Avital Gertner-Samet's Reviews > Il cielo cade

Il cielo cade by Lorenza Mazzetti
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's review
Jul 14, 2011

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** This is the story of the execution order of the Einstein family in Toscana in 1944 [Albert Einstein's cousin and his wife and 2 daughters] by the SS during WW2. What is unique and heart-wrenching is that the book is told from the point of view of his 7 or 8 year old niece, whom he took care of after her parents' death. The author IS that girl, so in a way, it's an autobiographic depiction of this inhumane tragedy.

In August 1944 SS soldiers came into the Einstein villa in Toscana, violently gathered all the people their into a room, trashed the house, broke all the crystal glasses, tore all the books, dismantled the piano they were using themselves just months before and also tortured their little puppy. Then they separated the two nieces from their aunt and children and shot the wife and two daughters of Mr. Einstein, who weren't Jewish too. Then set their villa on fire. When Mr. Einstein saw his house on fire and his entire family dead [perhaps he thought they will be spared as they weren't Jewish] he couldn't take his grief and took his own life.

What touched me most were the author's words at the end of the book, where she said that she can't understand how her uncle and aunt had treated her and her sister like an equal, like their own, after their parents' death, but on the day of their death they were treated differently. Her uncle was Jewish and she was not...

I want to mention that I did not read the book in its original Italian and hope I haven't missed any of its depth.

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Reading Progress

July 13, 2011 – Started Reading
July 14, 2011 – Shelved
July 14, 2011 –
0.0% "Reading it in Hebrew [not in its original Italian]"
July 14, 2011 –
page 66
July 14, 2011 – Finished Reading

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