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Primo Levi at the United Nations

04May6:30 pm8:00 pmPrimo Levi at the United Nations6:30 pm - 8:00 pm(GMT+00:00) United Nations Headquarters, 801 First Avenue, New York, NY 10017Primo Levi ForumPrimo Levi ForumMemoriaMemoria

Event Details

After the Holocaust – Primo Levi and the Nexus of Science, Responsibility and Humanism

The Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme in partnership with the Centro Primo Levi New York invite you to a roundtable discussion. Registration is required.

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The Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme in partnership with the Centro Primo Levi New York will present a roundtable discussion titled “After the Holocaust – Primo Levi and the Nexus of Science, Responsibility and Humanism”.

The event will take place on 4 May 2016 on the occasion of Yom HaShoah. After a reading of passages from Primo Levi’s recently published “Complete Works,” a panel of scholars and writers will explore themes found in Levi’s writings including scientific ethics, history and memory, language and transmission, and justice and responsibility. The range of topics highlights the universal appeal of Primo Levi and his humanistic legacy.

Welcome remarks:

Ms. Cristina Gallach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information
Ms. Stella Levi, Board of Directors, Centro Primo Levi, New York
Mr. Dario Disegni, Board of Directors, Centro Internazionale di Studi Primo Levi, Torino

Ms. Lidia Santarelli, Nuremberg Trial Project, Harvard University
Mr. Francesco Cassata, University of Genoa
Ms. Maaza Mengiste, Writer and author
Mr. Roger Cohen, The New York Times

Ms. Natalia Indrimi, Executive Director, Centro Primo Levi, New York

Mr. Ramu Damodaran, Chief, United Nations Academic Impact Initiative, and Secretary of the Committee on Information, DPI.

Ms. Carla Esperanza Rivera Sánchez, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations and Vice Chairperson of the United Nations General Assembly Committee on Information.

Closing reading:  John Turturro, actor and director.



Stella Levi is a member of the Board of Directors of Centro Primo Levi NY. She was born in the Island of Rhodes under Italian rule. On July 23, 1944 she, her immediate family, and the entire Jewish community of Rhodes comprised of 1,870 people were deported to Auschwitz.  Ms. Levi survived the camp and came to the United Stated in 1946 where she joined siblings who had emigrated before the war, built a family and a business. She has long been involved with the reconstruction and preservation of Sephardic and Italian Jewish life and traditions offering her knowledge, guidance and dedication to the Jewish Museum of Athens, the Jewish Museum of Rhodes, the Museum of Kehilah Kedoshah Janina, the Sephardic House and the American Sephardic Federation. Ms. Levi is currently working at a project on the memory of the Shoah in the 21st century.

Dario Disegni is Vice Chairman of Primo Levi International Study Center in Turin and President of National Museum of Italian Judaism (Ferrara) and the Italian Jewish Heritage Foundation. Mr. Disegni received a degree in law from the University of Turin. In 1976 he joined the San Paolo Bank, first as Manager of Economic Research and then in the Department of International Relations. In 1988 he became Economic Adviser at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1992 to 2009 he was Head of Cultural Affairs at Compagnia di San Paolo. From 2002 to 2013 served as Secretary General of the Compagnia’s Fondazione per l’Arte. Mr. Disegni was Chairman of European Foundation Centre (Brussels) and LABforculture (Amsterdam).

Roger Cohen joined The New York Times in 1990. He was a foreign correspondent for more than a decade before becoming acting foreign editor on Sept. 11, 2001, and foreign editor six months later. Since 2004, he has written a column for The International New York Times, formerly known as The International Herald Tribune. In 2009 he was named a columnist of The New York Times. His columns appear every Tuesday and Friday. Mr. Cohen has written “Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo,” an account of the wars of Yugoslavia’s destruction, and “Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis’ Final Gamble.” He has also co-written a biography of Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, “In the Eye of the Storm.” His family memoir, “The Girl From Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family,” is to be published in January 2015. Raised in South Africa and England, he is a naturalized American.

Lidia Santarelli is a project specialist on the Nuremberg Archive Project at Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the European University Institute in Italy. Her research interests focus on Italian and European colonialism, fascism, WWII and the Holocaust, and its impact in Greece and the Mediterranean world. She was postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, Columbia University and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Washington, D.C., and Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow at New York University and Brown University. She is currently completing her book manuscript on “The March on Athens. Culture and Experience of Fascist Italy’s Occupation of Greece (1940-43),” and a study on “Memory and Silence of the Fascist War in post-1945 Italy”.

Maaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe and other publications. Her fiction and nonfiction can be found in The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC Radio 4, Guernica, and Lettre Internationale, among other places. She is a Fulbright Scholar and was named the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow, and was awarded Runner-up in the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her second novel, set during the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, is forthcoming. Ms. Mengiste serves on the advisory board of Warscapes a magazine on current conflicts across the world.

Francesco Cassata is Assistant Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Genoa. He has published on the history of eugenics and scientific racism in Italy. He is a member of the History of Race and Eugenics Research Group (Oxford Brookes) and of the International Working Group on Lysenkoism (CUNY, New York). Prof. Cassata is the author of Building the New Man. Eugenics, Racial Science and Genetics in Twentieth-Century Italy (CEU Press, 2011); “The struggle for authority over Italian genetics: the Ninth International Congress of Genetics in Bellagio, 1948-53,” in B. Gausemeier, S. Müller-Wille, E. Ramsden (eds.), Human Heredity in the Twentieth Century, Pickering & Chatto, London- Brookfield 2013. He recently published a long essay on Primo Levi: Science Fiction? (Einaudi, 2016).

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