As millions of Jews were being led to their deaths in concentration camps during the Holocaust, many Italians, including a Tour de France winner, were secretly hiding and helping thousands escape the clutches of the Nazis.
My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes, which features cyclist Gino Bartali and others who risked their own lives to help others, tells this story.
Two of the film's producers, Vincent Marmorale and Vincent Degiaimo '72, a graduate of St. Francis College, came to St. Francis April 24, 2017 to screen the film then talk about the movie and the heroism of the Italians who saved thousands of lives during the Holocaust.
The screening was part of the College's annual Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration and was presented by the Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series.
My Italian Secret tells the story of how brave Italians saved approximately 80% of Jewish people living in Italy, as well as refugee Jews. The film also personifies the actions of individual Italians - especially in the city of Assisi – where many Jews were rescued and kept from deportation and death.
The Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series is funded through a generous gift from Thomas J. Volpe, Chairman Emeritus of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees and a former Senior Vice President of Financial Operations for The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.
Guest speakers offer an international perspective in a variety of fields; from business leaders to world leaders. Past speakers include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos), Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry's), authors Frank Bruni (New York Times), Pete Hamill (Snow in August), E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime) and Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children), Russell Simmons (Def Jam), Mariane Pearl (wife of slain reporter Daniel Pearl), Paul Rusesabagina (the real Hotel Rwanda hero), Lech Walesa (former President of Poland, Nobel Prize winner) and George Mitchell (former U.S. Senator, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, baseball steroids report).