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Uno su mille: cinque famiglie ebraiche durante il fascismo
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Uno su mille: cinque famiglie ebraiche durante il fascismo

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  101 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This extraordinary montage - combining interview, narrative, and the evocation of Italian culture - depicts the lives of five Italian Jewish families whose experiences embody the paradoxical climate of benevolence and betrayal, and resurrects a forgotten and deeply tragic era in the history of two peoples.
Hardcover, Le Scie, 420 pages
Published 1991 by Mondadori
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This is an absolutely riveting account of the wartime experiences of five Jewish Italian families. It’s structured in exactly the way I complained The Last Jews in Berlin wasn’t – that is, an unbroken account of each set of characters so that you’re able to fully immerse yourself in each narrative. The characters are almost all fascinating. There’s the fervent Jewish Fascist who had the offices of a Jewish newspaper in Florence burnt to the ground because he thought they were too critical of Mus ...more
Violet wells
A brilliantly and thoroughly researched account of the plights of five different Italian Jewish families during WW2. Alexander Stille, the author, has interviewed surviving members of each of the families and presents a narrative history pulsing with riveting and profoundly moving anecdotes.

The families live in different cities – Turin, Ferrara, Rome and Genoa. There are several truly memorable characters. There’s Ettore Ovazzi who is a militant fascist and remains so even after the anti-Semiti
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different cities and districts in Italy during the 1930's and 1940's all seem to have had greatly varying numbers of Jewish populations. Multiplied by so many various class and/or work occupation status. And the reactions and complicated levels of anti-fascism as varied, as well. So this is researched history with literally hundreds of documented characters within 5 family groups and their lives and outcomes during these years. It is a difficult read, it does not read as a novel. Turin so differ ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Walking around Rome you occasionally notice small brass squares embedded in the sidewalk, each one engraved with the name of an Italian Jew who was sent to Auschwitz. In some cases entire families including babies were deported and killed. This story is horrifying but fairly well-known.

Benevolence and Betrayal goes beyond the familiar horror into the more complex nature of the experience of Italian Jews, who were (and are) deeply assimilated into Italian society, and reluctant to believe that t
This book provides fantastic insight into the plight of Italian Jews during the Holocaust. I found it especially poignant to read while living in Italy, so close to many of the events. The fate of Jews during this period was not cut and dry and neither was the response on the part of the Italian government. I was most impressed to learn the pivotal role played by the Catholic leadership in Genoa (where we currently reside), who worked alongside the Jewish underground to rescue thousands of Jews. ...more
Joan Brown
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joan by: Kelly Hicks
Fascinating book. At first I felt a bit like I was reading a textbook, but, especially with the later families and with the updates on these families at the end, I feel that I know the people, though as always I stand in awe of their bravery. I can't imagine risks like this - the hiding and running from, or risking the dangers of providing sanctuary for...The wealth of primary source research made this come alive. The letters and diaries and reported conversations are those of real people, not j ...more
Cynthia Alice
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it so much more than I initially expected to!
The author has such a strong love for the Italian people generally, such an understanding of the history, uniqueness, and diversity within both the fascist and antifascist movements.
This one book taught me more about Italy, Italian fascism and resistance to it, than I've learned in a lifetime!
Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism by Alexander Stille is intense, compelling and extraordinary in its details and depths.

The stories within this compelling book revolve around five Italian Jewish families preceding and during World War II, and their plight, idealism, their commonalities and their differences. Put together the stories read like an intriguing and profound historical novel, rather than five separate accountings of Italian Jewish families whose liv
Kelly Hicks
First Stille book I read, and I was totally hooked. Such a compelling history of these families. I had no idea of the details of Italian Jewish families under fascism, usually because Hitler and Nazism takes center stage. I learned so much about the historical situation of the Jews in Italy--starting in Roman times and up through WWII.
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, non-fiction
Not always "easy reading" but a solid exploration of how Italy moved from a place where Jews were at home to a place where they were at risk during WWII. Alexander Stille is an American journalist with a historical bent.
Iain McNab
I was led to this through Bassani's beautiful novel The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. This history of five Italian Jewish families under fascism fleshes out much of the historical background to the novel and is equally moving on the personal tragedies.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent non-fictional discussion of five extended Italian families under Fascism, with a detailed and fascinating explanation of historical trends, currents, etc. Well-written, easy to follow and well documented.
Danielle Fogerty
Fantastic book about Italian Jews during WW2 a subject I haven't read alot about. I would reccomend this book to anyone interested in the Holocaust
Feb 22, 2010 marked it as half-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, jew
Got up to pg. 210. Good but not in the mood
Sep 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: non-fiction
This book sheds light on the little-covered WWII experiences of Italian Jewish families. It is a great book - I had a hard time putting it down and didn't want it to end.
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
heartbreaking / fascinating stories of Italian Jews in WWII Italy.
Zachary Harless
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