The post-war period
Titti Marrone, Se solo il mio cuore fosse pietra, [If Only My Heart Were Stone] Feltrinelli 2022
The effects of war do not end with peace treaties but have a lasting and devastating effect especially on the children who suffered them. Titti Marrone brings to light, from documents, letters and archive sources, a story unknown to most, in which they recount the terrible vicissitudes of 25 Jewish children who escaped the Shoah, either because they survived or because they were hidden by their parents in shelters, convents, or taken in at Lingfield on the outskirts of London. Here, with the support of wealthy Jewish benefactors, Alice Goldberger and a team of psychologists, psychoanalysts and therapists supervised by Anne Freud (Sigmund’s daughter) try to give human connotations to the life experience of the young guests, full of death, abuse and violence. They move from fear to trust but see parents deciding not to take their children back. These women who have cared for the children, with love, care and great competence, are a sign that even in the greatest barbarity there is a part of humanity that sprouts hope. The title is taken from the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and Alice uses it to shield her heart from the pain of the dark burden of the children’s memories.