Farewell to Bianca Guidetti Serra

Centro Primo Levi New York wishes to express our deepest solidarity and sorrow to the family, colleagues and friends of Bianca Guidetti Serra, (Torino, August 19, 1919 – Torino, June 24, 2014), a fiercely independent and courageous voice that never lost sight of the promise of social change and humanism.

Bianca Guidetti Serra fought as a partisan in the Italian Resistance and became one of the most prominent social justice lawyers in Italy. Throughout her career she remained a committed defender of the right of minorities, students, workers and the disenfranchised.

Five years ago, on her ninetieth birthday, in an interview with La Stampa she recounted: “The racial laws marked a watershed moment in the subsequent direction of my life: I was outraged, I would say I was shaken in my deepest passions. And that was the reason that compelled me to take sides and cemented my relationships with that group of Jewish friends that included Primo Levi, as well as my husband”.

We are proud to begin our publishing venture, CPL Editions, with Guidetti Serra’s Primo Levi, the Friend, available this summer. In these pages, the author, who had met Primo Levi during their university years, delicately weaves personal memories with abundant quotations from Levi’s writing, allowing his voice to come through loud and clear, conjuring up the author’s persona, as intrinsically linked to his work.

What also comes alive here is Levi’s unique gift for deep and long lasting friendships.

Bianca Guidetti Serra’s towering example as an advocate for social justice, independent thinking and the rule of law will be treasured.

From her autobiography Bianca La Rossa, Einaudi 2009, written with Santina Mobiglia: Download

She is also the author of:

Il paese dei celestini (with Francesco Santanera), Einaudi, Torino 1973

Compagne. Testimonianze di partecipazione politica femminile , Einaudi, Torino 1977

Le schedature Fiat, Rosenberg & Sellier, Torino 1984

Storie di giustizia, ingiustizia e galera, Linea d’Ombra 1994


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