Survival In Auschwitz : If This Is a Man
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Survival In Auschwitz : If This Is a Man (Auschwitz Trilogy #1)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  19,745 ratings  ·  671 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 153 pages
Published August 22nd 2007 by BN Publishing (first published 1947)
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K.D. Absolutely
May 29, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
This book is said to be one of the most important books ever written about Holocaust. What I am referring here are not the history books but the first-hand experiences written and narrated by the people who were there when the Holocaust happened. Since I read a handful of these, I can't disagree. I even think that, in some aspects, this could be the MOST important of them all.

You see, Anne Frank wrote her diary The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank at 13 while hiding in her house with her family so she was not able to include her...more
Sam
Jun 04, 2007 Sam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every person alive.
I will try not to overstate my feelings on this book.

I believe this is one of (if not THE) most important book ever written. Everyone should read this book. It details Levi's journey from his home in Turin to Buchenwald. It is absolutely beautifully written. Levi's style of writing is unlike any other I've read. It is detailed, incredibly intelligent, moving, poignant, and in some way almost detached from his experience, which makes reading about it all the more moving and painful. To hear him...more
Caroline


This book is perhaps easier to read than one might imagine.

Primo Levi, aged 25, was attached to a resistance group in Italy. He had recently graduated from Turin University as a chemist, and he was Jewish.

He was captured by German forces in 1944, and deported …. And from then on followed a year of hell in Auschwitz.

Levi writes beautifully, but with a cool voice, so the reader is able to stand slightly back from the horrendous experiences that he describes.

Not everyone is the same in the camp. N...more
Marco Tamborrino
È uomo chi uccide, è uomo chi fa o subisce ingiustizia; non è uomo chi, perso ogni ritegno, divide il letto con un cadavere. Chi ha atteso che il suo vicino finisse di morire per togliergli un quarto di pane, è, pur senza sua colpa, più lontano dal modello dell'uomo pensante, che il più rozzo pigmeo e il sadico più atroce.

Molti hanno scritto su questo libro, molto è stato scritto in generale sul genocidio degli ebrei. Non è mia intenzione scrivere un sermone a difesa degli ebrei, perché lo sappi...more
Carmo Santos
Primo Levi, químico italiano foi capturado pelos nazis e enviado para Auschwitz. Era judeu.
Teve a sorte de ir escapando aos fornos crematórios e sobreviver até à chegada do exército russo e consequente fuga dos alemães.
Pegando no título do livro Se Isto é Um Homem, e considerando o homem como um ser pensante que se rege por valores morais que prezam a dignidade e o respeito pelo próximo, que homens eram estes dos campos de concentração?
Que homens eram os carrascos nazis, o que lhes motivou tant...more
Kelsey
First off, I must point out that I think it is very difficult to rate someone's personal and emotional account of an event in their life, and even more so when it was a tragedy like the holocaust. That being said, I of course rated the novel five stars, because it is not only a completely true account but it was also written brilliantly. I had the chance before I read this book to read "Man's Search for Meaning", which is another book about the experiences of a survivor of a concentration camp,...more
Alessia
Io non lo so come si commenta un libro così. Non lo so se ci si può permettere di parlare, di articolare parola e pensiero senza che la vergogna per ciò che è stato non tagli la voce e il filo dei pensieri. Io non lo so come si restituisce la dignità a certe anime offese, né tantomeno so come si può comprendere tutto questo. Penso che comprendere non sia umano. Però mi commuove l’immagine di un signore distinto, con una bella barba bianca, che se ne sta seduto a un tavolino, con l’orrore negli o...more
Quân Khuê
Khi người ta hai mươi bốn tuổi, hãy còn “ít hiểu biết, không kinh nghiệm và dứt khoát muốn sống trong một thế giới siêu thực của mình”, mà bị bắt rồi đưa vào trại tập trung Auschwitz - nơi sau này sẽ được ghi nhận như một trong những nơi chốn khủng khiếp nhất trong lịch sử loài người - người ta sẽ khó lòng gọi đó là một chuyện may mắn. Có lẽ chỉ khi là một trong số rất ít ỏi người sống sót sau Auschwitz (theo nhiều số liệu thì chỉ khoảng 2% tù nhân Auschwitz là còn sống khi trại được giải phóng)...more
Lilo
May 01, 2014 Lilo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every decent person on this planet who can read
There have been so many reviews written on Primo Levi’s “Survival in Auschwitz” that I have very little to add. It has been said many a time that “Survival in Auschwitz” (original title “If This is a Man”) IS THE BEST OF ALL HOLOCAUST MEMOIRS, and it may very well be. Primo Levi not only tells about his horrific experience, he also adds psychological and philosophical reflections, which make this Holocaust memoir unique.

I would like to endorse the following review:

https://www.goodreads.com/revi...more
Stela
“Oggi io penso che, se non altro per il fatto che un Auschwitz è esistito, nessuno dovrebbe ai nostri giorni parlare di Providenza…”

Guardi qualche foto per cui non riesci proprio a trovare l’epiteto adatto: la mano scheletrica di un bambino africano affamato; la caduta verso la morte di una vittima dell’attentato sulle torri gemelle di New York; un uccello soffocato in un sacchetto di plastica su una spiaggia; la parete coperta di graffiature di una camera a gas ad Auschwitz. E ti dici: se ques...more
umberto
Reading this epic-like memoir, his first-hand accounts as one of the prisoners-of-war detained in a camp at Auschwitz as a legacy of World War II by Primo Levi was stunningly descriptive, inhumane and hopeful. My background reading was that I nearly finished reading its first part, "If This is a Man," depicting his arrest in late 1943 and his life along the ruthless route to the notorious camp at Auschwitz where he survived because the authority there needed his expertise as a chemist. Then I qu...more
Ryan
Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz is a memoir about Levi's:
good fortune to be deported to Auschwitz only in 1944, that is, after the German Government had decided, owing to the growing scarcity of labour, to lengthen the average lifespan of the prisoners destined for elimination; it conceded noticeable improvements in the camp routine and temporarily suspended killings at the whim of individuals.
Levi refuses to offer his readers a sugarcoating of what life in a concentration camp was like.

Con...more
Zulfiya
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi is one of the must-read books. This necessity does not arise from its amazing plot, excellent multidimensional characters, intriguing twists, and etc. This reading necessity can be compared to a polio vaccine. It is something that must be done. In the hectic life of the twenty first century and brain-numbing historical ignorance, the biggest cultural and moral disease the humanity ever experienced – The Holocaust- seems to be sidelined in the modern world. Yes...more
Agnes Mack
This was one of the most difficult books I've ever read. Not in it's word usage or general prose style, but reading about this man's experience in Auschwitz and knowing that it was real . . . I had a really hard time getting through it.

This was the story of Primo Levi, a man who lived in Auschwitz and managed to survive. As I was reading this, I kept thinking about how strange the human's want to survive is. If I were in his position, I am not sure that I would continue fighting. I'm not sure I...more
Melissa Rudder
Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz tells Levi’s true story of his experience in Auschwitz from December of 1943 until its “liberation.” I apologize, but having read Elie Wiesel’s Night a week ago, I’m compelled to look at Levi’s work in comparison to Wiesel’s, though hopefully without discrediting either.

Compared with Wiesel’s very emotional, introspective memoir, Levi’s story seems to be a much more intellectual examination of life in a concentration camp. Levi’s book almost reads more like a h...more
Arjen
Impressive recount of a Jewish prisoner's days in Auschwitz and his journey home. I liked the dry, observant style. The author does not show hate for his tortures, just describes the facts. The reader is the judge.

The passage which made the biggest impression on me is where Levi talks about the camp musicians, playing the same songs everyday when the slaves go out to and come back from work. Levi writes that even years later, hearing these innocent songs made the blood freeze in the bodies of th...more
Micah Smurthwaite
Written by a 24 yr old phd Chemist from Italy. In Italian it was originally titled "If this is a man?" The title was changed by the publishers in the US version for marketing purposes. But throughout the book he tells his personal account of dehumanization in the camps and throughout the story one should be asking themselves "Is this a man? Is this a human being that thinks, acts, speaks, and is treated like this?" Levi also composed volumes of poetry and I think he is more articulate than Wiese...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
I would also like to say along with many others that it is one of the important books specially relating to Auschwitz.
The life in the infamous concentration camp is narrated by who is counted among the few luckiest ones to survive the camp-life. Primo Levi was there for a year. But then his observations and narrations are very clear and vivid that the reader can imagine the hard life within the barbed wires. It is not an elaborate book. It is a straight forward book with just 180 pages. But then...more
Inês
"Ninguém deve sair daqui, pois poderia levar para o mundo, juntamente com a marca gravada na carne, a terrível notícia do que, em Auschwitz, o homem teve coragem de fazer ao homem."

Nenhum livro, filme, música, ou outro qualquer formato de expressão poderá algum dia descrever exactamente o que se passou naqueles campos. Por mais que os relatos sejam minuciosos, há coisas que nem o mais corajoso e sincero dos homens é capaz de admitir que sentiu. A humilhação total, a perda de identidade, o compor...more
David Withun
In his book Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi uses the phrase “the demolition of man” to refer to the process by which the Nazis attempted to, and largely succeeded in, stripping the inmates of the concentration camps of their humanity.1 This powerful phrase accurately summarizes the process of dehumanization concocted by the Nazi concentration camp authorities; theirs was a process of demolition that began immediately upon arrival in the camp and ended, for approximately 6 million Jews and an a...more
teresa


Impressionante e realista são as palavras que me lembro assim que penso neste livro. Todos deveriam lê-lo... O autor conta-nos tudo o que o marcou especialmente, quando esteve no campo polaco durante cerca de um ano. Fala-nos muito em particular das relações entre os presos das mais variadas nacionalidades, personalidades, sensibilidades, etc, e como cada um lida com a mais crua realidade que é a escravidão e a consequente perda da dignidade humana, passando inclusivé pela muito dura provação qu...more
Hanneke
Zeer indrukwekkend boek. Primo Levi heeft dit boek geschreven tussen december 1945 en januari 1947, dus begon met zijn verslag nog geen tien maanden nadat hij de hel van het concentratiekamp had verlaten. Dat vind ik een bijna bovenmenselijke prestatie, vooral ook omdat het zo prachtig geschreven is. Ik bewonder hem zeer dat hij zijn ervaringen zonder rancune en woede heeft beschreven. Hij voelde dat, wat hij te vertellen had, niet alleen de beschrijving van zijn ervaring was en dat hij sprak na...more
Will
a compelling though very difficult book to read, and to comment on; in fact all comment seems superfluous.

Primo Levi’s writing is always so precise, yet so moving. This is an utterly bleak but realistic report of what is was like to live through more than a year in Auschwitz. The title is wrong, of course – it is not at all about how to survive (which sounds altogether too deliberate and upbeat). The original title “if this is a man ...” was far more accurate, as Levi documents how fast one’s h...more
Sylvia
A must read for all those people who still doubt the horror of the labor camps during World War II. The author has lived (better survived) one way or the other in Auschwitz where he has done forced labor in the last year of the war. He compared the way he had to live as what Dante described in The Hell in La Divina Comedia.

If we don't want future generation to forget or play down the horror of the nazi regime we should put this book on every reading list for every student anywhere in the world....more
Sandra
26 gennaio 1945 "Noi giacevamo in un mondo di morti e di larve. L'ultima traccia di civiltà era sparita intorno a noi e dentro di noi. L'opera di bestializzazione, intrapresa dai tedeschi trionfanti, era stata portata a compimento da tedeschi disfatti."
Fátima
Este livro não é agradável de ler. Pelo contrário é até muito duro, ao ponto de me ter provocado algumas vezes dores de cabeça ao fim de poucas páginas de leitura. Mas é daqueles livros que não se esquecem. Com uma crueza impressionante e, eu diria, sem lamechices, quase como se estivesse relatar cenas de um filme, o autor descreve-nos na primeira pessoa o dia-a-dia vivido num campo de concentração em Auschwitz. Achei que o livro estava escrito de forma muito inteligente (de uma maneira quase ci...more
Stephen
It seems a little odd on Goodreads, I didn't actually read this book in a day or so, I'd been reading it on and off for a while...it was only recently that I added it on here.

For those who don't know, this is a true story of the horrors witnessed by Primo Levi, an Italian Jew who was a prisoner of one of the German 'labour camps' in WW2.
It's honest, touching, and very well written...when you consider that it was written after his time in this hell. It was (obviously) forbidden for prisoners to k...more
Rita
Original title ''If This Is a Man'' [Se questo e un uomo:] 1958. Levi is deservedly famous for this book, which tells us how it was to be a prisoner in Auschwitz during the final year of the war. He somehow manages to relate the shockingly inhumane conditions the prisoners lived in without making the book uncomfortable to read.

In an interview with Philip Roth at the end of my edition of the book, he mentions that he did this deliberately, aided by the more than 10 years of ''space'' between the...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Primo Levi was a young Jewish man living in Turin, Italy when he was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. Due to a combination of luck and calculation, he survived.

I truly, truly hate to give any Holocaust memoir less than five stars. They are all important and they should all be read.

That said.

Somehow I never got drawn into this book. It took me two weeks to read a book that is 190 pages long. Crazy, right? I can't put my finger on what my problem was. Bear with me as I try to work it out.

Maybe it'...more
Ana
Da experiência em Auschwitz, nasceu "o escritor que neste livro relata, sem nunca ceder à tentação do melodrama (...), a luta pela sobrevivência num meio em que um homem já nada conta".
"Vós que viveis tranquilos
Nas vossas casas aquecidas,
Vós que encontrais regressando à noite
Comida quente e rostos amigos:
Considerai se isto é um homem
Quem trabalha na lama
Quem não conhece a paz
Quem luta por meio pão
Quem morre por um sim ou por um não.
Considerai se isto é uma mulher,
Sem cabelo e sem nome
Sem mais fo...more
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Primo Michele Levi (Italian: [ˈpriːmo ˈlɛːvi]; 31 July 1919 – 11 April 1987) was an Italian chemist and writer. He was the author of several books, novels, collections of short stories, essays, and poems. His best-known works include If This Is a Man (1947), his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland; and his unique work, The Periodic...more
More about Primo Levi...
If This Is a Man / The Truce The Periodic Table The Drowned and the Saved If Not Now, When? The Reawakening

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“Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite.” 72 likes
“You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find warm food
And friendly faces when you return home.
Consider if this is a man
Who works in mud,
Who knows no peace,
Who fights for a crust of bread,
Who dies by a yes or no.
Consider if this is a woman
Without hair, without name,
Without the strength to remember,
Empty are her eyes, cold her womb,
Like a frog in winter.
Never forget that this has happened.
Remember these words.
Engrave them in your hearts,
When at home or in the street,
When lying down, when getting up.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your houses be destroyed,
May illness strike you down,
May your offspring turn their faces from you.”
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