the narrator make any judgments about the prisoners’ treatment of the guard? How does the flat style of the narration contribute to the central theme of the story?
  5.  What elements in the story reinforce its central theme?
  6.  What comment does silence take about the prisoner’s need for vengence? About the Americans’ ability to understand the horrors of the concentration camps?
  7. Do you think the prisoner’s response is justified? Do you believe such violent actions can ever be justified? If so, under what circumstances?

74 responses to “Silence

  1. Although murder is wrong, I can see why the prisoners did what they did to the soldier. After all the suffering they have gone through, and most of them coming out with no families to go to because they’ve all been killed, all that anger and sadness built up caused that reaction. They wanted revenge, they wanted the soldier to see the fear and torture they experienced. I think by them taking justice in their own hands that would make them feel like that soldier wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone anymore.

  2. i personally want to be a diplomat so seeking would be my first approach yet reading the short story you feel that the soldiers are justified in killing the soldier. though rule of law should prevail we must take into account these are people who saw there family burnt to death and they were tortured so it is in a certain manner justified. the hardships of that time were very unbearable and the stress was immense. it trully does make you appreciate what we have.

  3. It is understandable why the men committed murder on the German officer. To them it is only reasonable because of their suffering and the pain that was being dealt to them by the same people as the German officer. But the idea of revenge isn’t correct because it will get to a point where both sides have nothing left.

  4. I read this story last year in my 1a class and what the Nazis did to the jews is unforgivable I mean I could only imagine the hatred some of them might have towards them. most of the jews are so remarkable and inspirational to the better human beings and look passed what was done to them, shows how strong they are!

  5. Listening to this video lead me to believe this song was portraying a dream that one of them had. Paul Simon expresses a message of how ignorance can affect the minds of many people. He reveals how people can take order from higher chain of command with out truly understanding their intentions.

  6. This was a very sad short story. They were out for revenge for everything they have been put through. I think it is very sad that these people were pushed so far to act in a extreme way.

  7. Morally correct forms of punishment, in this case, would never suffice to satisfy the victims of a crime. Although the American came in with great news and advised them to leave the consequences that the Nazi’s will face in the hands of the law, they responded to that advice with cold sarcasm. None of them wanted to see the Nazi’s enjoy tomorrow after all the suffering they caused. I can honestly say that, if I were in the shoes of the prisoner’s, I would have felt the same way and would have made sure to step on the German officer twice on my way out.

  8. There is black, white, and grey. People try to deny that there is a grey area at all, but others know that’s where most of us live. Were these prisoners justified? Whose to say…did they care is the question? They were beaten, starved, separated from their families, executed…what’s it to them to get a small piece of revenge if they had the opportunity. One taken back among the hundreds killed everyday. I dont think morals matter when you been treated inhumane. In the end, we all trigger our animal spirits…and there is no church in the wild.

  9. This story is a big conflict when it comes to right and wrong. Yes, people are born with the intuition of knowing what the correct thing to do is, but what happens when you see your family, your friends, everyone you loved killed right in front of you? You have nothing to live for. All the hatred clouds your judgement and there is so much anger that nothing will be able to hold you back from killing people that killed people you love. It seems that there is no other choice than to get revenge when there is absolutely nothing to live for and there’s no certainty that you will survive at the end of each day.

  10. Jews were separated from their families, starved to death, given horrible living conditions, and murdered in front of their family members. With all this hatred and sadness built inside each of them, they were given one chance to attack a guard stationed at the camp. However, was it right to kill the guard? I believe in this circumstance it was okay. After all that the people at the camp and in different camps were put through, the people were given a opportunity to inflict the physical pain they were given to the one guard.

  11. This is a bitter sweet story for me.
    no one understands the pain that someone feels after suffering , so
    who can really say what justice truly means to a person?
    personally I don’t feel like killing anyone is actual revenge or justice because it doesn’t stop the pain from hurting.
    & how many people does a person have to kill to feel better?
    & why would a person want someones blood on their hands?
    I don’t believe in taking a persons life regardless of the circumstance
    “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword”
    “vengeance is mine says the LORD”

  12. This is natural for any and all of us to feel. Vengeance is a human emotion and all too often we act upon this emotion as other emotions without thinking of all possible outcomes. Its horrible what was done to the Jews but because of what was done to them does that make it acceptable for retaliation? If we accept retaliation then in turn we are accepting the original acts of genocide also. The idea of any kind of murder of a person for any thought, idea, or belief is simply ludicrous. I do not feel that the people wanted to do the exact same and commit genocide however I do feel that their insatiable lust for revenge was more than they could handle and thus clawed and tore away at the soldier. We all want to act on our most powerful of emotions but at what point do we punish those that have committed and those that have committed?

  13. This truly begs the question of whether morality is universal or situational. I can’t fathom what the Jews went through and who knows what that German officer did to specifically to them. I don’t say I could fault them for their actions considering the agony they were forced to endure. Then there is the other side of it regarding murder. The German officer was outnumbered and murder after all is a sin. Where does the line get drawn? Would anyone bring these Jews to trial over it? How far can you stretch justice before it is deemed murder? There is no black and white answer honestly. Probably why the death penalty is so debated.

  14. In this situation it is easy to understand why the people decided to take a life. They felt that they have all the right to murder this man as he belongs to the group of people who caused them this great suffering. However this matter is not justified with the reasoning provided above. If one traces back the source of this wrongdoing , one can conclude that these men also are victims of this tragedy. In the minds of people who did not live in Germany at this time; it is difficult to find justification on the men who killed millions of other people. The German people have been hit with propaganda and that these inferior people have done them great harm. These beliefs were deeply intergrated into the German people and it goes as far as even being scientifically proven. I will not go too deep into the psychology of the aryan race or the brainwashing done by their government. Im also no expert, but i do speculate that the average German citizen at the this time felt that these people deserve worse treatment, and the average German officer or soldier have undergone through greater forms of brainwashing. For a soldier or an officer there was a belief of the superior race and that these other people were not just simply inferior, but cancerous to their society. With the sense of duty and the sense of procteting their people they executed these people. They also did this based on orders. Also, the motive revenge used by the people in this concentration camp could also be the same motive that these soldiers used. They also believed that these people did them great harm, as these young man probaly grew up in the times after world war 1. They believed the cancerous people were the cause of all their misfortunes, similarly as these people killed this officer out of revenge. We know that based on tyhe sense morality these two groups people are wrong. However there is reason in these two groups, and something that bothers me is that those German soldiers were once normal babies like the rest of us. There is a misconception that these people are evil demons, but no matter how cruel they were, they were human. Even in today’s terms I see the American people becoming much like the old Germany. I believe humans are great beings, even with the chaos. A nice way to prevent this type of things to reacurr is to educate ourselves and OTHERS of the past and present. Maybe take a step back, and view our current and past actions in a neutral view and think why did i do this? or why am i doing this? or why would i do that? Also what caused me to do such things. Try to explain your own reasonings behind your justified evil doings, and maybe in the process you will stop doing evil actions.

  15. The story “Silence” was sad because these people were getting beaten and starved to death and couldn’t do anything about it because they would get killed. The main point of this story is how angry the characters were because they were beating and attacking the solider so bad that they ended up killing him and they did that to make a stand and to fight back.

  16. Why is the story named “Silence”? To what silence is the author referring to? Is it the silence the American unknowingly imposes on the prisoners, never allowing them to take the revenge they desperately want? Is it the silence the prisoners allow, nodding in agreement with the America while quietly holding in a violent urge? Or is it the silence experienced by the German soldier, smothered and waiting to be killed by the people he helped torture?

    I can see an argument for either of the above interpretations of the title. I believe that is what makes “Silence” an interesting read. It makes use of its characters to get convey a multitude of feelings in limited space. It also questions morality, which is always fun.

  17. I posted in the wrong area, oops!

    It’s a tough situation, to believe in your morals, or believe in what’s right. But there is right and there is wrong, the prisoners have already broken some laws, there is no going back. They got their revenge without getting caught. I guess they can move forward to what the American Officer offered in punishing the guards.

  18. I posted in the wrong area, oops!

    It’s a tough situation, to believe in your morals, or believe in what’s right. But there is right and there is wrong, the prisoners have already broken some laws, there is no going back. They got their revenge without getting caught. I guess they can move forward to what the American Officer offered in punishing the guards. – See more at: http://www.jankollitz.com/rcc/silence.html#comment-12012

  19. After I watched the Schindler’s List, I have a deeper thought about this story. After all these torture, fears, and deaths, tears and language could not express their pain and sadness. The silence is an act of revenge, which is the strongest emotion they use to treat their enemies.

    • It’s a tough situation, to believe in your morals, or believe in what’s right. But there is right and there is wrong, the prisoners have already broken some laws, there is no going back. They got their revenge without getting caught. I guess they can move forward to what the American Officer offered in punishing the guards.

  20. The saying “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” popped in my head while reading Silence. After reading this short story I thought about what I would do if I was in a similar situation. On one hand, I would probably want to hurt the person who tortured me, but on the other hand, I would feel guilty for doing so. I would like to think that I would watch law enforcement handle it, but I would have to be in a similar position to find out.

  21. After reading this short story i was rather happy. I know the holocaust is not something to be happy about, but it is a wonderful feeling when someone gets what they deserve. I dont condone people taking the law in to their own hands, but considering what those men did I dont blame them for killing the guard. As far as the American telling them to not lose sight of whats right and wrong , I belive since he didnt have to endure the torture the jewish did he had no right to stop them from getting revenge .I condider myself lucky to be born in this country although I dont always agree with what our country is doing and has done. I know america has done great things to end wars and try to help other countries ,but sometimes we’re like the soilder in story telling people what do without really knowing what they have gone through.

  22. Silence was an interesting read. It made me think about what I would do in that situation. If I had been tortured and ripped away from my family for that long knowing that when I got out I would have no one left; would I jump on the first chance to enact revenge? Would I remain steadfast in my Christian beliefs that “love covers a multitude of sins”? I would like to say that I would choose the latter, but in reality I cannot be sure.

    The story doesn’t say whether or not the men who killed the German officer felt satisfied or guilty from their actions. I would like to think that they felt guilty. If they didn’t it would make them just as horrible as their perpetrators. Like a son abused by his father, only to commit the same horrendous acts to a child of his own.

  23. As the title suggests, this story is about silence. The Jewish people suffered for years at these horrible camps in silence. When they finally were able to give out justice to one of the guards that was stationed at the camp. They treated it with silence and instead of giving him a trial or sentence, they silently beat him to death as so many of their friends and family were beaten and killed during the Holocaust.

  24. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden, they went hiding from God’s sight because they knew the good and evil from that point on. This marked the first time in human history when a cover-up was made to hide someone’s guilt. Similarly, the Jewish prisoners had done something they thought had to be done, silently. This story helps me understand that when an individual desperately seeks justice, he or she might or might not take a lawful route to see the justice served.

  25. In this short story although I feel for the prisoners that were being mistreated I do not like the ending to this story. I may be old fashioned but I believe that there is no need for revenge. In the end they all will answer to the only one that can judge them and have the correct justice served to them. In class my group discussed about how how them killing this guard was justice for them. I know they went through some harsh times in those days but not even having the privilege of killing this guard will change anything that happened. Yes they will feel wonderful for what a minute? an hour? a day? Then what? I know many may not agree with me but this is how I felt at the end of this story.

  26. Upon reading silence, It truly makes me feel grateful to be an American, in so many ways. To be able to fight for so much, have many diverse friends, live where I want, and basically do what I want. Let us think as Americans, and this story and how it makes us feel, and what would be are mindset if we were in the position of these people. As Americans, we can’t imagine a life outside of our comfy secure country of the US. The many people that were lost in the Holocaust will never have a chance at anything. The men in this story are probably the last of their families, and the mindset that they were in when the American came, was a natural feeling. Whether we feel it was wright or wrong to us, they have a right to own whatever is going on with themselves. I am very proud that it was someone from my country to help them. VERY PROUD

  27. I am not a survivor of the Holocaust, but I can truly relate to this story. I have visited Europe in 1996, and even though I did not visit the camps, many of the people there were still reliving the pain of what happen. As I looked around at how beautiful the country looked it, it was hard to imagine how many people lost their lives there. As an American, if I would not have ever visited this country, I would be able to empathize with this situation, just simply sympathize. Here in America, the rule of justice is not the same as with the people of this story. We simply put our evil in jail and or later sentence them to a dignified death. With this said, if I had to endure what these people had to endure, and I managed to survive it. * The rule of punishment would be different from mine here in the states, and it would have to be carried out differently (if allowed). But with no rule, the justice would be handled in the hands of the abused and tortured.

  28. It is a lot easier for people to give their opinions on something that they have not experienced before in real life. It was easy for the American to tell the Jews not to preform any other unlawful acts on the Germans that will get them into trouble but, after what the Nazis did to the Jews all the Jews wanted was to commit unlawful acts on the Nazis like they had done to them. It is hard to say where the moral line is crossed when the German solider is trampled to death. The Germans did a lot worse to the Jews but the Germans did not believe they were crossing the moral lines.

  29. Watching a loved one get killed in front of you, as some of the jewish prisoners did, is obviously traumatic, and some would say a natural response would be revenge up to and including murder. Yet what some of the Jews in the short story “Silence” did was in my opinion unjustified and would today be classified as premeditated which carries serious implications. Also, the first response during a traumatic experience is seldom the correct one. It is important to know that the author Tadeusz Borowski committed suicide at the age of 28. It is not clear his level of involvement in the murder of the prison guard, but one does have to wonder if guilt was a driving factor in the author’s self-murder.

  30. When I read this last semester and this term I couldn’t help but feel sorry for both parties. The former prisoners had gone through hell and the man they killed was beaten brutally, and no one deserves either of those those things.

  31. Reading, “Silence” i felt a sad vibe , i felt like the people in that prison wanted to scream out all of what they are going through. It felt like they didn’t have a voice. I could feel the neglect and horrors that happened in that place.

  32. Imagine living in a place where you are torture and you cannot even talk. The prisoners from the Holocaust were in concentration camps where they did not have any kind of rights. They were forced to live in inhumane conditions. In a place and time where people are getting killed and tortured it is hard to trust. This short story brings the image of Americans strength of ending the WWII because they were fighting for justice.

  33. I believe that this story had a deeper meaning behind it then just a simple story of revenge. The author of this short story was himself a captive at two different concentration camps and brought along those experiences when he writes. What he is saying through this poem is that he believes that the Nazi got off easy and that the Jewish people never really go to see justice with their own eye. This poem is what the author wanted to do to his, and those like him, captors.

  34. Prisoners were forced to live their lives in silence. They could not raise their voices at the injustice they were forced to endure daily, the cruel ways of living, and the horrendous murders happening all around them. For victims of the Holocaust, silence was part of life.

  35. Life in the concentration camps have robbed these men of their humanity. They were forced to live in deplorable conditions and they have been treated like dogs. With the loss of one’s humanity, there is also a loss of the ability of morality and trust. Because the men did not trust the American soldier, they kept the SS officer hidden from him. Because they lacked morality, they stooped to the Nazi’s level and killed the SS officer.

  36. I read this story last semester in my English 1A class and enjoyed reading it again to refresh my memory. “Silence” is the voice for those who suffered a horrible injustice. It suggests that horrors can only be covered for so long, they will then eventually be revealed. The hate and revenge in their hearts only brought them down to the same level as the S.S. officers. They became morally corrupt, but they feel that their actions were justified. The only thing is that taking a person’s life can leave you with a guilt that can eat you up inside. Their silence was finally broken and heard.

  37. I can’t say whether I would have acted differently. The SS did some horrible things to many people, and often in front of their family members and other prisoners, and were probably deeply hated. Seeing that kind of violence toward the people you love definitely changes you, so it’s no wonder the prisoners still decided to carry on with the brutal murder of this evil officer. Makes me wonder if justice is still justice, regardless of who is enforcing it and how the guilty are punished. The prisoners probably wanted the officer to know that he was being payed back directly by all the people he hurt. If they handed him over to the Americans, perhaps they figured it wouldn’t have been enough.

  38. Upon reading “silence” a second time, after gaining an understanding i noticed the whole story in the end ties all the actions together. It’s the writing style which adds suspense as the reader can’t feel out the behavior of the prisoners behavior until it’s, finally reviled they were hiding an SS guard. I saw forgiveness as a theme because they couldn’t find it in their heart to do nothing, but kill the guard for all the torment the nazi put them through along with their families. Even after the fact the American solider said all Nazi’s will be punished and declared freee.

  39. The American wanted justice to prevail and for things to be done the right way to the nazis. The American didn’t suffer like the Jews and he wasn’t as angry as the Jews. The Jews killed the German soldier anyway even though they were told not to. I don’t blame them for doing this even though the soldier probably should have been tried. It is terrible that the Jews had to go through those hardships and it has had a huge impact on their history.

  40. I find myself asking what I would have done? Truly one can only hope that this will never happen again, that man might learn from our past. The holocaust must never be forgotton.

  41. a people pushed beyond their breaking point. Seeking active retribution. My husband was swaying to the music as i was watching the video. He loves old folk songs

  42. After reading the first couple of lines, I was confused as to why the short story is called “Silence.” The reader is told elements that involved soldiers living in barracks with prisoners. Most people know of the fact that barracks are typically chaotic and unrealistic. However, once reading more of the story I began understanding the reason for the title. The author would then propose that silence is not about being defeated, loss, or prolonged sadness but rather of being joyful and success. However, after reading this story the value of silence is something that I can question now. The author stresses the point of silence being important and having a reason to be silent. He can successfully avoid the usual approach or people’s meaning of silence.

  43. people will go to extreme lenghts to meet their personal vendettas. Everyone seemed to turn to a vigilante after they have gone through so much suffering and pain. but they must remember that they cannot stoop down that low. I realize that what most of these had to go trough was hell, but never take matters into your own hands and always let people do their jobs.

  44. It seems to me that the title “Silence” of this story is a word used to describe the hopelessness, despairs, and oppression the prisoners had been felt in the camp. Although the War is over and the prisoners are about to be released by the American soldiers, the prisoners still act like the day before, and they forget their ability to welcome their freedom due to the extended emotional tortures. It is an interesting story which makes me appreciate the freedom we have been enjoying more.

  45. I thought the prisoner was the S.S. men who was keeping everyone silence in the Gernman’s barrack. They did not want the truth to come out that they killed a lot of innocence jews. The reason they was silence about their war crime is because they feer that they will be execute by the American. The S.S. men was cheering and aplauding toward the American officer as if they where innocence.

  46. It’s hard to place yourself in the shoes of a prisoner and experience the hatred they have toward their tormentors. Killing is never a good thing but the hardships the prisoners (not sure what type of prisoners they are..?) endured must overpower their sense of what is right. Great story.

  47. After reading the short story i thought i t was really sad how far these people were pushed. I think The author titled it Silence just because no one was really able to step back and stand up for the rights of the people. Or maybe it was a silent victory as to how these people were able to get some revenge by the end of the story.

  48. The song was very nice, I enjoyed listening to it. The story tells a story of a dark time in history. Reading the short story it really teaches me to appreciate life because you never know when it might all be taken away.

  49. Priscilla K. Cornejo

    So if I remember my English 1A class had an assignment on this I remember somewhat of the theme and message but I actually enjoyed watching the video of these two singing.

  50. This story shows me how spoiled we are and how much we take everything for granted. We should appreciate while we have it because once it’s gone it will be too late.

  51. This is an amazing little story, its short yet so inviting to see the situations of the holocaust and what people do when pushed past what they can take.

  52. It is really something to hear a story like this that could show someones potential to harm someone when pushed to the limits. was a really moving clip and reading.

  53. This was a very interesting story. Anyone that get pushed to the extreme limit will become with a heart of revenge.

  54. This article demonstrates the simplicity and “undeveloped” minds of WW II. The article develops a emphasis on the occurrence of the vehemently occurence when an American military base would infiltrate that of an S.S. base. Much is left out of the natural and severely abstruse occurrences that would occur on these concentration camps. The Americans that saved were seen as the jevoah of these camPs. One could argue otherwise, but when would one really one be in this position?

  55. The events that happen during World War II still incite curiosity among the new generations. For instance, World War I which happened in less than a lapse of twenty years from the second has been almost forgotten. Historians have recount and analyzed time after time the catastrophic events of WWII and there is always something of new interest.

  56. The title of the story reinforces values. My initial thoughts were why choose such an unrelated title, but it became relevant in the context of the ideas that were stressed by the author. I soon realized that something in me reached the feeling of attachment not only to the author but to the story as a whole. Knowing that silence does not automatically mean defeat somehow my way of viewing it changes also. The author would like to stress the point that silence was being embodied with an importance. He knows how to withdraw the usual approach of the people regarding the meaning of silence.

  57. This was a very interesting short story. It really shows how people release their true colors when pushed to extremes. I think it is very sad that these people were pushed so far.

  58. I felt so moved by this story. It is amazing that the troops expected the prisoners to treat the Nazi’s with any sort of compassion. While reading this I felt myself rooting for the prisoners to take justice into their own hands and enforce their own punishments on the Nazi.

  59. Simon and Garfunkel were a perfect duo to sing this song. i like the meaning and the voices go with it so well.

  60. This is crazy how you can relate this song with something that happened in real life. To bad we do not have more people like them.

  61. The holocaust was truly a horrible time in history. The world needs to be filled up with more people that are willing to help others and not try to control others.

  62. After listening to this song a few time i was able to see the connection is has to the holocaust. “Silence” in this cense was the way of the Jews speaking out against the injustices they were put threw.

  63. This is a great story that captures to its fullest extend the events that reshaped our modern day society. From this recorded events we, the present and the future, are able to analyze the events that took place in those days and thus learn from those mistakes. Nevertheless, those events that happen during the WWII are still disturbing for the mind and painfully sad for the heart when revise after many decades. Yet knowing the past we can prevent future human catastrophes like the one that happen during that time, and thus we can reshape a better future for everyone to enjoy.

  64. this story shows the evils that have happened in the past and how we can further correct and change the future, but in some ways it will not change because history always repeats itself.

  65. In silence, I feel that Borowski has the reader think about so many diffrent concepts of not only the holocaust, but mainly about revenge if it is right or wrong. I feel that taking matters into your own hand won’t do any good in the long run, because you will still feel the same afterwards.

  66. This really shows us what a great life we have and we shouldn’t be so selfish and complain about everything.

  67. An excellent example and glimpse into the mind of a person who has experinced such extreme condintions in life. While tradgic that these horrors occur it is valuable to try and understand the dynamic and mental state of this period. It sheds light to those that share similar experinces in understanding the actions good people can be capable of in certain situations.

  68. When i am taken back to these times that people had to face, it makes me feel selfish for complaining about my lifestyle, for i am free, and living a great life! It is so heartbreaking knowing that people were forced to be under these conditions and face these disasterous times! i can not even imagine the pain and hurt and suffering of mental and physical illness! it is not fair to them! but with understanding that this is reality, i know it can truly mess up and disturb ones mind for the rest of there life!

  69. The barrack is where a full of noise. What would title “Silence” mean? I was trying to figure it out, but it is so hard for me.. Is this Silence mean victory?

  70. Human hatred has no boundries. To find justice within these events can be counterintuitive on many levels. But, in the eye of touture and death for simply on the account of a certain race can be hard to look in the face. There is no written laws for the emotional astrocities one is dealt with and pyscological reprucussion. Looking from the outside in is one thing, but to be a living being part of such inhuman acts can be intangible, only those or that person can fully grasp what is at stake.

  71. I think the Holocaust is an example of the evilness that the humankind is capable of. All the atrocities that these people went through are sad to read. When it comes to this short story, i wouldve done what the prisoners did. I think they did this to release their anger and take a little revenge for everything that was done to them.

  72. The holocaust is one of the worst things to come from mankind. The things people had to endure are heart breaking. As far as this story I would’ve done the same. I think they were taking what little revenge they could get while blowing off some steam to maintain their sanity. I find it ironic that they were still acting like prisoners and hiding their actions even after they have basically been told they are free.

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