With the liberation of Italy, the Bondi family decided that it was safe to return to Rome. When they got back to their apartment, they learned that after they had fled, German soldiers had gotten the names of the members of the synagogues and other organizations in the Jewish community and had gone from house to house looking for every person on their list. Fortunately, the Bondi family had escaped because they were hiding in Alvito.
Unfortunately, upon their return they discovered that most of the belongings they left in the apartment had been damaged because various people had found shelter in their apartment during the war. However, belongings were not as important as having survived. What was truly important was that they were all still alive, together.
TESTIMONY: “A PERIOD OF TRANSITION”
“Children are selfish, no matter how much parents do for you.”
It was only years later, long after Anna married an American serviceman and left Italy to come to this country, that she realized how naïve she was during the war. She didn’t know anything about what was going on in the rest of Europe, about the ghettos , concentration camps, and killing centers . She didn’t know that many Italian Jews were deported to Auschwitz . As an adult, though, she recognized her feeling of guilt for having survived when so many others died.
Despite all of her experiences, or perhaps because of them, Anna reconnected with Judaism as an adult. She was especially happy to become active in her Conservative synagogue, where women are participants and leaders of the services. In 1988, when she was 60 years old, Anna finally had her own bat mitzvah .
TESTIMONY: “MY GUILT”
“It’s not fair.”