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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March 18, 1938: Five days after Hitler marches into Vienna, Eric Lamet - then age eight - and his family flee Austria for safety in Italy where they will stay for several years. In this compelling memoir, Lamet relives the time of his boyhood in an Italy torn by war and chained by Fascism. This is a recollection of rare emotional sweep. Initially, Lamet tells his story from a child's point of view, passing from boyhood and the face of catastrophe to adolescence in a shadowy foreign land. He describes the fate of foreign Jews and political prisoners in Fascist Italy as well as Jews in Greater Europe. The writer's style is as original as his content, at once candidly recalling a dark time yet imbued with humanity and wit.

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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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