Levi was born in a family of Piedmontese Jews: Cesare Levi and Esther Luzzatto, whose ancestors had moved to Italy from Spain and Provence. He studied in the classical lyceum (1934-1937), where he was taught, byNorberto Bobbio and Cesare Pavese, distinguished with anti-fascist views.
Then Levi joined the Department of Chemistry University of Turin, but did not finish it and did not get a diploma (the fascist government in 1938 forbade Jews to study in public schools and universities). He worked in chemical laboratories in small enterprises of Turin and Milan.
Primo then joined the anti-fascist group of liberal-socialist-leaning "Justice and Freedom" (ital. Giustizia e Libertà), acted as part of a guerrilla group «Partito d'Azione». After being betrayed by one of their own number, Levi was handed over to the Germans and deported to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. He spent 10 months at Auschwitz.(Poemhunter)
Levi survived at Auschwitz by a happy coincidence. He worked as a chemist in the camp, engaged in the production of synthetic oil and rubber, which had saved him from the gas chambers. Lorenzo Perrone, his Piedmontese friend - a non-Jew, worked at a construction site and secretly brought Livi soup. Levy contracted scarlet fever just before evacuation of the camps by Germans and was among those who were transported to the west (in the process of evacuating a heavy toll of prisoners). Levi was wandering around Eastern Europe for few months after the liberation, before returning to his homeland . At age 26, he returned to his mother's apartment in Turin, where he spent the rest of his life.
Until 1977 he worked at a chemical plant. When he died in 1987, at only 67 after a fall from the stairwell of his third-floor apartment, newspapers around the world reported that he had committed suicide. But some of his friends and readers refused to believe it, and have argued against it ever since. So the question arose, and has grown. (Theguardian). Although the version of suicide is beyond doubt, the version about the accident was also taken into account.
His first book on the conclusion of Auschwitz "Survival In Auschwitz" was first rejected by a large publishing firm "Einaudi", published in 1947 in a small publishing house with an edition of 2000 copies, but, despite a positive review from Italo Calvino in the popular communist newspaper "Unita", edition was not sold. The book appeared in "Einaudi" only in 1958 and was immediately translated into English, French and German, in fact, it was the book that introduced consciousness of the Holocaust into public, along with the camps of mass destruction, existential experience condemned to death. It is marked as the beginning of Levy 's world fame.
The second autobiographical book was "Truce". It tells about a difficult path through the six countries of the former concentration camp inmates on his way home to his native Turin. Usually these two books are printed together; they were filmed: the film "The Truce" (1997) directed by Francesco Rosi took scenario written by Tonino Guerra, the movie based on the book "Survival In Auschwitz" came in 2005. Richard Wilson "Primo" was a director and an actor. The film "Primo" is a film adaptation of staging the London Royal National Theatre.
Levi is especially known from other books for the final collection of autobiographical essays about the camp survivors and responsibility "sunk and saved" (1986). Levy also acted as a translator (Heine, Kipling, Kafka, Levi-Strauss).
The Guardian. "The secret life of Primo Levi | Books." the Guardian. N.p., 9 Mar. 2002. Web. 7 Dec. 2014.
"THE BIOGRAPHY OF PRIMO LEVI." PoemHunter. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2014.