Holocaust Odysseys: The Jews of Saint-Martin-Vsubie and Their Flight Through France and Italy

Susan Zuccotti, Author . Yale Univ. $28 (285p) ISBN 978-0-300-12294-7

Occupied by Italy in 1943, the southern French town of Saint-Martin-Vésubie served as a haven for Jews from all over Europe. But after Italy's armistice with the Allies, the Italians left the town and many Jews crossed the Alps into Italy, seeking further refuge, only to find themselves face-to-face with the Germans; many were deported to Auschwitz. Zuccotti describes the remarkable scene of the Fremch town square in the summer of 1943 filled with Yiddish-speaking Jews, and reports both positive and tense relations between the refugees and their hosts. Zuccotti (The Italians and the Holocaust ) explores these events through the dramatic stories of nine Jewish families, tracing their flight across the continent. These incredible stories demonstrate the perseverance and luck involved in surviving the Holocaust: one man survived as a boy by jumping a fence the night before a deportation and yelling to a passerby to catch him. Other stories come to a chilling end. While relying on oral histories of survivors of these events, Zuccotti probes the strengths and limitations of that form. Supplementing their memories with historical documentation and context, she helps turn painful memories into valuable history. 2 maps. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
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