If Not Now, When?

If Not Now When Primo Levi was among the greatest witnesses to twentieth century atrocity In this gripping novel based on a true story he reveals the extraordinary lives of the Russian Polish and Jewish partisans

Primo Levi was among the greatest witnesses to twentieth century atrocity In this gripping novel, based on a true story, he reveals the extraordinary lives of the Russian, Polish and Jewish partisans trapped behind enemy lines during the Second World War Wracked by fear, hunger and fierce rivalries, they link up, fall apart, struggle to stay alive and to sabotage the effPrimo Levi was among the greatest witnesses to twentieth century atrocity In this gripping novel, based on a true story, he reveals the extraordinary lives of the Russian, Polish and Jewish partisans trapped behind enemy lines during the Second World War Wracked by fear, hunger and fierce rivalries, they link up, fall apart, struggle to stay alive and to sabotage the efforts of the all powerful German army A compelling tale of action, resistance and epic adventure, it also reveals Levi s characteristic compassion and deep insight into the moral dilemmas of total war It ranks alongside THE PERIOD TABLE and IF THIS IS A MAN as one of the rare authentic masterpieces of our times.

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If Not Now, When?

  1. Primo Michele Levi Italian pri mo l vi 31 July 1919 11 April 1987 was an Italian chemist and writer He was the author of several books, novels, collections of short stories, essays, and poems His best known works include If This Is a Man 1947 , his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz extermination camp in Nazi occupied Poland and his unique work, The Periodic Table 1975 , linked to qualities of the elements, which the Royal Institution of Great Britain named the best science book ever written.The Jews were rounded up for deportation to eastern concentration and death camps On 21 February 1944, the inmates of the camp were transported in twelve cramped cattle trucks to Monowitz, one of the three main camps in the Auschwitz concentration camp complex Levi s record number was 174,517 He spent eleven months there before the camp was liberated by the Red Army on 18 January 1945 Of the 650 Italian Jews in his transport, Levi was one of twenty who left the camps alive The average life expectancy of a new entrant at the camp was three months.Shortly before the camp was liberated by the Red Army, he fell ill with scarlet fever and was placed in the camp s sanatorium On 18 January 1945, the SS hurriedly evacuated the camp as the Red Army approached, forcing all but the gravely ill on a long death march to a site further from the front.Although liberated on 27 January 1945, Levi did not reach Turin until 19 October 1945 After spending some time in a Soviet camp for former concentration camp inmates, as a result of the Armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces, he embarked on an arduous journey home in the company of former pre 1946 Italian prisoners of war from the Royal Italian Army in Russia His long railway journey home to Turin took him on a circuitous route from Poland, through Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Austria, and Germany In later writing, he noted the millions of displaced people on the roads and trains throughout Europe in that period.In the Academy Award winning 2003 film by Denys Arcand, Les Invasions Barbares The Barbarian Invasions , the main character expresses outrage at the apparent apathy of the Roman Catholic Church during World War II toward the Holocaust Pius XII sitting on his ass in his gilded Vatican, while Primo Levi was taken to Auschwitz It s despicable Hideous In another scene the same character wishes that he had written The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Levi s The Periodic Table Later in the film, a French edition of If This Is A Man Si c est un homme is prominently shown on the same character s bookshelf.Christopher Hitchens book The Portable Atheist, a collection of extracts of atheist texts, is dedicated to the memory of Levi, who had the moral fortitude to refuse false consolation even while enduring the selection process in Auschwitz The dedication quotes Levi in The Drowned and the Saved, asserting, I too entered the Lager as a nonbeliever, and as a nonbeliever I was liberated and have lived to this day The Primo Levi Center was named after the author.In the Warehouse 13 episode No Pain, No Gain, Primo Levi s scarf is featured as an artifact The wearer gains deep insight and intellect Side effects may include prolific bouts of writing and intense thought provocation.David Blaine has Primo Levi s concentration camp number, 174517, from Auschwitz tattooed on his left forearm.More enpedia wiki Primo_Levi

476 Reply to “If Not Now, When?”

  1. Born into a Jewish family, Primo Levi could not have foreseen the future that lay ahead of him.With the rise of fascism, the chemist writer would get caught up in what seemed a civil war in the German zone where Italians fought Italians and fascists fought anti fascists, Levi was arrested for resistance activity, and by train left Turin, passing the Mole Antonelliana, a major landmark building, little did he realize he would pass the same building entering Turin again in 1945 He was a lucky boy, [...]

  2. Ed essi restituirannoAvevano poche armi, poche munizioni e niente da mangiare Erano attoniti ed inerti, in preda alla passivit plumbea che segue l azione, e che lega lo spirito e le membra La guerra sarebbe durata sempre la morte, la caccia, la fuga non sarebbero finite mai, mai la neve avrebbe cessato di cadere, mai sarebbe venuto giorno.Il primo vero romanzo di Primo Levi, romanzo epopea dell ebraismo orientale, la storia di un gruppo di partigiani ebrei ashkenaziti russi, polacchi, ucraini in [...]

  3. Un romanzo profondo, di grande spessore e che insegna cos tante cose che in una recensione proprio non si riesce a farcele stare tutte Cinque stelle sarebbero scontate per una figura come Primo Levi, per tutto quello che lui rappresenta al cospetto della Storia, per tutto quello che lui ha patito Ma le cinque stelle ci stanno in pieno anche per l opera letteraria in s , prescindendo da tutto il resto E un libro denso e lieve al tempo stesso, sia nei personaggi che nelle descrizioni, sia nei dial [...]

  4. This was an amazing piece of war time adventure Adventure during war times you ask Yes, that is exactly how this is written, and what makes it on a optimistic note A piece of brilliant writing by Primo Levi, and probably one of the best optimistic war novels ever written Superbly translated by William Weaver, who has translated several books from Italian written by Umberto Eco, Primo Levi and Italo Calvino Not that I have read the original in Italian, but the English translation itself is able [...]

  5. The story of Jewish partisans in occupied Russia during the last years of WW2.A group of people including some who escaped from camps, others that escaped pogroms and some Jewish Russian soldiers People of different age, different background and different purposes.Some just want to live and return to their houses, others want to fight and revenge their loved ones and others want to fight in order to immigrate to Palestine.They are hunted by the Germans with their collaborators Ukrainian, Hungari [...]

  6. Negli ultimi due anni della seconda guerra mondiale un gruppo di ebrei russi combatte contro i tedeschi in temerarie azioni partigiane e, suo malgrado, pure contro i pregiudizi atavici che l ebraismo spesso subisce Le vicende storiche portano il gruppo su una rotta che va dalla Russia asiatica spossata dalla lunga guerra difensiva all odiata Germania che alfine crolla con epilogo in Italia, alla ricerca di un porto e di una nave che permetta di realizzare il sogno della Terra Promessa.Un bel rom [...]

  7. If not like this, how And if not now, when This line is said by Gedale, one of the main characters of the novel towards the end of the book, but its meaning is wider.While reading many good and dramatic accounts from the Shoah there s a question that often comes to mind and mouth Why did all these Jewish people let themselves being humiliated, robbed, prisoned and killed by Nazis and anti semites without trying to resist After all, most of the times, they had numbers on their side Maybe we may a [...]

  8. Primo Levi is such an amazing writer He has the ability to say so very much with so little in a way that is still intensely satisfying While I didn t enjoy this book as much as Survival in Auschwitz, it was still an immensely satisfying read However, if you have never read any Primo Levi, I would recommend starting with his nonfiction Any of it.

  9. If I m not for myself, who will be for me If not this way, how And if not now, when This is an amazing book, detailing the experiences and journey of a group of Jewish Partisans fighting behind the German Lines on the Russian Front The book, written by Primo Levi, a Jewish concentration camp survivor, despite being a fictional work, is based around historical fact and that there were small groups or bands of Jewish Partisans who did disrupt the Nazis behind their lines, who worked independently [...]

  10. This was in many ways a breath of fresh air in Holocaust literature reflective of the horrors yet focusing on WWII itself and all the other things that were happening to the Jews outside of the camps It was nice learning about the partisans and the underground survivors, and how Italy drew all the Jews from everywhere in preparation for a new life In a way, it was a period that I already knew a lot about from previous literature, but delivered in a different way, focusing on a different perspec [...]

  11. What I learned from this book the meaning of Israel For the Russians, a longing for home was not an unreasonable hope, even probable a yearning to go back, a call For the Jews, the regret for their houses was not a hope but a despair, buried till then under urgent and serious sorrows, but latent always Their homes no longer existed they had been swept away, burned by the war or by slaughter, bloodied by squads of hunters of men tomb houses, of which it was best not to think, houses of ashes Why [...]

  12. Contro la disperazione ci sono solo due difese, lavorare e combattere, ma non sempre bastano Ce n anche una terza, che di raccontarci delle bugie uno con l altro ci caschiamo tutti p 50

  13. Mid 5 A matchless and heart rending portrait of the fight to overcome unimaginary hardships by a group of the disposessed, forced to rely on the basest survival instincts on the edge of humanity by the horror and devastation caused by the Nazi onslaught of the Second World War This band of Jewish, Polish, and Russian partisans are peopled by unforgettable characters, such as Mendel, the watchmaker, who has survived the decimation of the Red Army, and whose wife, neighbours, and community have be [...]

  14. If Not Now, When offers a realistic fictional account of Jewish partisans operating in eastern Europe during World War Two The author, Primo Levi, was a death camp survivor who actually met and interviewed the real people on whose lives the book is based.That said, Levi also wrote a compelling story which engages the reader s heart as well as mind Think, Doctor Zhivago meets All Quiet on the Western Front quality, though that over simplifies Levi s accomplishment.As World War Two fades into the [...]

  15. No war book has managed to distill such beauty from it, and frame it with such great writing It reads like Catch 22 without the pessimism and some semblance of coherency the book grabs you by the hair and marches you through the quintessential adventure story, and shoots you in the belly every time you forget the horrors of war.

  16. Primo Levi s Se non ora, quando If Not Now, When is the first work of his that I ve read It recounts the journey of a group of Jewish partisans from the Soviet Union and Poland, whose efforts to survive and fight back against the Nazis take them on an odyssey across Europe to Italy.Levi, though he was Jewish, a Holocaust survivor, and a partisan, was writing about an experience with which he was unfamiliar that of East European Ashkenazi Jews and lists his resources in the back of the book He ex [...]

  17. Hmm I really wanted to like this book than I did It recounts a fascinating story of the life of Russian and Polish Jewish partisans during the Second World War These are men and women who found themselves behind the front lines in a sort of no man s land and did their part to fight the Nazi s by use of trickery and sabotage Ultimately the crew in Levi s book was trekking towards Palistine Really interesting premise, but I didn t find there to be much in the way of character development There we [...]

  18. I have read only one other book written by Primo Levi If This is A Man That was when I was about 15 or 16 and I thought it outstanding Ever since I ve meant to read his other works but for some reason or another didn t round to it Why have I wasted so much time Never before have I read a book and felt the need to have post it notes constantly at the ready There are so many lines, phrases, brilliant insights A superb read Some tasters for you About two female partisans Sissl was like a palm tree [...]

  19. Astonishingly powerful novel based on truth about a group of Hungarian, Russian, Polish Jews heading west from Russia behind enemy lines between 1943 and 1945 They experience terrible hardships, rivalries and uncertainties, but the group of partisans, men and women, maintain their pride and determination during their 18 month and 2000 km trek to Italy The wider context of WW2 is there, but as background This is the story of individuals often flawed, but with so much hope The title is taken from [...]

  20. Extraordinary book Given the countless books about WW2 I ve read, this stood out for me, given it s different viewpoint on the events that lead up to the end of the war Based on real events and real people interviewed by the author, a story about Russian, German, Polish and Ukranian Jewish partisans crossing Eastern Europe, their struggles, decisions and survival through adversity.

  21. Not the sort of book I would usually choose I feel very ignorant about the background Russian, Polish and Jewish partisans trying to survive in the 2nd World War but it s very readable because the main character is so human and believable.

  22. Primo Levi rarely disappoints This novel is no exception.A realistic tale of resistance against the Nazis I read it long ago, but one or two scenes still remain etched in my memory.

  23. Primo has a way of writing about such an horrific period in history that he nearly makes it easy reading The topic is just such a bummer that I can t give it stars.

  24. Primo Levi is one of my 10 or so favorite authors of all time Every single book of his I ve read has been essential.

  25. This book tells another side of the Jewish experience during WWII, that of the partisans caught behind enemy lines It wasn t entirely clear to me where this was set, as it moves around in Central Europe Poland, Ukraine, Russia I was rather hoping that Book Drum would have had a profile, but alas it doesn t yet Unfortunately I got caught up in trying to find out where it was set, then forgot to write a review However, several months later, I was going to take this book with me to release at the B [...]

  26. I took my time with this book Levi is a meticulous writer, and the translation is top notch His prose is vivid and solemn, and perfectly captures the precariousness of the human spirit Mendel, the de facto protagonist of the story, is a likeable paragon of morality You can see Levi exploring his own naivety of his Jewishness inside Mendel s character, and when he falters, like with the Gedalists and their sometimes warped sense of morality, Mendel powers through with a deep sense of introspectio [...]

  27. I was looking forward to this book because I am an avid consumer of Holocaust information why evil The writer in the introduction pointed out that there are good books written by holocaust survivors that are good to read simply because of the subject and survivor However, survivors aren t necessarily writers, and the fact that THIS book is written by a Writer with a capital W, sets it apart from other books in that genre I agree with this To the point that I want to consume everything Levi has w [...]

  28. Un avventuroso viaggio dall Unione Sovietica fino al nord Italia nel tentativo di ostacolare l avanzata dei tedeschi e supportare la controffensiva degli Alleati si potrebbe riassumere cos la trama del romanzo storico di Primo Levi Se non ora, quando , vincitore di numerosi riconoscimenti tra cui il Premio Campiello ed il Premio Viareggio Protagonista Mendel, un orologiaio ebreo che ha perso la moglie nel rastrellamento del suo villaggio e decide, non ancora trentenne, di unirsi ai partigiani ru [...]

  29. La guerra separa ma allo stesso tempo unisce, unisce i disperati E questa proprio la storia di un gruppo variegato di partigiani che cercano in tutti i modi di passare il fronte russo e arrivare in Italia, unico trampolino verso la terra promessa Ecco che allora ognuno porta dietro di se un passato scomodo, chi scappato dall Armata Russa e dichiarato disertore, chi nato in terra sovietica ed cresciuto su a forza di Stalin e bolscevimo, chi nato ebreo e chi semplicemente un polacco che non vuole [...]

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