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Luigi Ferri: The Survival of a 12-year-old Italian Child at Auschwitz

Professor Gabriele Boccaccini, University of Michigan
Sunday, January 27, 2019
4:00-6:00 PM
Michigan Room Michigan League Map
Seven hundred and seventy six Italian children under the age of 14 were deported to Auschwitz. Only 25 survived the gas chambers. Luigi Ferri was one of them.

As the child of mixed marriage he could have avoided deportation, but he refused to abandon his beloved Jewish grandmother when she was arrested in June 1944 in Trieste.

At Auschwitz they were sent to the gas chambers, but Luigi was spared at the last moment, only because a Jewish inmate who was working as a doctor at the hospital of the camp, Dr. Otto Wolken, took him under his protection.

Luigino remained hidden for weeks in a barrack and was then registered (tattooed) and "employed" as an errand boy. He and his protector miraculously survived the liquidation of the camp. In April 1945, Luigi was one of the first witnesses of the atrocities of the camp to appear before a Polish tribunal. Afterwards, he mysteriously vanished for the
rest of his life, the only Italian Auschwitz survivor of whom no news ever surfaced again - or at least this is what is commonly repeated. Newly discovered documents are now revealing us the whole story.

Presented by The Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan, in collaboration with the Department of Middle East Studies, the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, the Consulate of Italy in Detroit, and the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago.

This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is welcomed, but it is not required for UM Faculty and students.

RSVP by January 25, 2019 at:
Building: Michigan League
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Free, Jewish Studies, Lecture, Middle East Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Middle East Studies, Judaic Studies, Romance Languages & Literatures, Department of History, Germanic Languages & Literatures