Primo Levi: »Wir können und müssen verstehen.« Die Ambivalenz des Un_Übersetzten
In his oeuvre, Levi postulates that it is necessary to understand the horrors of the concentration camps – yet only under the condition that the »un-translated« is accepted. This article is dedicated to this »non-translated« level and explores the various translation processes in relation to the struggle towards understanding by illuminating particularly the »non-translated« as a consequence of translation that either failed or was forbidden in the daily life of the concentration camps. The phenomenon of the »non-translated« is generated through the insights of those involved, that in the camps there were no borders, that well-known models of behaviour crumbled, and that friend and foe lost their original meaning. The various shapes of the »non-translated« will be grasped with Primo Levi's concept of the »grey zone« and will be empirically substantiated by various examples drawn from personal memories and accounts of concentration camp survivors.