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The True Story of a Jewish Boy and His Mother in Mussolini’s Italy
Pub. Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
Rating: Liked it ♥♡
While I knew that Mussolini and Hitler were allies, I never gave any thought to what happened to the Jewish people in Italy. This book opened my eyes to that part of history. The impression I got from this book was that Mussolini didn’t hate the Jews, but he wanted to stay on Hitler’s good side so he ordered them into what is referred to as ‘internal exile’.
This is the autobiography or memoirs of Eric Lamet, his parents managed a luxury hotel in Vienna when the Nazis invaded. He and his parents fled for their lives. Eric’s parents shielded him from the ugly truth of war so he spent much time thinking they ‘hated’ him and were moving around just to torture or inconvenience him. I am referring to torture as a seven year old who has had a luxurious upbringing would define it. He records the moves they had to make, how he had to leave beloved possessions behind and how although his mother loved him and protected him, he eventually came to understand the horror of war.
His father went to Poland, Eric and his mother ended up in a little village in Italy that lacked many modern conveniences, they were ‘confined’ here, as in they couldn’t leave without permission. They had to report each morning to the police.
It was very interesting seeing war from the perspective of a young boy far away from the actual fighting, he records honestly his feelings and his interactions with the villagers, the priest and even a German soldier. He is very honest about how at times he was confused, afraid and resentful of his situation. Through it all his love and admiration for his mother shines through.
Some reviewers have doubted the veracity of this account since the events Lamet is recalling happened so long ago, while I agree that some of the details my not be accurate, I think the feeling portrayed and accurate and found this book enlightening and interesting.