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1919’da Torino’da doğan ve kimya öğrenimi gören Primo Levi İkinci Dünya Savaşı sırasında Kuzey İtalya’da faşizme karşı direnen arkadaşlarına katıldı İtalyan yahudisi kimliğini saklamayınca önce Fissolo’daki toplama kampına orada geçirdiği iki ayın ardından da 1944’de beraberindeki altı yüz elli kişiyle birlikte Auschwitz Toplama Kampı’na gönderildi 24 yaşındaydı O altı yüz elli kişi içinden hayatta kalmaya başaran yirmi kişiden biri oldu Hayatının geri kalanında en büyük önceliği insanüstü denilebilecek bir azimle tüm gördüklerini yaşadıklarını aktarmak Nazilerin ölüm saçan deliliğinin unutuşun karanlığında yok olmasına engel olmak oldu Bunlar da mı İnsan Nazi zulmünün toplama ve ölüm kampları cehenneminin insanın insana uyguladığı akıl almaz fiziksel ve manevi şiddetin olağanüstü bir nesnellikle dile getirildiği bir metin ve yitip giden milyonlarca canın çığlığıdır Ölüm saçan muktedirlere karşı inanılmaz bir yaşamı olumlama direnciyle dolu eşi bulunmaz bir tanıklığın kitabıdır İnsana dair gerçekle yüzleşmek vicdanı sızlatır can yakar evet ama unutmamak unutturmamak da onuruyla yaşamak isteyen insanın önceliğidir


10 thoughts on “Se uesto è un uomo

  1. says:

    It's hard to say anything about this magnificent book that hasn't been said many times before so I won't even try but just write a note on why I have an abiding sadness when I think of the authorPrimo Levi lived all his life in the house of his birth in Turin Italy apart from when he was in the concentration camp Luckily he lived just through that awful murderous year and to all intents and purposes resumed the life of a chemist and author that the Nazis interrupted He wrote The Periodic Table lauded as the best science book ever written Later he died from a fall down a narrow stairwell It has been argued this wasn't suicide but who climbs over banisters and falls down narrow stairwells except on purpose As Elie Wiesel said Primo Levi died at Auschwitz forty years later Alav HaShalom Rest in Peace dear soul Finished July 21 2014 Reviewed Dec 21 2014


  2. says:

    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 allYou see Anne Frank wrote her diary at 13 while hiding in her house with her family so she was not able to include her harrowing experience in the concentration camp where she died The writing was innocent poignant and endearing but did not contain much Victor Klemperer wrote his 3 volume diary but a good bulk of it was his experience trying to elude the authorities as he had an Aryan wife so although he was asked to live in a ghetto he did not experience being in a concentration camp Imre Kertesz wrote his uasi autobiographical novel telling the concentration camp experience of a 15 yo boy Gyorgy George in Auschwitz but he disavowed the strong biographical connection of the book to his life even if he was 14 when he was sent with his family to the camp Last year I was teary eyed when I finished reading Elie Wiesel's since it was too emotional and the writing was haunting However Elie Wiesel was 16 during the Holocaust so he wrote from the perspective of a teenager What I mean is that given that the tragedy was all sad and harrowing we already knew the perspective of a child or a teenager from Anne Frank Kertesz and Wiesel so I thought I also would like to have the perspective of a grown up survivor This now is what Victor Frankl in his clinical book and Primo Levi in this book provideIn their books Victor Frankl and Primo Levi recounted WHAT THEY DID TO SURVIVE I thought that this could have only been possible to come from thinking adults who are expected to be less emotional and rational than most teenagersVictor Frankl says that to survive one has to hold on to the image of yourself stepping out of the camp and going back to your life prior to the concentration camp Everyday you think of yourself going back to your home job loved ones hobby etc These happy images are so powerful they will give you reason to hope and livePrimo Levi is comprehensive and to the point He says three 1 organization; 2 pity and 3 theft Levi survived using #1 as he was a summa cum laude chemistry graduate from Turin so he got lucky to be asked to work in the laboratory making synthetic rubber inside Auschwitz But in this book he gave examples of the prisoners who thrived using the other two or combinations or all the threeThat's the reason why I said that this could indeed be the MOST important book written about the Holocaust If it happens again God forbid you have the tips on how to survive Those tips come from first hand experiences of people who experienced them I mean well it is nice to cry and be sad after reading a book but it better to have something like a survival handbook too


  3. says:

    Only an animal worries all the time about the next meal Naguib Mahfouz The desperation of the uote arising out of the idea that poor forced to live meal to meal might not be able to enjoy a human life can be found in Levi's memoir too It's title coming from the poem that begins You who live safe In your warm houses You who find returning in the evening Hot food and friendly faces Consider if this is a man Who works in the mud Who does not know peace Who fights for a scrap of bread Who dies because of a yes or a no Though Nazi violence is mentioned how can one hit a man without anger? The book is focused on the life of prisioners how they survived while constantly feeling hunger they would dream of food How they learned to live the life of stealth as people in such desperation circumstances are forced to out of neccesity nobody could survive the Auschwitz by being a nobel prisoner or by being altruistic to his fellow prisioners They would avoid work as far as possible even prefering being beaten to working one does not normally die of blows but one does of exhaustion and badly Stealing things freuently from each other trying to get up in the hierarchy that was present among prisioners N0t all prisoners were eual there were class divisions among prisioners Jewish prisioners weren't the only one but they were the worst there were transactions among Jewish prisioners as well as between Jewish prisioners and other prisioners using daily rations as a unit of currancy of this underground economy And there were informal classes among prisioners too based on where they come based on numbers given to them the lower numbers and higher numbers etc And daily torments they had to go constant hunger One can hear the sleepers breathing and snoring; some groan and speak Many lick their lips and move their jaws They are dreaming of eating; this is also a collective dream the uncleanliness as soap was a luxury only available to those who managed to steal it from somewhere the rule of Jungle where you look up to someone who is able to have an unfair advantage even if he doesn't share it rather than uestioning them on moral grounds view spoiler well that applies to most captialist societies to some extent hide spoiler


  4. says:

    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 moving and painful To hear him describe the horrors he saw and went through in such a third person sort of way is truly heart breaking All of his works are amazing but this is the one that I recommend to all of my friends I've bought several people copies of this book because I feel it is that important We must never forget what happened And we must never allow it to happen again


  5. says:

    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 uniue I would like to endorse the following review found it to the point


  6. says:

    Here there is no why Primo Levi was an Italian Jew who came to live in very troubled times Born and raised in Turin he was subjected to the fascist racial laws which discriminated against Jews and made finding employment very difficult; after the German occupation of Italy began he joined the resistance movement but was uickly caught and transferred to an internment camp When the camp itself came under German control the authorities started arranging mass deportations of captured Jews to labor and death camps in the occupied east Travelling in a cattle truck through cold and misery Levi arrived at Auschwitz in February 1944 He was 25 years old and would be one of the twenty Jews who remained alive from his transport of 650 people when the Red Army liberates the camp in January 1945 Survival in Auschwitz is the record of Levi's time at the camp in his own words It's worth noting that this is the title specifically picked for the American release; I much prefer the original Italian and English translation If This Is a Man which conveys the tone and theme of the book much much better Survival in Auschwitz sounds almost like asurvival manual a set of precepts that one should follow if one finds him or herself at such a place If This Is a Man is taken from a poem by Levi which opens the book and in which he asks his readers sitting contendly in their warm safe heated houses to remember and think about what happened never forget about it and pass this knowledge on to future generations Consider if this is a manWho works in the mudWho does not know peaceWho fights for a scrap of breadWho dies because of a yes or a noConsider if this is a womanWithout hair and without nameWith no strength to rememberHer eyes empty and her womb coldLike a frog in winterLevi's memoir is a chronicle of life inside a concentration camp a world within a world; news from the outside world perpetrate the barbed wire very rarely and only at the end of the book in the form of sound of distant artillery which signify the slowly advancing Russians and the growing panic among camp officials Despite growing increasingly deformed sualid and haggard and their numbers thinning with every day the camp had a cleaer hierarchical structure which had to be followed; and where there was no official hierarchy a non official one was uickly invented When we think about concentration camps we mostly remember their last and most gruesome part the gas chambers and the crematorium As important as they are they are just a part of a larger whole we often forget that people not only died in these camps but also lived Levi's memoir is a chronicle of life inside a concentration camp which in his own word is eual to reaching the bottom with no other condition possibly being miserable a total demolition of what makes a man the removal of one's personal dignity and reducing people to a seuence of numbers taking away all that they own even their hair being forced to exist in conditions which make existence impossible and reduced to purely biological beings who struggle only to remain alive Despite all this incredibly living is possible even in a place where it couldn't be and because of the smallest things even a non windy day can make a world of difference for a prisoner and give him the impression of good fortune because a windy and rainy day is so much worse than ordinary rain Prisoners steal from each other as is the custom but also interact and barter with one another and sometimes even form what in another world would be a friendship The experience of reading this book is very intense as Levi does not make excuses for either himself or his fellow prisoners and their behavior; he is not sentimental and self pitying and hides nothing The memoir was first published in 1947 just two years after Auschwitz was liberated; his memory is still very fresh and the images and events of Auschwitz are ingrained in his mind like the number on his forearm Because of this If This is a Man Levi's testament of the Holocaust is very immediate and reads as if the events described in it happened just yesterday and with this immediacy is its power resulting in one of the most powerful passages in all of literature Now everyone is busy scraping the bottom of his bowl with his spoon so as not to waste the last drops of the soup; a confused metallic clatter signifying the end of the day Silence slowly prevails and then from my bunk on the top row I see and hear old Kuhn praying aloud with his beret on his head swaying backwards and forwards violently Kuhn is thanking God because he has not been chosenKuhn is out of his senses Does he not see Beppo the Greek in the bunk next to him Beppo who is twenty years old and is going to the gas chamber the day after tomorrow and knows it and lies there looking fixedly at the light without saying anything and without eve'n thinking any ? Can Kuhn fail to realize that next time it will be his turn? Does Kuhn not understand that what has happened today is an abomination which no propitiatory prayer no pardon no expiation by the guilty which nothing at all in the power of man can ever clean again? If I was God I would spit at Kuhn's prayer


  7. says:

    This book is perhaps easier to read than one might imaginePrimo Levi aged 25 was attached to a resistance group in Italy He had recently graduated from Turin University as a chemist and he was JewishHe was captured by German forces in 1944 and deported And from then on followed a year of hell in AuschwitzLevi 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 Not only are there differences between prisoners the groups include Jews and criminals and people given political status but there are differences between the men in each of these groups “In history and in life one sometimes seems to glimpse a ferocious law which states “to he that has will be given; to he that has not will be taken away” In the Lager camp where man is alone and where the struggle for life is reduced to its primordial mechanism this unjust law is openly in force is recognized by all With the adaptable the strong and astute individuals even the leaders willingly keep contacts sometimes even friendly contact because they hope later to perhaps derive some benefit But with the Muselmänner the men in decay it is not even worth speakingone knows that they are only here on a visit that in a few weeks nothing will remain of them but a handful of ashes in some near by field”Levi’s story is one of survival of the fittest; not only those able to do the work physically reuired of them but those who are intelligent tenacious and cunning who are able to think and act constructively even when they are starving and everything around them is a gruelling treadmill of overwork and petty rules of cold and lack of sleep of wheeling and dealing to get an extra mouthful of bread He even talks of rare friendship and cooperation especially towards the end of the book when he was moved to the sick block with scarlet fever Others there are very ill with conditions like typhus and diphtheria The Russians advance and the Germans desert the camp Somehow some of these sick prisoners using every ounce of initiative and determination that they have left hang on to life until the Russians arriveOf the ninety four men who were deported to Auschwitz from Levi's resistance group only twenty one survived


  8. says:

    Survival in Auschwitz A well written accessible testimony of day to day life in the Lager of Buna Monowitz Auschwitz from January 1944 until its liberation on 27 January 1945 The struggle with hunger cold tiredness and sickness becomes almost tangible while reading the many true stories which are absorbingly told The author's intelligent insightful thoughts on the dehumanization caused by this constant struggle and humiliation of the Jewish prisoners make this book a superior timeless and mandatory readWhile Elie Wiesel's Night fixates heavily on the struggle with faith Primo Levi's memoir felt universal because of its focus on humanity itself “Auschwitz is outside of us but it is all around us in the air The plague has died away but the infection still lingers and it would be foolish to deny it Rejection of human solidarity obtuse and cynical indifference to the suffering of others abdication of the intellect and of moral sense to the principle of authority and above all at the root of everything a sweeping tide of cowardice a colossal cowardice which masks itself as warring virtue love of country and faith in an idea”Don't miss out on this wonderful stirring book 1010


  9. says:

    Si c’est un HommeBy Primo Levi 1919 1987This the narrative of the author’s ordeal during his detention at the Auschwitz death camp from his arrest in February 1944 by fascist Italian militiaTo his liberation in January 1945 by the arrival of the Russian ArmyMuch has been written about the Nazi death camps but few books have been written by survivors There were very few of them From all Italian prisoners transferred to the camps only about five percent succeeded in returning homePrimo Levi’s survival can be considered a miracle given the unspeakable cruelty of the circumstances He tells us that he would not have survived the winter 1945 had he not been selected as he was chemist by profession to work in a laboratory in the adjacent rubber factory and for the fact that in January 1945 the war came to an end when the Russian army bombarded the Concentration Camp and shortly afterwards liberated the prisoners The narrative of the arrest the transport from Italy to Poland in closed train wagons of thousands of prisoners men women children and old people for days and days without food or drinking water is in itself of unspeakable cruelty But the subseuent events are even worse when getting off the train; everyone was brutally separated families men women children Everyone disappearing into the night in different directions without a word of explanation or time to say a single word The winter in Poland is freezing The prisoners were stripped naked their heads shaved and then provided with some rags for clothing personal names deleted and a serial number tattooed under the skin of the arm A person no longer existed The prisoners were counted and called up by numberThen they were packed into camp buildings already housing thousands of prisoners The daily sufferings were extreme the author remembers all the horrible details but my vocabulary is too weak emotions too strong Hunger cold work humiliation sickness Human relations that are no longer human The fight for survival is the survival of the fittest Everyone being desperately and fiercely on his ownWhen new trains with thousands of prisoners arrived the camp could not contain them all selections were made and the weak ill tired or worn were mercilessly eliminated transferred to gas chambers and cremation ovensThe narrative ends on the morning of January 1945 when the Russian army arrived at the camp This book was composed in the first few months after Levy's return his memory tormented and urged him to write as long as he remembered all the atrocious details It was first refused by all the major editors then edited in only 2500 units When the editor closed up the book disappeared and was forgotten Only in 1958 when the book was re edited its success remained permanent to this date I am glad I came across this work even if it hard to read Emotionally difficult to digestIt will remain forever in my memory It should be read by every politically conscious person as a reminder of what fascism will inevitably lead to if it gains a foothold in any government in any country


  10. says:

    Very well written A recount of Life In Hell on Earth