Auschwitz Testimonies1945-1986
Auschwitz Testimonies
Translated by Judith Woolf

In 1945, the day after liberation, Soviet soldiers in control of the Katowice camp in Poland asked Primo Levi and his fellow captive Leonardo De Benedetti to compile a detailed report on the sanitary conditions in Auschwitz. The result was ‘Auschwitz Report’, an extraordinary testimony and one of the first accounts of the extermination camps ever written. The report, published in a scientific journal in 1946, marked the beginnings of Levi’s life-long work as writer, analyst and witness.

In the subsequent four decades, Levi never ceased to recount his experiences in Auschwitz in a wide variety of texts, many of which are assembled together here for the first time. From early research into the fate of his companions to the deposition written for Eichmann’s trial, from the ‘letter to the daughter of a fascist who wants to know the truth’ to newspaper and magazine articles, <i>Auschwitz Testimonies</i> is a rich mosaic of memories and critical reflections of great historic and human value.

Underpinned by his characteristically clear language, rigorous method, and deep psychological insight, this collection of testimonies, reports and analyses reaffirms Primo Levi’s position as one of the most important chroniclers of the Holocaust. It will find a wide readership, both among the many readers of Levi’s work and among all those who wish to understand one of the greatest human tragedies of all time.

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  • September 2017
  • 220 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
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  • 9781509513369
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Bare Witness Robert S.C. Gordon

Translator’s Note Judith Woolf

1: Report on the Sanitary and Medical Organization of the Monowitz Concentration Camp for Jews (Auschwitz – Upper Silesia), 1945-46

2: Record by Dr. Primo Levi, registration no. 174517 survivor of Monowitz-Buna, 1945

3: Deposition, circa 1946

4: Deposition on Monowitz, 1946?

5: Statement for the Höss Trial, 1947

6: Deposition for the Höss Trial, 1947

7: Testimony for a fellow prisoner, 1953

8: Anniversary, 1955

9: Denunciation against Dr. Joseph Mengele, circa 1959

10: Letter to a Fascist’s daughter who wants to know the truth, 1959

11: Miracle in Turin, 1959

12: The time of the swastikas, 1960

13: Deposition for the Eichmann Trial, 1960

14: Testimony for Eichmann, 1961

15: Deportation and extermination of the Jews, 1961

16: Statement for the Bosshammer Trial, 1965

17: The deportation of the Jews, 1966

18: Questionnaire for the Bosshammer Trial, 1970

19: Questionnaire for the Bosshammer Trial, 1970

20: Deposition for the Bosshammer Trial, 1971

21: The Europe of the Lagers, 1973

22: This was Auschwitz, 1975

23: Political deportees, 1975

24: Draft of a text for the interior of the Italian Block at Auschwitz, 1978

25: A secret defence committee at Auschwitz, 1979

26: That train to Auschwitz, 1979

27: In memory of a good man, 1983

28: To our generation…,1986

Appendix: The train to Auschwitz, 1971

Afterword: A Witness and the Truth Fabio Levi and Domenico Scarpa


About the Author

Primo Levi (1919-87) was born and lived his entire life in or near Turin, with the exception of the years 1944-45, when he was captured as an anti-Fascist partisan, deported to Auschwitz, and then released into war-torn Europe. He was the author of such acclaimed works as If This is a Man, The Periodic Table and The Drowned and the Saved.

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‘One of the most important and gifted writers of our time.’
Italo Calvino

‘Whether as witness or imaginative artist, Levi stands high among the truly essential European writers of the past century.’
Michael Dirda, Washington Post

‘The triumph of human identity and worth over the pathology of human destruction glows virtually everywhere in Levi’s writing …Time and time again we are moved by his narratives of how men refuse erasure.’
Toni Morrison

‘Primo Levi's poise was one of the greatest achievements in the history of the human spirit. His writing restored the honor of humanism after Auschwitz.’
Leon Wieseltier

‘Levi writes of unspeakable things with charity, clarity and objectivity.’
Sunday Times

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