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If This Is A Man by Primo Levi

If This Is A Man (1947)

by Primo Levi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,563841,568 (4.3)173

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English (64)  Italian (7)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Primo Levi's "Survival in Auschwitz" is a heart-wrenching account of the year he spent in the German concentration camp. Levi, who was captured as a member of the Italian resistance and mistakenly thought admitting he was Jewish, rather than a part of the resistance, would give him a better chance at survival. He focuses on how those who survived made it-- mainly through ingenuity and theft.

This is an important book and a hard read. It's more a straight-forward account of Levi's time in the camp as compared to "The Drowned and the Saved," which is more focused on trying to understand the tragedy of the Holocaust and its impact years later. ( )
  amerynth | Dec 31, 2018 |
This book was about a chemist who spent around a year in a concentration camp. This like most holocaust books was very hard to read. I do believe this is about as important as Anne Frank or Night is to read. It is something everyone should have to read at some point. The feelings about this book are very extreme. It is about how to survive, which hopefully nobody ever has to do in a situation like this again. Levi was in one of the most terrible concentration camps, auschwitz and the accounts about this are something straight out of a nightmare. This book is very hard for my to review because as important as it is, it is also equally as hard to read. ( )
  nicolemeier111 | Aug 29, 2018 |
As hard to read as expected. Levi does an amazing job of showing the ingenuity of the prisoners/slaves/inmates. As he explains, no matter how bad it got, they nearly all had some sort of hope to keep going. Even when they thought and discussed "if it gets worse, I will..." but they never do. They just kept going, stealing, dealing, accepting beatings as an acceptable risk to get another shirt, or make another spoon, or make a deal with a willing civilian. How much work they could do while starving and, at the end, while ill, is unbelievable to me.

I really want to read the next volume—about his return to Italy as a survivor. To reintegrate into society after such a harrowing experience seems nearly impossible. Yet he did it, successfully. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 30, 2018 |
I’ve read both fiction and nonfiction books about the holocaust. I’ve read both Primo Levi’s list books. I think I liked his novel a bit better than the memoir but the memoir was harder and real and the novel was lighter. I liked this memoir that examines humanity. I like the title If this is a man but better and it fits the novel better than Survival in Auschwitz.

The book shows how deep is hope in man that he can’t give up even in the worst conditions. Even when he was certain that he would end up in the selection process he never quit. When examining myself, I shudder to think of what they endured and cannot imagine surviving such conditions. ( )
  Kristelh | Apr 20, 2018 |
Primo Levi is an Italian jew who survived 10 months in the German concentration camp of Monowitz before being liberated. He recounts events of that time with a particular interest and observation of what "makes" a man. ( )
  TheWasp | Mar 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Levi, Primoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
De Matteis-Vogels, FridaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miravitlles, FrancescTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riedt, HeinzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roth, PhilipAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segre, CesareAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voi che vivete sicuri
Nelle vostre tiepide case,
Voi che trovate tornando a sera
Il cibo caldo e visi amici:
Considerate se questo è un uomo
Che lavora nel fango
Che non conosce pace
Che lotta per mezzo pane
Che muore per un sì o per un no.
Considerate se questa è una donna,
Senza capelli e senza nome
Senza più forza di ricordare
Vuoti gli occhi e freddo il grembo
Come una rana d'inverno.
Meditate che questo è stato:
Vi comando queste parole.
Scolpitele nel vostro cuore
Stando in casa andando per via,
Coricandovi alzandovi;
Ripetetele ai vostri figli.
O vi si sfaccia la casa,
La malattia vi impedisca,
I vostri nati torcano il viso da voi.
First words
I was captured by the Fascist Militia on 13 December 1943.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Original title: Se questo è un uomo (If This Is a Man). Published in the US as Survival in Auschwitz.
Publisher's editors
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684826801, Paperback)

Survival in Auschwitz is a mostly straightforward narrative, beginning with Primo Levi's deportation from Turin, Italy, to the concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland in 1943. Levi, then a 25-year-old chemist, spent 10 months in the camp. Even Levi's most graphic descriptions of the horrors he witnessed and endured there are marked by a restraint and wit that not only gives readers access to his experience, but confronts them with it in stark ethical and emotional terms: "[A]t dawn the barbed wire was full of children's washing hung out in the wind to dry. Nor did they forget the diapers, the toys, the cushions and the hundred other small things which mothers remember and which children always need. Would you not do the same? If you and your child were going to be killed tomorrow, would you not give him something to eat today?" --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In 1943, Primo Levi, a 25-year-old chemist and "Italian citizen of Jewish race," was arrested by Italian fascists and deported from his native Turin to Auschwitz. This is Levi's classic account of his ten months in the German death camp, a harrowing story of systematic cruelty and miraculous endurance. Remarkable for its simplicity, restraint, compassion, and even wit, Survival in Auschwitz remains a lasting testament to the indestructibility of the human spirit. Included in this new edition is an illuminating conversation between Philip Roth and Primo Levi never before published in book form.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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