Based off a true story, a group of Jewish partisans fight the Nazis behind enemy lines during the final year of World War II. Primo Levi’s powerful novel is equal parts suspenseful and philosophical.
World War II is in its final throes. As the Nazis retreat from the Red Army, much of Europe is left in total devastation. Against this backdrop, the watchmaker Mendel, who lost his wife and entire village to the Nazis, meets Leonid, a teenage escapee from a concentration camp. Stranded behind German lines, the pair makes their way through a desolate landscape to join a group of resistance fighters intent on sabotaging the enemy and liberating Jewish prisoners.
An epic story stretching from Eastern Soviet Union to Northern Italy, If Not Now, When? is a novel about acts of resistance—both small and large—against impossible odds.
Along with Elie Wiesel and Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi is remembered as one of the most powerful and perceptive writers on the Holocaust and the Jewish experience during World War II. This is an essential book both for students and literary readers. Reading Primo Levi is a lesson in the resiliency of the human spirit.