Vulnerability and responsibility in states of exception. The testimony of women in the Nazi Lagers
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The aim of my paper is to investigate the connection between vulnerability and responsibility in extreme circumstances, such as those represented by the state of exception of concentration and extermination camps. I believe, in fact, that reflecting on crucial concepts for ethics – such as vulnerability and responsibility – within “relational states of exception” allows us to better understand their meaning, both theoretical and ethical. In particular, I will focus on the relationships between women prisoners in concentration and extermination camps. In the first part of this article, I will therefore focus on the theoretical framework of vulnerability and responsibility starting with the reflections of Emmanuel Levinas and Simone Weil, who, in one of the darkest periods of humanity, reflected on these concepts. In the concluding part of the article, I will attempt to trace the concepts of vulnerability and responsibility in some testimonies of women survivors of the Nazi Lagers.