By Augusto Segre
During this lyrical memoir, translated for the 1st time into English, famous Jewish historian, writer, translator, and activist Augusto Segre not just recounts his wealthy existence reports but in addition inspires the altering global of Italian Jewry within the 20th century. Raised within the conventional Jewish group of Casale Monferrato within the former ghetto, Segre depicts the adjustments wrought on his humans through emancipation, fascism, global wars, and the Holocaust.Segre used to be a vocal opponent of Italian fascism and a combatant in Italy’s partisan conflict opposed to the Nazis. With the aid of Italian peasants, he and his family members spent eighteen months evading German and Italian fascist infantrymen in the course of the German career of Italy. Segre additionally was once an ardent Zionist who helped refugees break out to Israel and eventually immigrated himself in 1979. He spent 3 months in Israel in 1948, chronicling Israel’s conflict of Independence. With an ethnographic eye, Segre interweaves his personal stories with these of his rabbi father and makes use of newspapers, public files, and letters to bare the shared feelings and moods of a humans and the influence the best occasions in ecu and Jewish historical past had on all of them. the fad of Italian Jews towards assimilation used to be obtrusive in Segre’s time, and an knowledge of it pervades this paintings. thoughts of Jewish lifestyles presents an extraordinary glimpse right into a conventional, non secular and colourful working-class Jewish group that now not exists. (20090107)
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Extra info for Memories of Jewish Life: From Italy to Jerusalem, 1918-1960
5 After teﬁllà (prayer), he thought, he would go straightaway to his shop, which opened on Via Roma, because there would be plenty of customers from the early morning on, especially from the nearby towns, it being a market day. Via Roma, part of which ran parallel to the ancient ghetto and crossed the city center, was ﬂanked on the left (for someone coming from the Jewish quarter) by a long and narrow arcade with low arches supported by irregular columns. This was where many old Jewish shops still stood.
23 In this proud announcement there was also the certainty of immediate and spontaneous assistance, which not only would take into account his precarious economic situation but would also be a sign of recognition for one who had committed himself so seriously to increasing the population of his Community. In Casale every birth was by now becoming an important event, because births were not so frequent as in the past. Mandulìn, therefore, was glad to offer joy and, evidently, a sense of responsibility to all his fellow Jews.
What Sur Elìa often wondered about, without being able to ﬁnd a satisfying answer, was how on the one hand his wife would often complain to him—and actually, not only to him—of not being able to sleep a wink the whole night through, but when he would speak to her early in the morning—and to tell the truth, in the afternoon sometimes too—Signora Elvira would complain bitterly, saying that she’d been awakened, and in an abrupt way, just exactly when, as if by a miracle, she was about to doze off.