A Gift from the Enemy: Childhood Memories in Wartime Italy

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Syracuse University Press, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 331 pages
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Autumn brought the chestnut season. The luscious green, dense forests, Ospedaletto's natural blanket, produced a large chesnut harvest. But in spite of the crop's abundance, I could risk my life if I as much as entered the woods during that season. Various families from the village had laid claim to sections of the woods and protected their territories with shotguns. But nature, in its generosity, allowed a few chestnuts to fall outside the woods from the heavily laden trees that bordered the roads. Children and adults hastened to compete for the rich fruit, for it provided a delicious meal or a dessert ... Although only eleven, I was aware how much my mother struggled to provide food with the little money she was getting, and anytime I could, I was proud to make a minor contribution." Book jacket.

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Review: A Gift from the Enemy: Childhood Memories of Wartime Italy

User Review  - Carmen - Goodreads

An account of a young Jewish boy and his mom who flee Vienna Austria and find themselves in a small town in southern Italy. They are sent there by the Italian government, who has moved several unknown ... Read full review


Escape from Vienna
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About the author (2007)

Eric Lamet--nee Erich Lifshutz--was born in Vienna in 1930. The son of Polish Jews, he fled to Italy with his family after the Germans invaded Austria. After World War II ended, Lamet settled in Naples, where he finished high school and attended the University of Naples. In 1950 the family moved to the United States, and Lamet went to the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. Fluent in German, Italian, English, Spanish, and Yiddish, Lamet served as an interpreter for the U.S. State Department, taught Italian for several years, and became a successful businessman. After retiring as CEO of his own firm in 1992, he returned to his great love: singing opera and Neapolitan songs. Lamet has three children, two stepchildren, and seven granddaughters. He lives with his wife in Florida.

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