“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” ―Viktor E. Frankl

This blog dedicated in eternal memory of my father Giuseppe Coné who passed away peacefully at a ripe old age of ninety-five on Simchat Torah on 26th October 2005 – 23rd of Tishrei, 5766.

My sole reason for creating the blog is to leave something of value and preserve his story for our children, grandchildren, family, friends and not allow his story to fall into oblivion.

He shares with us his dreadful experiences and cruelties endured in the concentration camps while literally seeing in front of his own eyes the wiping out of his entire family at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War.

In spite of the horrifying pain suffered during his ten months of forced labour under harsh conditions he has always been grateful to God for sparing his life. Due to his remarkable resilience, an incredible positive attitude and optimistic outlook in life he was able to move on quickly and enjoy the start of his second life.

On many occasions he said to me in Ladino “Yo, nací dos veces, la primera vez en Rodi y la segunda vez después de la liberación” translated as “I was born twice, the first time in Rhodes and the second time after the liberation.”

He left two precious things: a good name and good deeds. May his memory be a blessing Z”L


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  1. Nissim Angel · · Reply

    An exemplary down to earth friendly man, with a most likable nature! Always welcoming with a genuine smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I take my hat off to each and every one of them for having such a splendid attitude after living through so many horrors.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful Homage to your precious Papa, Mateo!!! L’cheim!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rabbi David Benchlouch · · Reply

    Dear Matteo,
    I am moved to read about your late father’s near death experiences and find pride in that our community has had such a prominent figure amongst us. The tragedies of the Nazi camps were so real but sadly so far from peoples awareness. It is Marcel Proust that said ” what intellect restores under the name of history is not the past”. In order to penetrate to the soul of a people one must go beyond the historical events and find the picture behind the scenes. Your late father is a figure of courage and strength to our community. The pictures he has left behind are a vision to our future of a great nation.

    Liked by 1 person

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