The side of Good and Evil
In this chapter, Primo Levi describes the operation of the black market in the concentration camps. The black market is an economic market that is operating in hidden places in violation of legal price controls, rationing in extraordinary high prices. Thus, the existence of black market is a negative factor in society since it might lead to undesired economic impacts such as inflation affected by the high money spending. However, Primo Levi, describes black market as a way for prisoners in the camps to survive, the black market in the camps are ways for prisoners to trade their shirts, shoes in exchange of their essential foods such as bread. Later Primo Levi left thoughtful quote for the readers. “We now invite the reader to contemplate the possible meaning in the Lager of the words 'good' and 'evil', 'just' and 'unjust'; let everybody judge, on the basis of the picture we have outlined and of the examples given above, how much of our ordinary moral world could survive on this side of the barbed wire.” This quote, in fact, asks the readers whether their act of creating black market was moral or immoral when it comes to the matter of survival. To this, I want to reply that whether the act is just or unjust is not important, rather, we need to take into account of those who had led to the creation of those black markets; the Nazi soldiers. The Nazi soldiers have taken all the property and liberty away from the prisoners, in which, they were in constant hunger and sufferings. Black market was only the response of prisoners against the severe attacks from the Nazi people. Thus, I say that it is not our choice to blame those who had created the black market, rather, blame those who had led to the creation of it. Without the root of the Evil, the Evil would not exist.