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May 19, 2016

Primo Levi’s famous poem “If this is a man”

Filed under: Holocaust — furtherglory @ 6:33 am

The following words were written by Primo Levi, a Jew who suffered, during World War II, in the Nazi work camp known as Monowitz, aka Auschwitz III.

The title of this poem is “If this is a man”.

You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes or a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter.
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

11 Comments »

  1. Primo Levi committed suicide I am told, right? Of course with all these holocauster so called victims it seems their lies caught up with their consciences….

    Comment by rizolitv — May 22, 2016 @ 10:57 am

    • You wrote: “Primo Levi committed suicide I am told, right?”

      Yes, you are correct. I blogged about Primo Levy 5 years ago at
      https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/primo-levi-the-story-of-ten-days-jan-18th-to-jan-27th-1945/

      Comment by furtherglory — May 22, 2016 @ 11:03 am

      • The free Jew course you told me about,that I’m taking,is really gettin humorous. ” What was the holocaust of European Jewry”. A fella ( I guess it’s a guy) named Sallez Weiss Sandrine left a really good comment on the part of the course we’re on now. Right hand to God here. This person gave the definitive reason why uncle Adolph hated the Jews . He said,” he (hitler) wanted to clean the Aryan population,but he could not accept the fact,that Jews were superior and cleaner”. What the shit is that? I’m not making this stuff up . If I could take a screen shot of that email id post it here. I’ve always said when I lived in south Florida,the Jews always looked down on the Cubans,Blacks and Puerto Ricans. They have the condescending attitude from hell. They expect us to weep for them,because everyone has a racists attitude towards them. Hello. Lead by example. They wanna bitch about racial superiority? Sounds to me like they’re being the proverbial,”textbook example” on this one. I’ll be the first to admit,I can be a tad slow catching on to shit. I’ve figured out one thing though. They don’t want justice. They don’t give a damn about the actual Jew . They wanna rewrite the game all together. They wanna make all the rules. They wanna get the card game going and hand us a fixed deck. They wanna control. Remember the Jew boy Steve Rubell? He was half owner of Studio 54. I remember seeing him on TV every now and again. He’d be out front of the club,pointing at the people he wanted to allow in the club. He said he did that,”because he wanted the perfect mix of people in the club”. BS! He did that so he could feel like God. He could create a persons destiny for that evening. He died from aids. So much for the myth that Jews are clean

        Comment by Tim — May 22, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

    • I was gonna say it Jimbo,but you got there first. I’ve always said I’ll listen to both sides,but they’re coming up with some whoppers. Like Nietzsche once said,”I’m not upset that you lied to me. I’m upset because I’m never gonna be able to believe you again”. That may not be verbatim,but it’s close

      Comment by Tim — May 22, 2016 @ 11:16 am

  2. Primo Levy wrote the following in his poem;-

    “Consider if this is a woman,
    Without hair and without name
    With no more strength to remember,
    Her eyes empty and her womb cold
    Like a frog in winter.”

    His last line about “frogs in winter” is weirdly out of tune with the rest of the stanza. Its as though he couldn’t think of anything profound, or emotionally gut-wrenching to write, so he just wrote the first piece of plausible “twaddle” that came into his mind.

    But anyway – according to former Auschwitz inmate, Susan Spatz, the inmates hunted all the frogs and ate them because they were so starving. I believe they were added to the grass and stinging-nettle soup that was prepared in the camp kitchens.

    Comment by Talbot — May 19, 2016 @ 7:56 am

    • You wrote: “according to former Auschwitz inmate, Susan Spatz, the inmates hunted all the frogs and ate them because they were so starving”

      I doubt that there was any “frog hunting” going on at Birkenau. I have actually done some frog hunting. Frogs live on the banks of a creek. I don’t know of any creeks flowing through Birkenau.

      I wrote a previous blog post about Primo Levy at

      https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/primo-levi-the-story-of-ten-days-jan-18th-to-jan-27th-1945/

      Comment by furtherglory — May 19, 2016 @ 8:39 am

      • Hunting rats is a more likely option. The prisons weren’t exactly sanitary. All the stiffs. Open season for rodents. That’s also a more plausible explanation as to why there was a high death rate. Don’t forget ,rats with germ carrying fleas caused the bubonic plague. Hebs are coming in from all over hells half acre. Is it not a logical conclusion that a lot of them could’ve been carrying some hoof and mouth disease

        Comment by Tim — May 19, 2016 @ 9:10 am

      • I read your website about Primo Levy and The Story of the Ten Days – and you write;-

        “While he was a prisoner at Monowitz, Primo Levi met Lorenzo, an Italian who was a worker at the camp, not a prisoner. For six months, Lorenzo gave Primo extra bread each day, patched up shirts and even wrote a postcard for him to Italy.”

        You then go on to quote Levi’s own words from his book;-

        “If there is any point in trying to understand why I should be the one to be saved, out of so many thousands of others, I believe that it was primarily because of Lorenzo. And not necessarily because of his material help. It was much more because his treatment of me, his simple behavior and kindness, reminded me every day that there is still a humane and just world on the other side of the barbed wire fence; that outside the camp there are people with a heart, and that there are pure values; that not everything is corrupt and cruel; that a world without hatred and fear exists out there. It is true that all those are vague at the moment, distant and incomprehensible, but it is worth making the effort to survive in order to get back there.”

        I just wonder if this Lorenzo is an imaginary character that Levi has created out of his own mind. He has no second name, and thus there is no way that anyone can verify if he ever existed. But the presence of Lorenzo at Monowitz allows Levi to embark upon an emotional crusade in his personal story. Many Jewish writers are very adept at doing this. They have this knack of weaving together words, and even entire narratives, that combine selflessness, humanity, kindness, compassion and love – with cruelty, horror, hatred, depravity and fear. They know that this kind of emotional rollercoaster appeals to the general public – especially the goyim!

        Comment by Talbot — May 19, 2016 @ 10:03 am

  3. Okay . That just proves how selfish Jews are. Look at the last few lines. Read between the proverbial,”lines”. In so many words this jackass is saying, burn my words into your brain or may you have nothing but ill fate

    Comment by Tim — May 19, 2016 @ 7:34 am

    • The first three laws of the Jewish religion are REVENGE, REVENGE, REVENGE.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 19, 2016 @ 8:41 am

      • Revenge for what,being born? They bought that on themselves. They think because they’re “Gods chosen”,they can do whatever and get away with it. I like it when people say shit like ,” how could God allow that to happen to the Jews “. God didn’t allow it to happen. They pissed off the ol man and he just said,”you wanna shit on me? Fine. Have fun trying to fend for yourselves”. I know you’re not a believer FG. Your view on that is your right as a human being. I’m a believer and I’m pretty sure that’s why the Jews are in the shit they are. They pissed off their benefactor and he told them,”cry in your coffee,but don’t come bitchin to me”.

        Comment by Tim — May 19, 2016 @ 9:35 am


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