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A collection of thoughts and quotes by Primo Levi on mankind, inhumanity, inspiration, writing, holocaust, exile, motivation, dignity, life and prisoner.

32 Inspirational Quotes By Primo Levi That Will Help You Fight Against All Odds

Famous As: Writer, Chemist

Born On: July 31, 1919

Died On: April 11, 1987

Born In: Turin, Italy

Died At Age: 67

Primo Levi is famous for writing essays, short stories and novels. In his early days he went through many hardships for being a Jew in the German occupied Northern Italy. He had also been imprisoned in the infamous Concentration Camps and was lucky enough to escape. Although he was good at academics he couldn’t find a job due to his ethnicity and went on to work in a mine which gave him the time to cherish his writing career. ‘If This Is a Man’ was his first book which recorded his experiences at the concentration camp. It was originally titled as ‘Se questo è un uomo’ and was translated into English and German. This book although faced some challenges in the early days but went on to become an enormous hit. This encouraged him to further write many novels and the most notable one was ‘The Wrench’ which was honored by the ‘Strega Prize’. Here is a compilation of thoughts and quotations by Primo Levi which have been excerpted from his work, books, essays, writings and thoughts. Go through these quotes by Primo Levi which reflects his pains, miseries and positive approach towards life. 
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Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.

Primo Levi

I am constantly amazed by man's inhumanity to man.

Primo Levi

Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.

Primo Levi

Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who stop to consider the antithesis; that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable.

Primo Levi

A country is considered the more civilised the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak and a powerful one too powerful.

Primo Levi

I too entered the Lager as a nonbeliever, and as a nonbeliever I was liberated and have lived to this day.

Primo Levi

... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once...

Primo Levi

He could hardly read or write but his heart spoke the language of the good

Primo Levi

I live in my house as I live inside my skin: I know more beautiful, more ample, more sturdy and more picturesque skins: but it would seem to me unnatural to exchange them for mine.

Primo Levi

Our ignorance allowed us to live, as you are in the mountains, and your rope is frayed and about to break, but you don't know it and feel safe.

Primo Levi

The aims of life are the best defense against death.

Primo Levi

Dawn came on us like a betrayer; it seemed as though the new sun rose as an ally of our enemies to assist in our destruction.

Primo Levi

An enemy who sees the error of his ways ceases to be an enemy.

Primo Levi

...he never asked nor accepted any reward, because he was good and simple and did not think that one did good for a reward.

Primo Levi

For a country is considered the more civilized the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful one too powerful.

Primo Levi

Perfection belongs to narrated events, not to those we live.

Primo Levi

She had asked the older women: "What is that fire?" And they had replied: "It is we who are burning.

Primo Levi

The sea of grief has no shores, no bottom; no one can sound its depths.

Primo Levi

The living are more demanding; the dead can wait.

Primo Levi

Today, I think that if for no other reason than that an Auschwitz existed, no one in our age should speak of Providence.

Primo Levi

(this is a story interwoven with freezing dawns.)

Primo Levi

No one must leave here and so carry to the world, together with the sign impressed on his skin, the evil tidings of what man's presumption made of man in Auschwitz.

Primo Levi

In the space of a few minutes the sky turned black and it began to rain.

Primo Levi

For he who loses all often easily loses himself.

Primo Levi

...man is a centaur, a tangle of flesh and mind, divine inspiration and dust.

Primo Levi

It is the duty of righteous men to make war on all undeserved privilege, but one must not forget that this is a war without end

Primo Levi

I am persuaded that normal human beings are biologically built for an activity that is aimed toward a goal and that idleness, or aimless work (like Auschwitz's Arbeit), gives rise to suffering and to atrophy.

Primo Levi

If I'm not for myself, who will be for me? If not this way, how? If not now, when?

Primo Levi

Compassion and brutality can coexist in the same individual and in the same moment...

Primo Levi

Today the only thing left of the life of those days is what one needs to suffer hunger and cold; I am not even alive enough to know how to kill myself.

Primo Levi

The truck went on its way in the night and Gedaleh shouted, laughing, "If not this way, how? And if not now, when?

Primo Levi