The engagement during World War Two and the recognition of “Righteus Among The Nations”
In 1943 the Jewish community in Rome was strongly hit by the fascist regime: at 5am of October 16th, the SS soldiers captured 1024 people inside the Ghetto, among them 200 children. All of them were brought to a train leaving from Tiburtina station, and directed to Auschwitz, Poland. Only 15 men and one woman came back.
Giving this hard situation, the Frielingsdorf family took the chance to help an old friend, known at the seaside in Santa Marinella, near to Rome. This friend was Marina Della Seta, a jewish woman belonging to one of the most ancient families inside the Ghetto community in Rome. Before the darkest years, Maurizio and Maria Frielingsdorf suggested to Marina to visit them in case of need. A never forgotten suggestion.
In the night of October 16th, Marina was saved by the doorman of her building, that woke her up in the night and gave them the time to escape before the arrival of the SS. On that night, a long escape started: Marina, her mother and her daughter hided inside an hospital and then in the countryside. But it was too risky: a neighbor signaled their presence to the SS, and for this reason they came back in the hospital in Rome.
In this hard moment, Marina remembered the help offer by the Frielingsdorf family. She was hosted and hidden for almost a year: hidden until the 4th of June, 1944, and hosted for other six month, since the Della Seta house was damaged during war. Marina and her daughter lived in the room leaved by the elder son of Maurizio Frielingsdorf: Joe spent the war years in Switzerland, studying watchmaking at the Technicum in La-Chaux-De-Fonds, the most prestigious watchmaking school at that time. And Marina’s mother was hosted in a small room in the basement of the same building. Marina never forgot the help received. This is why Maurizio and Maria Frielingsdorf were written inside the Yad Vashem garden, on the day of April 3rd, 2006. The Yad Vashem manages to keep the memory and the stories of the Righteous among the Nations, men and women that helped Jewish people during the Nazis persecutions all around the world