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    The author of this endearing memoir is an 82-year-old retiree living in Florida. How he got there is an amazing tale. Born in Vienna as Erich Lifschütz, an upper middle class Jew with Polish roots, he left Austria with his parents in 1938, at the age of 8. As Jews, they were not permitted to take much money out of the country as they shuffled across France and came to settle in Italy, as the Nazis marched across borders. You would expect such an account to be filled with the horrors of war. But it is not.
    Lamet is a natural storyteller. When he identifies himself as being al confino, he is referring to the system of enforced exile, or confinement of untrustworthy elements, which was put in place by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini after allying with Hitler. The author’s father made the fateful choice of returning to Poland to see family, leaving his wife and son on their own for the duration of the war. The author and his mother, whom he calls “Mutti,” are affectionate, yet she is as willful and worry-prone as he is active and adventure-prone.

    Excerpt from a review by prof. Andrew Burstein of SLU

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