My history hero: Primo Levi (1919–87)

"His book about his time in Auschwitz doesn't just remind readers of the Holocaust's full horror, it helps keep us on our toes and alerts us to the warning signs," Nick Hewer tells York Membery...

Italian writer Primo Levi sitting at a desk in his study. Turin, 1981. (Photo by Sergio del GrandeMondadori PortfolioMondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine.

Primo Levi was an Italian-Jewish chemist, author and Holocaust survivor. His best-known works are If This Is a Man (1947), his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland during the Second World War, and The Periodic Table (1975), a collection of short stories named after chemical elements. He died after falling from the third floor of the block of flats where he lived in Turin. The coroner ruled that it was suicide.

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