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Oral history interview with Primo Levi

Oral History | Digitized | RG Number: RG-50.148.0006

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    Oral history interview with Primo Levi


    Interview Summary
    Primo Levi (1919-1987) describes the history of antisemitism in Italy; experiencing almost no antisemitism until 1943; the ghettos in Italy that existed until 1848; antisemitism in his childhood; the racial legislation introduced in Italy after Mussolini met with Hitler in 1938; studying chemistry at the University of Turin then working as a chemist for two years; going with his mother and sister to the mountains outside Turin; meeting with non-Jewish friends and trying to start a partisan group; being caught in December 1943; being interrogated and declaring himself a Jew; being sent to the internment camp at Fossoli and the conditions there; being sent after a month to Auschwitz and the journey there; entering the camp and the selection process; being sent to Monowitz labor camp; the conditions and his work there; his memories of hunger in the camp; the mental states of the inmates and the social dynamics in the camp; the disorientation caused by not comprehending the numerous languages in the camp and the importance of learning German; hearing the Russians approach in December 1944; going to the infirmary after contracting scarlet fever and avoiding the death march out of the camp; the bombing of the camp; staying alive during the 10 days after the Germans left and before the Russians arrived; receiving a meat ration after the arrival of the Russians; and the collaboration he experienced upon liberation and how human relations changed.
    Primo Levi
    interview:  1972
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, purchased from the Imperial War Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette : analog.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use. Permission to copy and/or use recordings in any production must be granted by the Imperial War Museums.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Levi, Primo--Interviews.

    Administrative Notes

    Holder of Originals
    Imperial War Museum
    The interview was conducted by Thames Television for the "World at War" Television Series. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum acquired a copy of the interview with Primo Levi from the Imperial War Museum in February 1995.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:17:12
    This page:

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