Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Happened in Italy By: Elizabeth Bettina

Love thy neighbor as thyself- this is the commandment that the Italians during WWII followed. It Happened in Italy chronicles Elizabeth Bettina's quest to discover the history behind concentration camps in Italy, specifically in the town of Campagna. She discovers on one of her family visits to this town that the Italians housed Jews during WWII. This was a little known fact due to how drastically different Jews were treated compared to other places in the world. She discovered that Jews in Italy were treated fairly, as though they truly were in need of a neighborly love, she was in awe of how kind the Italians treated the Jews. She was also surprised by the lack of people who know this side of the war.

This novel is a bit disappointing. Bettina tells a great story, but it was not what I expected. I expected the novel to read more like a history book than like a transcript of a phone call to a friend. I am not sure if I would recommend this novel. It was easy to read, but hard to get into because it seemed to lack a true story line and historical documentation. Overall, I wish there were more historical facts.

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