It Happened in Italy: Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust
"It Happened In Italy" written by Elizabeth Bettina is an eye-opening read on the history of the Jews in Italy. This is a part of World War II not usually presented, I never even thought of Jews being in Italy. This book will make you question, why Italy saved her Jews, and the rest of Europe didn't. This is also a very quick and enjoyable read that I would recommend to any history buff.
March 18, 2010
When you think of the Holocaust, you think of death and destruction. You think of life and light cruelly snuffed out. Innocence lost in streams of blood and shower chambers that kill instead of cleanse. Strict Nazi's with pencil-thin mustaches and blue eyes that pierce your soul. The Star of David fell from glory, yarmuckles and menorahs thrown to the ground to be trampled under steel-toed boots.When visiting family in Italy, Elizabeth Bettina was given a book that would change her life. The little book held a list of the people who had been interned in the village. Elizabeth was shattered - how could this little sleepy town in the back country have played such a big part in saving the Jewish people? Why hadn't she ever heard the story growing up?It Happened in Italy (Thomas Nelson) follows Elizabeth's strange journey as she collects the stories of the survivors and what happens when she takes them back to Italy. The story is beautiful. Brothers are reunited, family histories finally begin to make sense, and the Pope even makes a cameo. It took me a long time to wade through this book but it was well worth it.
October 4, 2009
Elizabeth Bettinas book, It Happened In Italy (Thomas Nelson) tells the story of Jews living in Italy during the time of the Holocaust. After learning that her Italian grandparents helped to save Jews in the small village Campagna, Bettina decided to further investigate what happened in Italy during World War II. As it turns out, many of the Jews escaped to Italy (one of the only countries that would accepted their visas) and were hidden in small villages such as, Campagna, saving 75%-80% of the Italian Jews.Through interviews with survivors, Bettina is able to use a casual conversational style that lures the reader into the lives of her subject. The first-person accounts add depth to the book as the real survivors and their protectors tell their own stories. The book is full of photographic evidence, such as marriage certificates and baptismal records that show not only that these people existed, but that they also lived.To think, while many other countries cringed in fear of the Nazis, the Italians fought back and protected the Jews in their midstand it all happened in Italy. This review is part of the Thomas Nelson Blog Reviewers Program.
August 11, 2009
I was delighted to receive this book that is beautiful both inside and out. I have read several books about the Holocaust and was please to have the opportunity to read this one. The book, as in the description, is filled with Elizabeths own journeys as she meets Walter Wolff, a Holocaust survivor who holds an incredible truth of how he and many other Jewish people were saved from the horrors thanks to the people of Italy.Walter is only the beginning, as Elizabeth unfolds this well written story she meets others who were also part of this group. Her amazing spirit and never give up attitude keep this book flowing at a great pace. I found myself anxious to see what was on each page as Elizabeth has filled it with documents of her research as well as many pictures of the time of the Holocaust.I could envision Elizabeths comparison of Campagna to the area the Von Traps traveled when escaping in the Sound of Music. Reading this gave me a whole new understanding to this movie and I may need to rent it again for this reason.This is a book that stays with you long after the final page is read. Elizabeth Bettina has captured an amazing piece of history that I for one, will hold onto deep within my heart.
July 6, 2009