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International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019

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Italian Cultural Institute

500 N Michigan Ave

Suite 1450

Chicago, IL

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On the Occasion of the 2019 International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, the Simon Wiesenthal Center - Chicago, and The American Jewish Committee are pleased to invite you to a special commemoration.

An evening of readings and interpretation to remember and commemorate Primo Levi, the writer, the witness, and Holocaust survivor will be presented on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Professor Emanuel Rota, from the program in Jewish Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will give a lecture on the celebrated Italian author, followed by a reading of his work in Italian by Laura Biagi, DePaul University, and in English by Alessandra Visconti, Northwestern University. The work selected for the reading will demonstrate how Levi not only bore witness to the tragedy of the Holocaust, but also offered a universal reflection on the human condition and even the hope for the future of humanity.

Primo Levi was raised in the small Jewish community in Turin, studied at the University of Turin, and graduated summa cum laude in chemistry in 1941. Two years later he joined friends in northern Italy in an attempt to connect with a resistance movement, but he was captured and sent to Auschwitz. While there, Levi worked as a slave labourer for an I.G. Farbenindustrie synthetic-rubber factory. Upon the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviets in 1945, Levi returned to Turin, where in 1961 he became the general manager of a factory producing paints, enamels, and synthetic resins; the association was to last some 30 years. Levi was the author of several books, novels, collections of short stories, essays, and poems. His best-known works include If This Is a Man (1947, published as Survival in Auschwitz in the United States), his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi- occupied Poland from February 1944 until the camp was liberated on January 27, 1945. He also wrote additional autobiographical works, including, La tregua (1963; The Truce, or The Reawakening) and I sommersi e i salvati (1986; The Drowned and the Saved), both of which are further reflections on his wartime experiences. Il sistema periodico (1975; The Periodic Table) is a collection of 21 meditations, each named for a chemical element, on the analogies between the physical, chemical, and moral spheres.

Free and open to the public.

Reservations kindly requested.

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Italian Cultural Institute

500 N Michigan Ave

Suite 1450

Chicago, IL

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