from page 31?
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The answer to that question is very complex. First, the Nazis make it very clear to their prisoners that they hold the power of life and death over them. When the prisoners arrive, they are made to think that they are all going to die in the fiery ditch, and they are periodically beaten and abused by the SS guards. Then their individual identities are completely erased when they are shaved, doused in petrol, and given identical, ill-fitting clothing. They are denied any sort of personality whatsoever, and the only way to deal with the constant abuse is to shut down all human emotions: "Our senses were blunted; everything was blurred as in a fog. It was no longer possible to grasp anything. The instincts of self-preservation, of self-defense, of pride, had deserted us.Within a few seconds, we had ceased to be men." Treated as animals, the prisoners know that the Nazis will have no qualms at destroying them. For this reason, it makes logical sense to obey the Nazis' commands.