"One day, about twenty years ago, I cut out a reproduction of a Chagall painting, The Lovers, from a calendar, and I hung it on a wall in my bedroom. Some time afterwards Giorgio said to me: "put that print under glass so you won't ruin it. It's the only photograph we have of ourselves in flight"". This anecdote is the starting point for this journey into the reminiscences of Erika Rosenthal, wife of the economist Giorgio Fu. Born from the union of an Istanbul Jew and a Jewish woman from Bulgaria, and after having lived the first two years of her life in Tehran, in 1921 the author moved to Milan, in Italy, with her family. For several years she lived the relatively comfortable life of that era's bourgeoisie and witnessed the constant strengthening of the Fascist regime. In 1942 she met Giorgio Fu, also a Jew, in the offices of NEI, Adriano Olivetti's publishing house for which both of them worked. Love bloomed just as disaster was sweeping over the country: Italy's capitulation, Nazi raids in the Hebrew communities, the couple's repeated attempts to flee the country, and finally their flight to Switzerland. After the storm, the couple returned to Italy and began a new life. Recounted with a sombre lightness of tone, the personal destinies of the main characters narrated here strike a fine balance between "big" history and intimate memories.
Erika Rosenthal Fu - after having lived in
Tehran, Milan, Ivrea, and Geneva - has lived in Ancona since 1960; for over
30 years she has taught English in high schools and universities.