Book Review: “It Happened in Italy”

Elizabeth Bettina’s book about Italian Holocaust survivors was completely eye-opening and fascinating.

I will be honest–my knowledge of Italy’s role in World War II is sketchy, at best.  I know plenty about Germany, and that country’s treatment of Jews, but I had never even considered that there were Jews in Italy, much less how they would have fared in concentration camps.  What I learned is that they were treated completely differently than their Jewish counterparts elsewhere in Europe, and this was largely due to the people of Italy’s determination and compassion.

I loved the photos–as they say, “a picture paints a thousand words,” and the photos in this story were no exception. Even though they were small, and in black and white, they helped me picture people and places, and get a feeling for the culture in which the book is placed.

The letters and historical documents in the appendices were also beneficial, and helped to serve as a reminder that while the book is far from dry, and reads much like a story, it is true, and tells the story of real people and real experiences.

My one criticism of the book is that the transitions between the chapters are somewhat rough in some places.  Aside from that, I found this to be a very informative and revealing book.

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