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Italy and the Holocaust: The Hidden Story


The Columbus Citizens Foundation is proud to have recently hosted Elizabeth Bettina to discuss her book, It Happened in Italy. This story takes you on a journey with Elizabeth as she discovers that her grandparents' small village, nestled in the heart of southern Italy, housed one of many internment camps for Jews during World War Two. Follow her discovery of survivors and their stories of gratitude to Italy and its people. Explore the little known details of how members of the Catholic Church assisted and helped shelter Jews in Italy during the war. Elizabeth tells the compelling story of Giovanni Palatucci, an Italian police official, who is credited with saving the lives of thousands of Jews, destined for deportation to Nazi extermination camps. When Palatucci’s actions were discovered by the Germans he was sent to the death camp at Dachau where he died mere weeks before the camp was liberated by the Allies. He was officially honored by Yad Vashem, a Jewish group that recognized non-Jews who risked their lives in defense of the Jewish population.

During her presentation, Elizabeth introduced holocaust survivors from Italy who expressed their gratitude for Italy and the Italian people. Click on the video below to listen to their fascinating stories.