The books from which excerpts are given were some of the earliest accounts written on dramatic experiences in concentration camps. Indeed, Luciana Nissim and Primo Levi published their descriptions of their imprisonment in the Auschwitz death camp only a few months from one another (Luciana in 1946 in her “Ricordi della casa dei morti”, Primo Levi in 1947 with “Se questo è un uomo”). The two books were published by small publishing houses: Nissim’s by Ramella, and Levi’s by De Silva in its first edition. Both were soon forgotten. However, in 1958 Levi’s book was republished by Einaudi and he obtained the success that he deserved with that edition; from then onwards Levi became a writer renowned at international level, while Nissim’s book was republished only in 2007 by Giuntina and has never been published outside Italy.
They are very different books, but both stem from a shared wish: that of bearing witness to what had happened to them and at the same time to give voice to those who did not return, in particular in this case to give an account of the tremendous fate met by Vanda Maestro and Franco Sacerdoti.
Primo Levi - Se questo è un uomo – First edition
1947 De Silva
Luciana Nissim - Ricordi dalla casa dei morti
First edition 1946 Ramella
Multimedia interactive exhibition
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