It Happened in Italy by Elizabeth Bettina

One woman’s discovery—and the incredible, unexpected journey it takes her on—of how her grandparent’s small it happened in italyvillage of Campagna, Italy, helped save Jews during the Holocaust.

Take a journey with Elizabeth Bettina as she discovers much to her surprise, that her grandparent’s small village, nestled in the heart of southern Italy, housed an internment camp for Jews during the Holocaust, and that it was far from the only one. 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 World War II.

This review book was sent to me by Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers.  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 Elizabeth’s 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 Elizabeth’s comparison of Campagna to the area the Von Trap’s 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.

6 thoughts on “It Happened in Italy by Elizabeth Bettina

  1. I also requested a book from Thomas Nelson, but it never got here. I know a bunch of people who are waiting and others who sat it took forever to get theirs.
    I’m glad you liked this one though 🙂

  2. Sometimes authors use a novel or screenplay to support political or social beliefs; or to cry out for morality and ethical prinicples. This is no more clearly evident than with Holocaust books and films. Whenever we stand up to those who deny or minimize the Holocaust, or to those who support genocide we send a critical message to the world.

    We live in an age of vulnerability. Holocaust deniers ply their mendacious poison everywhere, especially with young people on the Internet. We know from captured German war records that millions of innocent Jews (and others) were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany – most in gas chambers. Holocaust books and films help to tell the true story of the Shoah, combating anti-Semitic historical revision. And, they protect future generations from making the same mistakes.

    I wrote “Jacob’s Courage” to promote Holocaust education. This tender coming of age love story of two young adults living in Salzburg at the time when the Nazi war machine enters Austria, presents accurate scenes and situations of Jews in ghettos and concentration camps, with particular attention to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. It examines a constellation of emotions during a time of incomprehensible brutality. A world that continues to allow genocide requires such ethical reminders and remediation.

    Many authors feel compelled to use their talent to promote moral causes. Holocaust books and movies carry that message globally, in an age when the world needs to learn that genocide is unacceptable. Such authors attempt to show the world that religious, racial, ethnic and gender persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny’s only hope.

    Charles Weinblatt
    Author, “Jacob’s Courage”

  3. After reading your blong on Elizaberth Bettina, whom I only recently met, I wonder if you would be interested in my memoir, which – among so many other events – also describes confinement in Italy from 1941-1943. We ran a school for refugee children in Asolo and had them matriculated in the Venice Ghetto. I’m sure you’ll find it a good read. Jasha

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