Written by Roger Sabbadini
Original in English
Unavoidable Hope is a biography of an Italian Jewish refugee, Alessandro (Alex) Sabbadini, who escaped Fascist Italy to America on the eve of WWII, only to return and fight in Italy as a G-2 Intelligence officer with the U.S. 5th Army. He was in the fight for personal reasons – to liberate Italy and his Jewish family who were being pursued by the Fascists and the Nazis. For several agonizing years, Alex did not know the fate of his family and they, in turn, did not know he was a U.S. soldier.
The story of the Sabbadini family and, in particular, Alex Sabbadini’s quest to discover their fate, is not told in a chronological order but dramatically begins with the January 22, 1944 invasion of Italy at the seaside towns of Anzio and Nettuno when Alex landed 200 yards in front of the Sabbadini summer villa. In one of the great fiascoes of the war, the Allies became trapped in a small strip of beachhead with their backs to the sea, facing 120,000 German troops who thwarted the Allies’ plan to capture Rome and Alex’s ability to reunite with his family. Anzio/Nettuno was only 40 miles from Rome where the fate of Alex’s family would eventually be discovered some four torturous months later. During the stalemate at Anzio, flashbacks reveal the life of Jews in Rome before the Fascist racial laws. Alex also reflects on the difficulties of immigrating to the U.S. as well as his experiences in the battles for North Africa and Sicily.
ABOUT THE AUTHORRoger Sabbadini is an Emeritus Professor at San Diego State University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Sabbadini is the eldest son of Alex Sabbadini, the subject of this biography. Dr. Sabbadini has lectured internationally and has been an invited or a keynote speaker at many international conferences. He has presented his father’s WWII story to numerous Italian-American, Jewish and military group meetings.
INQUIRIESTo request the full manuscript for research and publishing queries, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put you in touch with the author. Roger Sabbadini's memoir was published in 2017 by Bend, Oregon: Alighieri Publishers, 2017 (LCCN 2017913854; ISBN 978-0-692-94680-0). The book is available on Amazon. Contact us if you’re interested in contacting the author.
Written by Stella Bolaffi
Translated by Victoria Franzinetti and Colin Thorn
The author chronicles her childhood, tainted by the war, the persecution of the Jews, and the struggles of the partisan resistance movement against the Nazi Fascists in northern Italy. Page after page, a cave inhabited, according to legend, by witches in the mountains of the Lanzo valleys near Turin, the city of her birth, becomes a metaphor for the subconscious nightmares of a ten-years-old girl: her mother’s early passing after a long drawn-out illness, the Racial Laws that prohibited Jewish children from attending school, and a series of hideaways and stratagems to evade capture and deportation, as she came from a well-known Jewish family. Stella Bolaffi's subtle humor also shines through when she uses transcripts from Freudian psychoanalysis sessions to chart her childhood.