skip to Main Content

Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved

Intolerance is inclined to censor, and censorship promotes ignorance of the arguments of others and thus intolerance itself: a rigid, vicious circle that is hard to break. Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved

Fleeing for Safety: From Mantua to Switzerland Edited by Alessandro Vivanti Translated by Will Schutt The book combines two accounts, one picking up where the other leaves off, like the passing of a torch. The son, Corrado Vivanti, opens with…

Read More

Out of the Past

Download a chapter


Written by Claudio Gerbi
Original in English


This book, a delightful blend of history and personal anecdotes, traces the Gerbi family over almost five hundred years, from the late middle ages to the present era.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dr. Claudio Gerbi, was born in Florence, Italy, in 1907 and died in New York City in 1990. He studied medicine and practiced in Milan before moving to the USA in 1938, escaping the Racial Laws. He conducted research in hypertension at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, served as a district physician in Boston, and moved to New York in 1942. Dr. Gerbi was a faculty member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, where he taught internal medicine. He retired in 1979. Much loved by his patients (including a sizable number of the Italian Jews who had fled to New York), Dr. Gerbi had a general practice in Manhattan for 37 years.

INQUIRIES


To read the whole original manuscript, email info@primolevicenter.org and we’ll put you in touch with the author of the book or his representative. The book is available in its original version in English.
Read More

Stateless: A Russian Childhood in Fascist Italy

Download a chapter


Written by Marita Dresner
Original in English


This reminiscence covers my childhood years in Italy during Fascism and up to emigrating in 1939. It is based on my archive of family letters and other material, and on my own memories of growing up. The full archive spans three generations and continents, from the end of the 19th century through the 20th. The correspondence consists of around 1,500 letters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


"I found in Marita Dresner a living treasure: a woman who has lived a full and adventuresome life and preserved it with formidable memory, sense of humor, and critical insight," Alessandro Cassin.

INQUIRIES


Stateless: A Russian Childhood in Fascist Italy currently hasn’t been written yet. Marita Dresner is working with a collection of notes, research and diary entries to create this piece. Contact us if you’re interested in sponsoring this book (donating towards its writing, production and translation), or if you’re interested in publishing opportunities for the book.
Read More

UNAVOIDABLE HOPE

Download a chapter


Written by Roger Sabbadini
Original in English
2017


Unavoidable Hope is a biography of an Italian Jewish refugee, Alessandro (Alex) Sabbadini, who escaped Fascist Italy to America on the eve of WWII, only to return and fight in Italy as a G-2 Intelligence officer with the U.S. 5th Army. He was in the fight for personal reasons – to liberate Italy and his Jewish family who were being pursued by the Fascists and the Nazis. For several agonizing years, Alex did not know the fate of his family and they, in turn, did not know he was a U.S. soldier.
The story of the Sabbadini family and, in particular, Alex Sabbadini’s quest to discover their fate, is not told in a chronological order but dramatically begins with the January 22, 1944 invasion of Italy at the seaside towns of Anzio and Nettuno when Alex landed 200 yards in front of the Sabbadini summer villa. In one of the great fiascoes of the war, the Allies became trapped in a small strip of beachhead with their backs to the sea, facing 120,000 German troops who thwarted the Allies’ plan to capture Rome and Alex’s ability to reunite with his family. Anzio/Nettuno was only 40 miles from Rome where the fate of Alex’s family would eventually be discovered some four torturous months later. During the stalemate at Anzio, flashbacks reveal the life of Jews in Rome before the Fascist racial laws. Alex also reflects on the difficulties of immigrating to the U.S. as well as his experiences in the battles for North Africa and Sicily.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roger Sabbadini is an Emeritus Professor at San Diego State University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Sabbadini is the eldest son of Alex Sabbadini, the subject of this biography. Dr. Sabbadini has lectured internationally and has been an invited or a keynote speaker at many international conferences. He has presented his father’s WWII story to numerous Italian-American, Jewish and military group meetings.

INQUIRIES

To request the full manuscript for research and publishing queries, email us at info@primolevicenter.org and we'll put you in touch with the author. Roger Sabbadini's memoir was published in 2017 by Bend, Oregon: Alighieri Publishers, 2017 (LCCN 2017913854; ISBN 978-0-692-94680-0). The book is available on Amazon. Contact us if you’re interested in contacting the author.
Read More

FRIENDLY FIRE

Download a chapter


Written by Eugenio Czikk
Sample translated by Alessandro Cassin
2010


Eugenio Czikk’s Friendly Fire is an outstanding and deeply rewarding read. Neither simply an account of his experiences during the Shoah, nor a comprehensive autobiography, Czikk uses writing —as well as omissions— as powerful tools to evoke events and emotional entanglements which constitute the fabric of his being. At different moments in his life, confronted by tremendous adversities and uncertainties, the author reports feeling as if he were “deserting himself.” If self-desertion can ever be reversed, this book traces a pathway toward that intent. We are offering here a glimpse of the manuscript that begins with a vivid, clear-eyed evocation of the lost world where Czikk’s life began: a minuscule town in the Eastern Carpatians, an area inhabited by Jews, Ruthenians, Czechs and Hungarians, where national borders shifted like sliding doors.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eugenio Czikk was born in Czechoslovakia, in 1926. He enrolled at the medical school there and continued his studies in Hungary and later in Italy, without completing them. He settled and married in Italy, where he was a manager for a well-know commercial company. He is now retired and lives in Milano.

INQUIRIES

To request the full manuscript for research and publishing queries, email us at info@primolevicenter.org and we'll put you in touch with the author. Eugenio Czikk's memoir is written in Italian and is unpublished.
Read More

NO STAMP IN THE ITALIAN ALPS

Download a chapter


Written by Stella Bolaffi
Translated by Victoria Franzinetti and Colin Thorn
2010


The author chronicles her childhood, tainted by the war, the persecution of the Jews, and the struggles of the partisan resistance movement against the Nazi Fascists in northern Italy. Page after page, a cave inhabited, according to legend, by witches in the mountains of the Lanzo valleys near Turin, the city of her birth, becomes a metaphor for the subconscious nightmares of a ten-years-old girl: her mother’s early passing after a long drawn-out illness, the Racial Laws that prohibited Jewish children from attending school, and a series of hideaways and stratagems to evade capture and deportation, as she came from a well-known Jewish family. Stella Bolaffi's subtle humor also shines through when she uses transcripts from Freudian psychoanalysis sessions to chart her childhood.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stella Bolaffi Benuzzi was born in Turin in 1934. She is the granddaughter of Alberto Bolaffi, the pioneering Italian philatelist and founder of the Bolaffi Stamp Company, and sister of Alberto Bolaffi Jr. After graduating in Classics and Philosophy from the University of Turin, she specialized in Psychology, subsequently becoming a psycho-analyst and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. She is the author of several books, of which this is her first.

INQUIRIES

To request the full manuscript for research and publishing queries, email us at info@primolevicenter.org and we'll put you in touch with the author. No Stamps in the Italian Alps was originally published in Italia by Casa Editrice Giuntina, via degli Artisti 6/i, 50132 Firenze (ISBN 978-88-8057-473-6) under the title La balma delle streghe.
Read More

Reluctant Jews

PROLOGUE An Overdue Circumcision “Do you want a rabbi?”  I must have looked utterly baffled if Professor Luciano Supino, with his rosy features and aristocratically hooked nose, felt he had to explain:  “Of course, for your milah!” Utter bewilderment. “Well,…

Read More

Reluctant Jews Translated by Jeremy Moyle Rather than going in search of his Jewish roots, Sandro Gerbi focuses on the reverse process: the gradual secularization of his family during the twentieth century, through the progressive distancing from religious observance, Jewish…

Read More

Los Corassones Avlan

Conversations on Jewish Life on the Island of Rhodes. A pop-up installation to discover, discuss and imagine.  Press contact: loscorassones.press@primolevicenter.org New York, NY - September 24, 2019 - A fully immersive experience celebrating and exploring the lives of the Jews of Rhodes,…

Read More

Exile and Creativity Translated by Alta L. Price. Exile and Creativity is a collection of essays from a program series held in 2017-18 by the Italian Cultural Institute in New York jointly with Centro Primo Levi. The essays examine the…

Read More
Back To Top
X
//