Primo Levi in the Public Interest: Turin, Auschwitz, Israel

Risa Sodi

in Answering Auschwitz

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233588
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241811 | DOI:
Primo Levi in the Public Interest: Turin, Auschwitz, Israel

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This chapter focuses on three extraliterary facets of Primo Levi: his public associations with Auschwitz and Holocaust commemoration, his leadership role in the Jewish community of Turin, and his contribution to the intellectual debates over the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of Levi's nonliterary pronouncements appeared in low-circulation publications, on Italian radio and television, in unexpected venues or about subjects—like the crisis in the Middle East—with which Levi is not usually associated. This chapter recalls a facet of Levi that is little known abroad, namely his ties to organized religion in Turin, and one that was well known in Italy but perhaps obfuscated by the passage of time: his long and public involvement, as a progressive thinker, an intellectual, and a Jew, with the political direction and future of the State of Israel and, by extension with Jewry in Israel and beyond.

Keywords: Primo Levi; Auschwitz; Holocaust commemoration; Jewish community; Arab-Israeli conflict

Chapter.  3397 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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