1st You and your family and the other Jews in your house will be transferred.
2nd Take with you:
a) supplies for at least 8 days;
b) ration cards;
c) identity card;
3rd You can take with you:
a) a small suitcase with some personal belongings, linen, blankets, etc.;
b) money and jewellery.
4th Lock your apartment… take the key with you.
5th Sick people, even in the most severe conditions, can’t, for any reason, be left behind. The camp has an infirmary.
6th The family must be ready for leaving twenty minutes after receiving this note.
(Official document delivered in the Jewish ghetto of Rome on October 16, 1943, as reported in Giacomo Debenedetti, 16 ottobre 1943, Torino, Einaudi 2015)
Imagine you’ve been given these twenty minutes, feel the fear for you and your family, feel the anguish for not knowing where you are going and how long you are staying there. Turn the TV on, watch the news, did we get it right?
One last thing... Now try to ask yourself: is this a man?
10 SUGGESTED READINGS
THE TENDER BAR: A MEMOIR
J.R. Moehringer, Hyperion 2006
WOLKENBRUCHS WUNDERLICHE REISE IN DIE ARME EINER SCHICKSE
Thomas Meyer, Diogenes Verlag AG 2014
PATRIMONY: A TRUE STORY
Philip Roth, Vintage Publishing 1992
THE INVISIBLE WALL
Harry Bernstein, Cornerstone 2007
MY NAME IS ASHER LEV
Chaim Potok, Random House 1984
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK
Nathan Englander, Random House 2012
UNA BAMBINA E BASTA – 20 ANNI
Lia Levi, E/O 2014
THE FAMILY CARNOVSKY
Israel J. Singer, Harrow Books 1969
IL CONIGLIO HITLER E IL CILINDRO DEL DEMAGOGO
Moni Ovadia, La nave di Teseo 2016
AN INTERRUPTED LIFE: THE DIARIES, 1941-1943; AND LETTERS FROM WESTERBORK
Etty Hillesum, Henry Holt & Company 1996