Testimony of Ida Lenti

Torino, 26 February 1993

Dear Sir,
I received your letter and I will try to summarize the story of my wartime activity, as you kindly asked me to do.
Before the Second World War I worked as a baby-sitter in a Jewish family, whose name unfortunately I can hardly remember. I think the family name was Calman [this was the first name of the children’s father], but I’m not completely sure.

I had to look after three children called Fiorenza, Lisetta and Alessandro. During the war we moved to Castiglion Fiorentine (Arezzo), in Tuscany, and the father was deported, I don’t know where exactly. His wife, Jiuci, died suddenly of a heart disease in 1944, and before dying she entrusted me with the responsibility of the three children.

I took them with me to my mother’s house in Monselice (Padua), where we tried to bring them up with the help of the local authorities.
In the meantime we made some research to find someone of the family who had survived and would be glad to know about the children.

Finally we found an uncle, the mother’s brother, who lived in Ramat David. When he came to know about the children, he asked us to send them to Israel. I went with them from Monselice to Avessa. The journey took us a month. Once there, I left them with some people who were supposed to take them to Naples, where they had to take the boat. I still remember the moment when I had to leave them, and the youngest of the three, Alessandro, ran after the truck that was carrying me home. He was crying and he called my name! But I could not go with them and went back to my home town.

Once there they wrote to me and they kept in contact with me.

Last week I can to know that one of them is coming to Italy. I will probably see him and ask him for the names and present address of the members of the family and let you know.

I send you a photocopy of a page of the paper in which someone wrote about the story I told you.

I hope you’ll understand that it’s difficult to tell such a long story in a few words, and thank you for your interest.

Sincerely yours,

Ida Lenti