Book Publication on the Deportation of Jewish Children from Rome
The recent book published by University of Rome professors Umberto Gentiloni und Stefano Palermo, “16 October 1943. Li hanno portati via”, details the deportation of Jewish children from Rome and was introduced at a memorial service commemorating the 69th anniversary of the beginning of the deportations of Rome´s Jews.
The authors primarily based their publication on documents housed in the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive in Bad Arolsen. “We wanted to tell the children´s story,” said Gentiloni. The Italians concentrated on the ITS´s archive of the Child Tracing Branch as well as correspondence with families, and among the items the researchers found were photographs of the deported children. “These might be the only images which exist from that time, and most probably the last trace of these children´s lives” said the historians.
Very few Roman Jews survived the deportations to the extermination camp Auschwitz. “According to our research, out of 1,017 Jews from the first transport just 16 returned,” said Gentiloni. Around 2000 Jews were deported from Rome between October 1943 and June 1944.
ITS historian Dr. Susanne Urban also gave a talk at the book presentation. Riccardo Pacifici, President of the Jewish community in Rome, described the book as a milestone in research which should set the stage for others. “Children are once again learning at the Jewish school in Rome. But where is the laughter of the deported children?”
A planned exhibition on the deportation of Jewish children from Rome was cancelled as it failed to receive funding from the city. Both Gentiloni and Palermo now hope that the exhibition can open next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the deportations. To that end, both authors would like to make English, Hebrew and German editions available.
Title: Li hanno portati via
Authors: Umberto Gentiloni Silveri, Stefano Palermo
Publisher: Fandango Libri, 2012
ISBN: 8860442990, 9788860442994