ELIZABETH BETTINA, AUTHOR: IT HAPPENED IN ITALY1
GUEST SPEAKER, DECEMBER 6th, 2009
Ms Bettina spoke about how the Italian public and local officials rejected Anti-Semitism duirng WWII. and ensured that Jews resident in Iraly survived the war. Firstly, Italy during the 1930s was one of the very few countries that allowed Jews fleeing Nazi Germany to enter and live without any visa. Secondly, from June 10, 1940 until Sept 8, 1943 the foreign Jewish residents were placed either in internment camps in rural Iraly where they had schools, synagogues, and their own government, or they lived small towns where they were given an apartment and food rations. The local police and priests in these towns ignored all regulations which have prevented Jewish families placed there from having a normal life Thirdly, after Sept 8, 1943, when Italy surrendered to the Allies, and German troops already present in Italy took control and sought to deport all Jews in Italy to the German concentration camps. the local Italian police and Church officials actively subverted the German plans. The Italians hid Jewish families in mountainside farmhouses, convents and monasteries. Plus, they gave Jewish families false identification papers, which identified the familes as Italian Christians from towns in the area under Allied control.
SOME PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE ITALIAN INTERNMENT CAMPS
A picnik at Internment Camp Ferramonti
School for Jewish Children in Internment Camp Ferramonti
Synagogue in Internment Camp of San Bartolomeo, attached to the Church of San Bartolomeo, in Campagna
Wedding Party at Internment Camp Ferramonti
URSULA KORN SELIG
She spoke about her and family's experiences of fleeing Germany and finding refuge in Italy, her family's life in an internment camp, life the village of Citta de Castello, where she attended a boarding school run by Bendictine nuns and then after September 8, 1943 being hidden in a convent and rural farm house.
SOME MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE AT THE BARNES AND NOBLES BOOKSTORE
1Publisher: Thomas Nelson, New York, 2009