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Ferramonti: Salvation behind the barbed wire
14th January 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
In 1982 nearing the end of a remarkable life, consultant David Henryk Ropschitz put pen to paper to share his own story of 1940s wartime survival. His highly personal novel is about life in the Italian internment camp, Ferramonti, where thousands of Jews and other ‘undesirables’ were imprisoned. In his novel Dr Ropschitz looks back with tenderness and humour at these traumatic years and takes the reader on a journey from wartime Calabria to the Abruzzi, from barbed wire to freedom, exploring the themes of faith, humanity and psychoanalysis along the way.
Yolanda Ropschitz-Bentham was born in Derby and grew up in West Yorkshire. After many travels and adventures she moved to Bristol in 1984 and then settled on a smallholding in rural Somerset, raising her family and teaching Psychology for over 25 years. She also wrote some comic pieces, two of her stories featured on BBC Somerset, and worked as a volunteer presenter on local radio. Following retirement in 2016 Yolanda turned to her late father’s manuscript, “Ferramonti.” Researching his autobiographical novel led to regular visits to the Ferrramonti di Tarsia camp museum in Calabria and meetings with former internees from the 1940s and their descendants. This connection, culminating in the publication of “Ferramonti: Salvation behind the barbed wire,” has produced one of the most rewarding periods of her life so far, affording Yolanda cherished opportunities to travel to Italy, Israel and South America. Life stories from former internees are now forming the basis of her next book: “The People of Ferramonti: Then and Now.”
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