NEW YORK--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Italy and the Holocaust Foundation, Inc. (the “Foundation”), a non-profit organization committed to telling the little known story of the role Italy and individual Italians played in helping Jewish people during the Holocaust, praised Yad Vashem’s selection of Gino Bartali, Italian cycling champion, as Righteous Among the Nations. The Foundation congratulates the Bartali family on this justly deserved honor, which comes 70 years after his courageous actions and 13 years after his death.
Bartali is a cycling legend, but his most daring triumph arguably came during World War II. A devout Catholic, Bartali was part of an Italian rescue network established by Rabbi Nathan Cassuto and Cardinal Elia Angelo Dalla Costa, Archbishop of Florence, during the German occupation. Using his bicycle as a foil, he traversed Italy, secretly delivering forged identification documents in its frame and handlebars, risking his life to save hundreds of Jewish people and refugees.
Bartali’s Yad Vashem honor coincides with a new groundbreaking documentary, DON’T TALK ABOUT IT: Italy’s Secret Heroes. Written, produced and directed by Oscar nominee Oren Jacoby, DON’T TALK ABOUT IT tells the story of Gino Bartali and other brave Italians who defied the Nazis and Fascists to hide, rescue and protect thousands of innocent Jewish people and others in Italy during the Holocaust. The film, which will be released next year, is narrated by Isabella Rossellini with Robert Loggia as the voice of Gino Bartali.
DON’T TALK ABOUT IT presents survivors whose personal stories reflect this larger, untold narrative. Through their stories, viewers revisit a time when an entire continent was engulfed in genocide, and learn how approximately 80% of Jewish people living in Italy survived the Holocaust. On the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Northern Italy and the deportation of thousands of Jewish people and others to Auschwitz, this film asks: Why would someone risk his or her own life and put their family in jeopardy to ‘do the right thing’ and protect the life of another person…a stranger?
The full story of Gino Bartali, the charismatic Italian sports idol and two-time Tour de France cycling champion, is only now coming to light; his role during this period in history never revealed in his lifetime. DON’T TALK ABOUT IT shares this, and other, extraordinary, unfamiliar stories. The film personifies the actions of Italians -- from everyday citizens to clergy and government officials -- who rescued thousands from deportation and death, hiding and protecting, despite risks to their own lives and those of their families.
For more information, please visit: http://www.storyville.org/donttalkaboutit.
About Italy and the Holocaust Foundation, Inc.
Italy and the Holocaust, Inc. (“the Foundation”) was founded in 2010 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization to share the little known story of the role of Italy and many individual Italians in saving approximately 80% of the Jews in Italy during the Holocaust. Our goal is to share stories of survival that were possible because people had the courage to care for their neighbors. In sharing these little known stories, the Foundation will educate generations to come that if you are not indifferent, things can be different. For more information, please visit: http://www.italyandtheholocaust.org.
About Storyville Films
Storyville Films was founded by Oren Jacoby to develop and produce documentaries, dramas, and series driven by strong personal narratives of conscience, courage and innovation. Documentary films produced by Storyville have played in theatrical release and premiered on the BBC, PBS, HBO, ABC, TBS, Discovery, VH-1, Arté, NHK, and Bloomberg. Our films are currently available on DVD and steaming home video release from First Run Features, New Video/Docurama, Sony, PBS Home Entertainment, SnagFilms, and on iTunes and Netflix. Storyville and Oren Jacoby have produced films recognized by the American Film Institute, the Alfred I. Dupont/Columbia Awards, Britain’s Royal Television Society, the MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Institute, and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. For more information, please visit: http://www.storyville.org.