State Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso spoke to the members of the men’s club, known as the Gezunters, at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in East Hills. He told them about his experiences growing up in Italy.
During World War II, when he was a child, he and his family protected two Jewish families, the Ascarelli and the Sinigallia, in their hometown of Formia, Italy.
As a child, he was responsible for acting as a lookout and calling out to his mother when German soldiers approached. In wartime Italy, food was often scarce, and the D’Urso family shared what little they had with the Ascarellis in their time of need in order to ensure their survival. Tony traveled to Italy earlier this year to reunite with surviving members of the family.
“It was a real pleasure to speak with their club and share my personal story. Many people came to me afterwards to share their own stories with me,” said Assemblyman D’Urso.