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Oral history interview with Primo Levi

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.148.0006

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

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.

Interviewee
Primo Levi
Date
1972  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette : analog.
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, purchased from the Imperial War Museum
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:40:26
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510176