cordially invites you to attend
How My Family Saved Jews
In Italy From The Nazis
Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso
On January 26, 2018 (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso (D-Long Island) traveled to a small synagogue in Naples, Italy, to be reunited with the descendants of a Jewish family that he helped hide from the Nazis as a little boy.
In 1944, the D’Urso family hid a large Jewish family from the Nazis in their hometown of Formia, Italy. While he was only a small boy, the future Assemblyman was responsible for acting as a “lookout” and calling out to his mother when German soldiers were approaching.
In 2017, with the help of Michael Weinstock, a young attorney and former prosecutor, Assemblyman D’Urso learned of a diary in the National Archives of Italy. That diary describes the extraordinary risks the D’Urso family undertook to save their Jewish friends. Weinstock used the techniques he learned at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office to locate the diary – along with Facebook and “google translator” to communicate with members of the Jewish community in Naples.
Mr. D’Urso has been trying, without success, to get his family members recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” by the State of Israel and Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial organization and museum in Israel) because they risked their lives to protect their Jewish friends. The Assemblyman first contacted Yad Vashem in 1998, but his efforts failed to gain traction because he lost touch with the Jewish family and he was unable to obtain proof that his parents risked their lives to hide them. He was informed that the Holocaust survivors had died and that, without their assistance, corroborating the D’Urso family’s involvement in the rescue was nearly impossible.
Assemblyman D’Urso will speak about this reunion in Naples which included the descendants and extended family of Tommaso Sinigallia, the Holocaust survivor who wrote the diary. A copy of the diary has been submitted to Yad Vashem for authentication and Assemblyman D’Urso is cautiously optimistic that his parents and older siblings will soon be recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations.” There is also a strong possibility that Mr. D’Urso will receive this extraordinary designation. Should Yad Vashem approve his status, Assemblyman D’Urso will be the first elected official in the United States to be recognized with the title and receive the honorary Israeli citizenship that comes along with that honor.
Among the elected officials and dignitaries invited to attend are the United States Ambassador to Italy and representatives from the Vatican and Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, the longtime director of Yad Vashem.
Friday, February 2nd, 6:30 PM