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If This Is a Man and The Truce by Primo Levi

If This Is a Man and The Truce (1947)

by Primo Levi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,703216,272 (4.43)144
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» See also 144 mentions

English (19)  Italian (2)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Surprisingly there is a lot of humour in The Truce, which helps the book to end on a more hopeful note after the horror of If This is a Man. Everyone should read this. ( )
  LuxVestra | Aug 28, 2018 |
My first real understanding of the scale of the horror of Wolrd War II, and the depth of the horror of the camps.
  joannajuki | Aug 1, 2018 |
This is the story of a man who survived the holocaust.

But survived is not the right word. There is no right word.

I found myself much more engaged in the first half of the story, the one recounting his horror of a time in Auschwitz - his and that of so many others, little haunting tales of people who suffered and sickened and perished, or who came out of there clinging to the tatters of their lives without any idea of how to keep on living... And yet, somehow, one way or another, that was exactly what they had to do.

This is a story that everyone should read; this is a something that should never be forgotten, if only that it would never ever happen again.

  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
This book. It is sad and beautiful, tragic and uplifting. Levi has the admirable ability to transcend malice, and with this work simply seeks understanding of the people and the circumstances that led him to be incarcerated in an Auschwitz work camp. The first book (this edition is two books in one) outlines camp life, the chilling morning wake up call that remains nightmare-fodder for years to come, the selections, the tormenting hunger and the emotional depths that are reached when faced with such depravity and violence on a day to day basis, the cold, the tenuous relationship they all have with life itself. Also, the friendships, and small mercies that keep him going.
Then in book 2, The Truce, his long and wayward journey from camp liberation back to Turin, Italy. Although free, he and his fellow refugees are at the mercy of the liberators and locals for food, shelter, and transport home. His observations are so detailed, and reported with a non-judgemental eye. When travelling through Germany, he writes:
I felt that everybody should interrogate us, read in our faces who we were, and listen to our tale in humility. But no one looked us in the eyes, no one accepted the challenge; they were deaf, blind and dumb, imprisoned in their ruins, as in a fortress of wilful ignorance, still strong, still capable of hatred and contempt, still prisoners of their old tangle of pride and guilt.

Levi credits his ability to move on from his experiences, such as it is even possible for one to do that, to the cathartic effect that writing about them had. This edition ends with a series of questions Levi has been asked at various speaking events, where he so eloquently and reasonably tackles the big political questions surrounding the Holocaust. So many of which are scarily relatable to today's leadership of the US. If for this reason alone, people should read this book. ( )
  LovingLit | Feb 28, 2018 |
I found this book to be a painful and heart-breaking read but also very moving and powerful. Primo Levi's first person narrative shows us the dark side of our nature and grabs you as soon as you start reading. His writing is somewhat poetic and transports you as he tells the story of his will to survive and persevere. This book should be read by anyone interested in history of life in a German concentration camp. A very touching story. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Primo Leviprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bailey, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bench, CarolineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chagall, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
If this is a man: I was captured by the Fascist Militia on 13 December 1943.
The truce: In the first days of January 1945, hard pressed by the Red Army, the Germans hastily evacuated the Silesian mining region.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Includes two works: If This Is a Man (US: Survival in Auschwitz) and The Truce (US: The Reawakening).
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Testimonianza sconvolgente sull'inferno dei Lager, libro della dignità e dell'abiezione dell'uomo di fronte allo sterminio di massa, "Se questo è un uomo" è un capolavoro letterario di una misura, di una compostezza già classiche. Levi, ne "La tregua", ha voluto raccontare anche il lungo viaggio di ritorno attraverso l'Europa dai campi di sterminio: una narrazione che contempera il senso di una libertà ritrovata con i segni lasciati dagli orrori sofferti.
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Very heavy R/R. on remaining copies; the Truce is the story of Levi's 20 months in Auschwitz, now a major new film; the first is also a Holocaust memoir by the industrial chemist and author.

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