‘The Juggler’ by Primo Levi

‘I often asked myself what kind of humanity was massed behind their symbol, and have regretted that none has told his story’

If stories are a vehicle for human connection and compassion, then few can be as important as Levi’s scenes presenting his time in Auschwitz. This moving series of vignettes and character studies, plainly and quietly told, infused with humour and humanity, often depict turning points where life could have changed. In ‘The Juggler’, former street thief and acrobat Eddy catches Levi with paper and pencil, risking his life to write a letter home. Eddy’s shrewd quick-thinking, along with his capacity to move on from Levi’s offence, saves the author’s life; although he receives a less positive ending himself. Levi’s succinctly rich illustrations of the tenacity of the human spirit provide compelling evidence for Frankl’s logotherapy theories and the human search for meaning.

In Moments of Reprieve (Penguin, 1986)

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