Primo Levi: Chemistry and the Holocaust


41vTGy5xYuLOn the 31st of July 1919, the Italian Jewish chemist and writer Primo Levi was born in Turin, Italy. A survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, he emerged after the war as one of the most incisive and candid intellects among those writers who had experienced the Holocaust. He grew up during the years preceding World War II in the relative comfort of a middle class at a time in Italy when being of Jewish ancestry had not yet become a cause of segregation and persecution. In 1937, he enrolled at the University of Turin to study chemistry, which was only one year before the promulgation of the Fascist racial laws. Along with other restrictions, the latter prohibited Jews in Italy from attending public schools. However, due to the fact that he had already begun his studies, he was allowed to remain at university until the completion of his course…

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