The Arizona Jewish Historical Society will present the next online seminar in its Holocaust Survivors Speakers Series Friday, Aug. 13, at 10am.
Marisa’s Courage: The Memoirs of a Survivor of the Italian Resistance is the story by and about one of the last survivors of the Italian Resistance that helped the Allies advance up the Italian peninsula and push the Germans out of Italy during World War II. Her name is Margherita Bertola Fray.
As a young girl she was raised in a determinedly anti-Fascist family who suffered some deprivations because of this opposition. In her teen years she and her family, as with all Italians, suffered and were witness to the horrors of bombings, executions, and other brutalities perpetrated by home-grown and foreign aggressors. She became a member of the “Resistenza” as a partisan, belonging to a group called the Garibaldi Brigade around her home city of Turin and participated in dangerous missions to support the fighters in the underground for several years. More than once, she put herself in harm’s way for the good of others and for her country. Fortunately, she lived to tell about her experiences even though she is still emotionally distraught over memories of this horrific time. In 1946 she came to America as a War Bride, marrying a man she had briefly met only a year earlier. He promised to return to Italy to marry her, which he did. Her early years as a young woman and mother in a foreign land, married to a deeply flawed man she really didn’t know at all, were unhappy and presented her with many challenges that might have subdued a lesser person. Thanks in part to the strengths from her upbringing and experiences in Italy, she endured and is contented living in Scottsdale, Arizona — except for the fact that her story had remained untold.
The story of WWII Italian Resistance Fighter, Margherita Fray will be presented by Arizona Jewish Historical Society, which is located 122 E. Culver St., Phoenix. The virtual event will be held Friday, Aug. 13, at 10am.