Italian-Jewish writer Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz(1947) relates his harrowing survival in a Nazi prison camp.The Italian title, Se questo è unuomo,has also been translated as If This Is a Man.The work shows humanity at its absolute worst (Nazi transgressions) and at its best (Levi’s resolute survival). Survival in Auschwitz comprises an author’s preface, a poetic epigraph by Levi, and 17 short chapters, ranging in length from 4 to 22 pages. Primo Michele Levi (Italian: [ˈpriːmo ˈlɛːvi]; 31 July 1919 – 11 April 1987) was an Italian Jewish chemist, partisan, Holocaust survivor and writer. Throughout nights of “alternating sleep, waking and nightmares,” Levi writes (63), “the expectancy and dread of the moment of reveille keeps watch” (or in Italian, “ vigila. Levi, Survival, 41 (Opere, 1:35). The Drowned and the Saved presents a thematic treatment of the Holocaust, revealing the how it is remembered, forgotten, and stereotyped by surviving victims, the perpetrators, and subsequent generations. The true and harrowing account of Primo Levi’s experience at the German concentration camp of Auschwitz and his miraculous survival; hailed by The Times Literary Supplement as a “true work of art, this edition includes an exclusive conversation between the author and Philip Roth. He survived the experience, probably in part because he was a trained chemist and as such, useful to the Nazis. His will to bear witness, and record the hellish particularity of the Holocaust, helped save his life in Auschwitz. . … Primo Levi was imprisoned at the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. Survivor Primo Levi relates how to very few live to tell their stories and unmasks the true depths of Nazi evil. Abstract. See, for example, the tortured poem “Il superstite” (The survivor), in Opere, 2:581. “The need to tell”: what is this need? ↩ This position is clearly stated in Levi’s later work. Soon after the war ended, he wrote several books about his experience. Auschwitz narrative, Primo Levi’s Se questo è un uomo (a title poorly translated as Survival in Auschwitz). Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. See also Judith Wolf, “From ‘If This Is a Man’ to ‘The Drowned and the Saved,’” in Gordon, Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi, 43. It also inspired the writing he will be remembered for. He was the author of several books, novels, collections of short stories, essays, and poems. In the preface to Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi says he wrote the book because he felt “the need to tell our story to ‘the rest’, to make ‘the rest’ participate in it” (9).Levi’s intentions in writing his essential Holocaust testimony are worth reflecting on for a moment. 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