Primo Levi Interview.
(Excerpts from Ferdinando Camon, Conversations with Primo Levi, Marlboro,Vt : Marlboro Press, 1989)
CAMON: You're not a believer?
LEVI: No, I never have been. I'd like to be, but I don't succeed.
CAMON: Then in what sense are you Jewish?
LEVI: A simple matter of culture. If it hadn't been for the racial laws and the concentration camp, I'd probably no longer be a Jew, except for my last name. instead, this dual experience, the racial laws and the concentration camp, stamped me the way you stamp a steel plate. At this point I'm a few, they've sewn the star of David on me and not only on my clothes.
CAMON: With whom did you have that argument?
LEVI: If you remember The Periodic Table, he's the one mentioned as "the assistant" in the "Potassium" story. He's a believer but not a Catholic; he came to see me after my release to tell me I was clearly one of the elect, since I'd been chosen to survive in order for me to write Survival in Auschwitz. And this, I must confess, seemed to me a blasphemy, that God should grant privileges, saving one person and condemning someone else. I must say that for me the experience of Auschwitz has been such as to sweep away any remnant of religious education I may have had.
CAMON: Meaning that Auschwitz is proof of the nonexistence of God?
LEVI: There is Auschwitz, and so there cannot be God. [On the typescript, he added in pencil:] I don't find a solution to this dilemma. I keep looking, but I don't find it.