Thursday, April 30, 2009
It Happened in Italy???
It Happened in Italy is the untold stories of how the people of Italy defied the horrors of the holocaust. Bettina (the author) discovers the story of Giovanni Palatucci and his connection to her family's village of Campagna,Italy. Palatucci was an Italian that had access to records of Italy's foreign residents. Instead of using the information (including their religion) to turn them in to be exterminated in Germany, he makes the choice to protect them in camps throughout southern Italy (one of them being in Campagna). Palatucci paid the ultimate price - his life.
I was amazed while reading this book. I had heard and read so many times of how the Catholic Church did little to stop the Holocaust, yet here was proof that many Italian Catholics including nuns, priests and bishops did risk their lives to hide Jews in Italy and save them from Hitler. I'm thankful that Bettina was moved to research and discover those in Italy that helped to save Jews from undeserved deaths. I'm especially impressed with how she was able to arrange meetings of Jewish survivors with their rescuers, bishops and even Pope Benedict.
The only downside to this book is that I felt it needed better editing. At times I felt as if I were reading a high school research paper and not a scholarly work of non-fiction.
Thank you to Bettina for telling the story that needed to be told.
And a thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing this book to me to read and review as a part of the Review Blogger program.