Brooklyn Heights

St. Francis alumnus collaborates on film about Italians who saved Jewish lives

‘My Italian Secret” Will Be Screened as Part Of College’s Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 20, 2017 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Vincent DeGiaimo, 1972 alumnus of St. Francis College. Photo courtesy of producers DeGiaimo and Marmorale
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St. Francis College alumnus Vincent DeGiaimo ’72 returns to his alma mater for a screening of his film “My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust.”

DeGiaimo and Vincent Marmorale are producers of the film, which is part of the college’s annual Yom HaShoah-Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration and is a presentation of the Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series.

“My Italian Secret” tells the story of how brave Italians saved approximately 80 percent of Jewish people living in Italy, as well as refugee Jews. The film also personifies the actions of individual Italians — especially in the city of Assisi — where many Jews were rescued and kept from deportation and death.

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As millions of Jews were being led to their deaths in concentration camps during the Holocaust, many Italians, including 1948 Tour de France winner Gino Bartali were secretly hiding and helping thousands escape the clutches of the Nazis. Bartali used his training and popularity to cover for the Jews he was hiding and to work with the Italian resistance movement.

Vincent DeGiaimo, SFC ’72 is corporate secretary of the Italy & the Holocaust Foundation and co-consulting producer of “My Italian Secret.” DeGiaimo has more than 35 years of diversified financial and business experience, including, most recently, as chief operating and chief compliance Office of Muirfield Capital Management. He is a past member of St. Francis College’s Board of Trustees. DeGiaimo serves on numerous nonprofit boards and is a graduate of the Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management.

Vincent Marmorale is president of the Italy & the Holocaust Foundation and consulting producer of “My Italian Secret.” Marmorale was responsible for establishing and implementing the Holocaust Studies Program and created workshops on Prejudice Reduction and the Holocaust on the local, state and national levels. In 1986, the New York State Board of Regents awarded Marmorale the Louis E. Yavner Award for outstanding contributions in the fields of Holocaust Studies and other violations of human rights. Marmorale was appointed chair of the New York State Council for the Social Studies Human Rights Committee in 1993, a position he holds today.

The Order of Sons of Italy of New York state has recognized Marmorale’s contributions to Holocaust Studies, and appointed him chair to its commission for Social Justice Holocaust Memorial Committee, a position he continues to hold.

It was Marmorale’s chance meeting with Holocaust survivor Walter Wolff that first shed light on the story of the role that Italians played in protecting and saving tens of thousands Jewish lives. Marmorale has spent significant time in Italy researching and promoting the little known story of the saving of Jews in Italy. He has met with the president of Italy and Pope Benedict XVI.

The screening, which is free and open to the public, takes place at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 24, a day observed worldwide as Holocaust Remembrance Day. It will be held in St. Francis College’s Founders Hall, 180 Remsen St.


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