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The Survivor

 I am twenty-four
led to slaughter
I survived.
The following are empty synonyms: man and beast love and hate friend and foe darkness and light.
The way of killing men and beasts is the same I've seen it: truckfuls of chopped-up men who will not be saved.
Ideas are mere words: virtue and crime truth and lies beauty and ugliness courage and cowardice.
Virtue and crime weigh the same I've seen it: in a man who was both criminal and virtuous.
I seek a teacher and a master may he restore my sight hearing and speech may he again name objects and ideas may he separate darkness from light.
I am twenty-four led to slaughter I survived.

Poem by Primo Levi
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