Saved from Auschwitz Just Behind the Pantheon in Rome

50 Jewish Refugees Sheltered in French Seminary at the Height of WWII

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Refugees, among them 50 Jews, were sheltered in the French Seminary at the time of the Holocaust.

At St. Chiara Street in Rome, behind the Pantheon is situated the Pontifical French Seminary. In more than 160 years of history in the very heart of Rome, this seminary has a very moving story connected to the courageous deeds during the Second World War.

At the time of the Holocaust the French Seminary hosted Jewish refugees, despite danger of the Nazi persecution. In the archive is preserved a list of 50 Jewish names, which found their home at the darkest time of the Holocaust. On this list are such family names as: Antonini, Berger, Montbillard, Ortolani, Properti, Rosenzweig, Sacerdoti, Schimel, Toscano, Schwarz and others. From the list becomes clear that the families with their children were staying here.

Gilda Sabatello sent a letter dated 2007, in which she expressed her heartfelt thanks for the kindness and hospitality given to her husband and cousin in the Frenach Seminary during the time of the Holocaust.

Now only behind the Pantheon, but also in other religious and private locations in Rome many Jewish people found their home, which prevented them in many cases from being sent to Auschwitz.

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Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

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