Survival In Auschwitz : If This Is a Man - Primo Levi

Survival In Auschwitz : If This Is a Man

  • Release Date: Aug 22nd, 2007
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 124 Ratings


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?"


  • Great Read

    By BenTheBird
    Tells of a great story of how a man fights to live and ultimately it's title Survival In Auschwitz. Can not describe in my own words the feelings gained for this book but I would say read it for yourself and you will appreciate life much, much more.
  • Sloppy book disrespects author and subject, April 11, 2008

    By Marco Bianchi
    By S.J. This review is from: Survival In Auschwitz : If This Is a Man (Hardcover) This book from bnpublishing contains serious multiple errors, sometimes five per page, that disrespect the author and the Holocaust and force the reader to stop and try to figure out the author's real meaning. Book is full of incorrect or missing punctuation (such as periods), words and names spelled different ways from one sentence to the next, random capitalization, run-on sentences, grammatical and spelling errors in English, French, and German. "Figfit" is not a word. Neither are "infaticable," "aroupd," or "mochery." The phrase is "flash of intuition," not "flask." The sign over every concentration camp was "Arbeit Macht Frei," not "Fret." You say, "avec moi," which means "with me," not "avec mot" which means "with word." Phrases like "there were no dark cold air had the smell" (p. 107) stop the reader dead. Very disrespectful of the author and the subject. Levi was a brilliant man with astounding powers of observation and recall for his hellish experiences. His words deserve to be preserved better than this.
  • Amazing

    By RV9av8tr
    Told as though the author was sitting next to me. This is not a novel, it's MUCH better. I love books written like this because it is so easy to connect. This is a must read.
  • An amazing book of a horrific journey

    By Rich Katz
    This book educated and enchanted me, reactions I did not expect from a book by a survivor about life and death and the in-between at Auschwitz. Levi was a perceptive, caring and articulate human being and as a writer, more fully communicates the experience of Auschwitz than any other account I've read or heard.
  • If this were a man

    By nmosesgo
    Primo Levi's sober memoir provides a stark reminder of how inhuman humanity can be when engaging with the other. This is not the account given by Elie Wiesel- a familial-centric struggle for survival. Rather, this is the story of a marginalized man among the marginalized- as he did not speak German prior to entering the lager. Levi's ability to remain removed from his experiences provides a sharp relief for those who have never read on this topic, and leads the reader to experience their own set of emotions- as opposed to emulating those of the author. Levi provides haunting incite into the systematic destruction- not just murder- of millions. "To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one: it has not been easy, nor quick, but you Germans have succeeded. Here we are, docile under your gaze; from our side you have nothing more to fear; no acts of violence, no words of defiance, not even a look of judgement." Haunting, concise and at points clinical, Levi- as Vergil to Dante- leads the reader though the depths of depravity and despair.


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