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Assisi Underground By Alexander Ramati - Book Report/Review Example

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Author Name Assignment Subject Response Paper – The Assisi Underground Introduction The Assisi Underground is a novel developed from a real life account. It is written by Alexander Ramati and it is the depiction of the developments surrounding the endeavor to conceal almost three hundred Jews of Assisi, Italy by Father Rufino Niccacci…
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Assisi Underground By Alexander Ramati
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Download file to see previous pages My first response after reading this book is appreciation for Ramati. His sympathy for the Jews who suffered from the Nazi persecution can be realized in the light of his careful narrative approach in the book and related hard work. Ramati began his discourses with Father Niccacci in the later half of the 1940s, and then researched for over three decades until the book was finally published in 1978. His dedication to the cause of unveiling the sufferings of the Jews in the days of Nazi occupation can be understood from this very testimony of his uphill struggle. The book is written from Father Niccacci’s perspective as he described the events in Assisi during the Nazi occupation. Father Niccacci took up the task of disguising some three hundred Jews as Catholics in the town. He sent these Jews to different Catholic monasteries and fabricated false documents to create Catholic Christian identity for them. The book intricately describes the risk, confidentiality, sentiments, and commitment that were entailed in this whole process. I feel Ramati’s main challenge has been to write down the verbal accounts of Father Niccacci in such a way that gives us the actual grimly picture of those dark days. His writing style involves an evolution through a few decades, from the 1940s to the 1970s. This makes the language of the book interesting. The content and presentation are thought provoking. I feel the book is not only a substantial historical account, but also it is a classical literary work from a professional journalist. Ramati has used expressions like “the Hebrew voices of the Jewish survivors” (181), which depict the assimilation of Jewish and Catholic sentiments under the leadership of a humble priest. In the book, Israel has been considered as a place “where finally they (the Jews) were safe and where there would never be another holocaust.” (173). In response to this idea presented in the book, I would express my astonishment due to the fact that the situation has changed a lot since those days. Today, Islamic militant groups pose serious threats to the Jewish population in Israel as well. However, this book is a novel and not a political analysis that might make predictions about the future. It would be better if Ramati’s work is analyzed in the context of 1940s only. At other places in the book, Ramati describes the strategic situation of Italy during the Second World War in a simple but imposing language. He writes, “Except for the south, Italy was now firmly in the hands of Nazis.” (10). From Father Niccacci’s point of view, Ramati further gives a descriptive account as he writes, “Two thousand soldiers had been moved into Assisi to recover from wounds, physical and mental, and with the soldiers and refugees our population of 5,000 was almost doubled.” (100) Hence, the book qualifies not just as a mere real life account. Rather, I felt that it describes the strategic and political situations too in a lucid and imposing language. As I read the book, I could picture the plight of the Jews who were suffering from Nazi persecution. I learned that how Father Niccacci saved Assisi from the wave of Anti-Semitism and saved hundreds of innocent Jews using most innovative and effective methods. As I further realized that this great rescue operation was never betrayed even by its single participant, my faith on universal humanity ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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