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Oral history interview with Lazzaro Mieli and Giuditta Mieli

Oral History | Accession Number: 2010.184.1 | RG Number: RG-50.630.0001

Lazzaro Mieli (born in Rome, Italy on the February 22, 1936) and Giuditta Mieli (born in Rome), speak about their time as children living in Rome before and during the war; the lack of antisemitism in Italy before the war and how citizens were not defined by their religions; the rise of antisemitism in government agencies (they discussed this with their non-Jewish friends who saved them); Guiditta reflects on the routines throughout the war when they heard the sirens in Rome; living in San Ambrogio, where the sirens would ring seven times and this is when they would know to evacuate their homes; going to many places, but the one they considered most safe was Palazzo Mattei (which is close to Teatro Marcello); how residents were told to pack prepared bags of essentials and leave them by the front doors so when the sirens would hit they could leave quickly; the “dark day” of October 16, 1943 when the Germans rounded up and deported many of the Jews; the deportation of most of their family, including their younger sister Rina; not knowing Rina’s fate until the Allied rescue; evading capture along with their parents by staying from October to December 1943 at their grandmother’s apartment which was in a Catholic area; dressing in way to blend in, carrying baskets of food and not looking like they were running away like other Jewish families, who often wore long coats over pajamas, during a hasty escape; Catholic friends who would bring them food and hide them; spending most of the final years in a Catholic convent; their belief that some people in the community knew the invasion and deportations would happen but did not say anything in order to protect themselves; and how to this day they still question why it happened and why no one powerful did anything about it.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Giuditta Mieli
Lazzaro Mieli
interview:  2010 January 06
Oral histories.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ariel Baron
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:30
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