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Levi was born in 1919 in Turin, Italy, at Corso Re Umberto 75, into a liberal Jewish family. Managed by: Italian Jews had started joining the Fascist movement in small numbers. In September 1938 the Fascist government introduced racial laws which started being severe on Jews and prohibited them from taking formal education in state sponsored schools. Camp inmates were forced to walk in the long death march in spite of their severe illnesses resulting in the death of most of the inmates. He was given a smuggled soup ration each day by Lorenzo Perrone, an Italian civilian bricklayer working there as a forced labourer. While participating in the movement Levi avoided rifle movements to take part in skiing. On the other hand, Pr… [32] These essays are very personal in nature. In 1963, he suffered his first major bout of depression. [39], Levi rejected the idea that the labor camp system depicted in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago and that of the Nazi Lager (German: konzentrationslager; see Nazi concentration camps) were equivalent. Levi’s mother Ester, also known as Rina, was a pianist and spoke great French. [42], Levi wrote in clear, dispassionate style about his experiences in Auschwitz, with an embrace of whatever humanity he found, showing no lasting hatred of the Germans, although he made it clear that he did not forgive any of the culprits. In October 1948, his daughter Lisa was born. On 18 January 1945, the SS hurriedly evacuated the camp as the Red Army approached, forcing all but the gravely ill on a long death march to a site further from the front, which resulted in the deaths of the vast majority of the remaining prisoners on the march. His view was that the Nazi death camps and the attempted annihilation of the Jews was a horror unique in history because the goal was the complete destruction of a race by one that saw itself as superior. Untrained for such a venture, he and his companions were arrested by the Fascist militia on 13 December 1943. In the context set by these events, and the 1940 alliance with Hitler's Germany, the situation of the Jews of Italy changed radically. His father, Cesare, worked for the manufacturing firm Ganz and spent much of his time working abroad in Hungary, where Ganz was based. Wearing short-sleeved shirts, he made sure they saw his prison camp number tattooed on his arm. In 1977 at the age of 58, Levi retired as a part-time consultant at the SIVA paint factory to devote himself full-time to writing. Originally a chemist, Levi later became popular as a writer. She too was an avid reader, played the piano, and spoke fluent French. All these experiences found place in Levi’s books in later years. Our condition in the camp was quite good. In 1939 Levi started mountain hiking. In 1963 Levi received his first annual Premio Campiello literary award. 1 Levi—research chemist, retired factory manager, author of our most humanly compelling accounts of the Holocaust—had been born in that apartment 67 years earlier. [10] Levi continued to be bullied during his time at the Lyceum, although six other Jews were in his class. Personal Communication. He was greatly bullied in his school. For example, one essay examines what he calls "The grey zone", those Jews who did the Germans' dirty work for them and kept the rest of the prisoners in line. On 22 December 1946, the manuscript was complete. Our conditions in the camp were quite good. "[36], Several of Levi's friends and associates have argued otherwise. However, the ones who had already enrolled themselves were allowed to continue with the studies. After spending some time in a Soviet camp for former concentration camp inmates, he embarked on an arduous journey home in the company of former Italian prisoners of war who had been part of the Italian Army in Russia. In December 1941 Levi received a clandestine job offer at an asbestos mine in San Vittore. Moments of Reprieve deals with characters he observed during imprisonment. Cesare was an avid reader and autodidact. [7] In class he was the youngest, the shortest and the cleverest, as well as being the only Jew. The school was noted for its well-known anti-Fascist teachers, among them the philosopher Norberto Bobbio, and Cesare Pavese, who later became one of Italy's best-known novelists. In December 1941 Levi secretly got a job at asbestos mine at San Vittore where he was made to extract nickel from the mine spoil. He was sent to the internment camp at Fossoli near Modena. Levi visited over 130 schools to talk about his experiences in Auschwitz. Levi died on 11 April 1987 after a fall from the interior landing of his third-story apartment in Turin to the ground floor below. In 1975 a collection of Levi's poetry was published under the title L'osteria di Brema (The Bremen Beer Hall). The novel won both the Premio Campiello and the Premio Viareggio. Cesare was born in 1878. - Primo Levi The Periodic Table traces Levi's family history using the chart of elements. Various works of Levi have been translated to English in recent times. Levi became a major literary figure in Italy, and his books were translated into many other languages. In 1985, he flew to the United States for a 20-day speaking tour. A quotation from Levi appears on the sleeve of the second album by the Welsh rock band, Giffuni, Cathe. But the memory of what happened less than twenty years earlier still burned in his mind. 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