Five years after her return home from Auschwitz, Piera Sonnino found the courage to tell the story of the extermination of her parents, three brothers, and two sisters by the Nazis. Discovered in Italy and never before published in English, this poignant and extraordinarily well-written account is strikingly accurate in bringing to life the methodical and relentless erosion of the freedoms and human dignity of the Italian Jews, from Mussolini's racial laws of 1938 to the institutionalized horror of Auschwitz. Through Sonnino's words, memory has the power to disarm these unspeakable evils.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||8.26(w) x 5.52(h) x 0.57(d)|
About the Author
Piera Sonnino was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. She was later transferred to Bergen-Belsen and Braunschweig. The sole survivor of a family of eight, she returned to Italy in 1950. She died in 1999. Ann Goldstein is an editor at the New Yorker. She has translated works by Roberto Calasso, Alessandro Baricco, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Aldo Buzzi. The recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award, she is the editor of the forthcoming collected works of Primo Levi. She lives in New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This Has Happened: An Italian Family in Auschwitz, by Piera Sonnino, and translated by Ann Goldstein, shows how one Jewish-Italian family suffered through the Holocaust. The book is narrated by Piera Sonnino, so all the events that occurred were told from her perspective. She began the book describing her family. Following this, she describes the extreme poverty her family endured and how her eldest siblings went to work to help support the family. As the story progresses, the reader learns that the family was forced into hiding because of the Holocaust. The Sonnino family moved around multiple times to try to evade capture; they were in hiding for almost two years. During this time, Piera’s father and brothers were in constant fear of being taken by the Nazis. Eventually, the family was taken by the Nazis and put in concentration camps. Piera and her sisters went from camp to camp, although the rest of her family stayed at Auschwitz. Piera suffered through the loss of both her sisters before the camp she was in was liberated. I gave this book five stars because I thought it was very interesting to learn about what Piera went through during the Holocaust. Another reason I would give this book 5 stars is because the chapters were short and focused on a single event. This allows the reader to focus on one specific event at a time instead of multiple events happening in a chapter, like in most books. Overall, the book was very good, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading a book about the Holocaust.
This book "this has happened" by Piera Sonnino shows the true meaning of love between a family. While reading this book I think the author's purpose for writing this book is to show the true meaning of family and what happened to Piera and her family during world war 2. In the book Piera starts her story off telling how her family was struggling with money but they still had the household necessities. Piera was the middle of six children Paolo, Roberto, Maria Louisa, Piera, Bice, and Giorgio. As Piera's story goes on she tells about how her brother's and her dad had to hide from the German's while the sisters and mother had to act casual so they would not get deported. Once Piera and her sisters went to Auschwitz her oldest sister Maria Louisa treated Piera and her younger sister Bice as if they were her own children. Maria Louisa soon got deported one night and Piera and Bice never saw her again. Since Maria Louisa left Piera took her spot and watched over Bice. Through Bice's last days of being sick Piera begged Kapo's to let her stay with her sister. Piera would try to stay awake just to make sure Bice was okay. Even after the tragic happened Piera still went strong. Once she was liberated Piera went to the hospital where she spent ten years getting her life back together. After she was out of the hospital she went back to her home thinking some of her family would be there. As Piera says " I began to see clearly into myself and into the story of my family."