Giving and Receiving Humanity: Gifts Among Prisoners in Nazi Concentration Camps

Jill G. Klein, INSEAD
Tina M. Lowrey, University of Texas at San Antonio

Giving and Receiving Humanity:  Gifts Among Prisoners in Nazi Concentration Camps

Jill G. Klein, INSEAD

&

Tina M. Lowrey, University of Texas at San Antonio

 

Abstract

 

Gift-giving research in the field of consumer behavior has expanded our understanding of what a gift can be and of what it means to give.  However, this research has been conducted in fairly normal contexts such as romantic dyads and family holiday exchanges.  But what happens when the context becomes much more extreme and gift-giving embodies life and death decisions?  The purpose of this paper is to explore instances of gift-giving in Nazi concentration camps.  In spite of intense pressures toward selfishness, prisoners gave gifts to one another, demonstrating the basic personal need to express humanity through generosity.

[ to cite ]:
Jill G. Klein and Tina M. Lowrey (2006) ,"Giving and Receiving Humanity: Gifts Among Prisoners in Nazi Concentration Camps", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 659-660.