My House

I have always lived (with involuntary interruptions) in the house where I was born; so my mode of living has not been the result of a choice. I believe that I represent an extreme case of the sedentary person, comparable to certain mollusks, for example limpets, which after a brief …

Beyond Judgment

Those who experienced imprisonment (and, more generally, all who have gone through harsh experiences) are divided into two distinct categories, with rare intermediate shadings: those who remain silent and those who speak. Both have valid reasons: those remain silent who feel more deeply that sense of malaise which I for …

Last Christmas of the War

It was a memorable Christmas for the world at war; memorable for me too, because it was marked by a miracle. At Auschwitz, the various categories of prisoners (political, common criminals, social misfits, homosexuals, etc.) were allowed to receive gift packages from home, but not the Jews. Anyway, from whom could the Jews have received them? From their families, exterminated or confined in the surviving ghettos? From the very few who had escaped the roundups, hidden in cellars, in attics, terrified and penniless? And who knew our address? For all the world knew, we were dead.

Lorenzo’s Return

I have also told about Lorenzo elsewhere, but in terms that were deliberately vague. Lorenzo was still alive when I wrote Survival in Auschwitz, and the task of transforming a living person into a character ties the hand of the writer. This happens because such a task, even when it …