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Comment: Previous owner initials inside front cover. Hardback as shown has dust jacket with light edge imperfections (rubbing). Rip, crease and markings free pages. Good deckle page edge condition. Very good spine.
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This Has Happened: An Italian Family in Auschwitz Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 31, 2006


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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; Tra edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403975086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403975089
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Published after Sonnino's death in 1999, this haunting memoir recounts the story of her Italian Jewish family, including her parents and five siblings, who perished in the Holocaust. In spare, beautifully translated language, Sonnino details her life in Genoa prior to 1938, when the racial laws went into effect. Within a lower-middle-class environment, her parents and siblings were "lambs, good people, ready to suffer many wrongs rather than be stained by a single one, eager to make as little noise as possible and occupy the least space possible on this earth." In 1943, when the Germans arrived in Italy, the Sonninos hid in mountain villages, but were betrayed, arrested and, in 1944, sent to Auschwitz. The author's account of the last night they spent together is eloquent. Her parents and two of her brothers were killed in the gas chambers. Sonnino watched her sister, Bice, succumb to dysentery at the Braunschweig concentration camp after the two were incarcerated at the Bergen-Belsen camp. After the war the author spent five years in rehabilitation centers and sanitariums and returned to Genoa in 1950. She married, raised two children and penned this searing testimony for her family in 1960. B&w photos. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

The author and her Genoese Jewish family--her parents, three brothers, and two sisters--were arrested in Italy by Fascist police in October 1944 and deported to Auschwitz. She was the only survivor, and she was later sent to Bergen-Belsen and Braunschweig. Sonnino returned to Genoa in 1950 at the age of 28. In 1960, she wrote down the events of her life during the war, "solely for the benefit of her daughters," and she died in 1999. The book chronicles how the family left their home in 1943 and spent a year in hiding and flight that ended after they were denounced and captured. David Denby postulates in the book's foreword that Sonnino survived because she was strong and also lucky because she didn't become ill. He also theorizes that the family's determination to stick together may have hastened their destruction. This stunning memoir is one of the most amazing stories to come to light. It is a valuable find and a crucial document from the history of the Holocaust. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Danziger on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This account of an Italian family's brutal experience at the hands of the Nazis is riveting. Ms. Sonnino writes in a spare, unflinching style. What isn't spared is the horror that she and her beloved family endured. From safe house to safe house, to their discovery, to their horrific journey to the the death camps in Poland, to their hearbreaking seperation, to the inhuman treatment they suffered with such dignity, it is a tale I will never forget. This book will take its place as required reading for anyone who wants to understand the depths to which humans can fall, and the effort that one woman made to rise above it somehow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dep on November 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the Holocaust story of Piera Sonnino. She was an Italian Jew, who, with her family had been suffering since 1935 because of the laws discriminating against the Jews. She was one of six children, three girls, and three boys. Her parents were a bit older, with such a large family there was never quite enough money. They managed to survive until 1943, when Mussolini lost power. After that, the Germans took over much of Italy which meant the Sonnino family had to go into hiding. On October 12, 1944 Piera and her family were arrested by the Germans, and at the end of that month were sent to Auschwitz. The only survivor of the family was Piera. To me, this was one of the saddest stories I have read, especially since her family was arrested so late in the war. Also, they were some of the last Jews gassed in Auschwitz since I thought in November of 1944 there were no more gassings. At that time, Auschwitz was in the process of being dismantled as many camps were. In the book it was mentioned that perhaps part of the Sonnino family might have survived if they had split up. In reading the book, that was what I thought too. In reality, though, who wants to be split up from their family in such tragic times. I very much liked this book, the reason I gave it three stars was because I found it a bit difficult to get into. The writing is very concise, not wordy at all. Still, a very important historical document.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Piera Sonnino was the only surviving member of a family of eight Jews from Genoa who were turned over to the Nazis in the fall of 1944. Within a few weeks, the mother, father and three brothers were killed. Soon after, her two sisters also perished. The author survived and wrote her memoir 40 years later never intending it to be published. But shortly after her death, Sonnino's daughter submitted the short manuscript to an Italian weekly which published it in its entirety in a special issue. And I couldn't be more thankful. What a wonderful book written by a very gifted writer. The original manuscript was only 60 typewritten pages and yet, within those few pages, the reader truly gets to know the personalities, strengths, and frailties of all the family members. This is a great read and the foreword, translator's note, epilogue and afterword, all written by different authors, adds greatly to the story. Highly recommended.
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By G. Holden on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
sad and unfortunally true story of the near anihilation of an Italian Jewish family by the Nazis
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marianna on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every story that is told about someone who witnessed the war during the years of WW2 is incredible. Its sometimes hard to read about these events over and over, but the enormity of it all is almost beyond belief. This is a fast read and the foreword and afterword are important additions to the story as written.
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