Friday, October 22, 2010
About the Author: Venice is my hometown. I grew up there during most of my young years and attended first the Ginnasio Liceo Marco Polo (classical Junior and High School) and then the University of Venice (then called Ca’Foscari), from which I graduated after the war with a degree of Dr. in Foreign
Languages and Literatures.
World War II should have ended for all of Italy when King Victor Emmanuel III signed an armistice with the Allies after forcing Mussolini to resign as a Prime Minister. Instead the war went on for over sixteen months in Northern Italy, occupied by the Germans and ruled by Mussolini as a Fascist Republic.
Venice was not spared and saw its share of horrors and massacres brought by this situation. I personally witnessed many of them and joined the efforts of other students in the fight against the Nazi and Fascist oppressors.
A year later I was hired by the California State University, Northridge, as head of their budding Italian program, for which I developed a Minor and staged seven plays in Italian, including La Mandragola by Machiavelli and La Locandiera by Carlo Goldoni, the most famous Venetian playwright. I also published two books in English on Italian desserts, La Dolce Cucina and Solo Dolci, and a book of poetry.
I went back to Venice twenty-five in thirty years to visit my parents and to do research, both written and oral, for what became The Lion and the Swastika.
I presently live in Brentwood and am married to a professor of Chemistry from USC.
Most of the historical background of my book was never written upon, not even by Italian authors.