The Truce

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For other uses, see The Truce (disambiguation).
The Truce
First edition
Author Primo Levi
Original title La tregua
Translator Stuart Woolf
Country Italy
Language Italian
Publisher Einaudi (Italian)
The Bodley Head (English)
Publication date
Published in English
Media type Print (Hardcover) and (Paperback)
Pages 253 (1st edition Italian)
222 (1st edition English)
ISBN 0-349-10013-6
OCLC 17221240

The Truce (Italian: La tregua) is a book by the Italian author Primo Levi. It describes his experiences returning from the concentration camp at Auschwitz after the Second World War. The Truce, the literal translation of the title, is the name of the translation published in Britain; the US title is The Reawakening.[1]


The route taken by Primo Levi in 1945, mostly by train, from Auschwitz to Turin. Note: the national borders are the current ones.

The historian Fritz Stern, in a brief review on Foreign Affairs, wrote that The Reawakening "charts Levi's incredibly circular return to Italy via Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Here people and landscapes come vividly alive in a bizarre, often comical series of events and human encounters; a truly remarkable tale."[2]

Levi himself reminisces a bit about a character in the book in his The Paris Review interview: "Have you read my book The Reawakening? You remember Mordo Nahum? I had mixed feelings toward him. I admired him as a man fit for every situation. But of course he was very cruel to me. He despised me because I was not able to manage. I had no shoes. He told me, Remember, when there is war, the first thing is shoes, and second is eating. Because if you have shoes, then you can run and steal. But you must have shoes. Yes, I told him, well you are right, but there is not war any more. And he told me, Guerra es siempre. There is always war."[3]



This book was adapted as a screenplay by Tonino Guerra for a film directed by Francesco Rosi, also titled The Truce (1997).


  1. ^ See on Google Books.
  2. ^ Stern, Fritz (Summer 1986). "Survival in Auschwitz and the Reawakening; Moments of Reprieve". Foreign Affairs. 
  3. ^ Levi, Primo (Spring 1995). "Primo Levi, The Art of Fiction No. 140". The Paris Review. No. 134. Interviewed by Gabriel Motola.