In 1935, Ursula moved to Italy with her mother and extended relatives from Breslau, Germany to escape increasing Nazi persecution. Her father came to Italy to visit the family in 1940 and while there, he was arrested and sent to a concentration camp in Campagna. Ursula, her mother and other relatives were sent to small villages near Perugia under the system of "Confino Libero". (Confino Libero, or Free Confinement, was a system where Jews were sent to live in small towns in Italy but had certain restrictions placed upon them including limitations on travel, mandatory curfew and daily police check-ins.)
The family made a "domanda" (a request made by families to Italian officials so they could be reunited) and her father was reunited with them in Città di Castello. On September 8, 1943, Italy was occupied by Germany, and Jews were deported. Knowing that this family was in danger, Monsignor Beniamino Schivo, devised a ruse to help save their lives. Monsignor Schivo had Ursula and her mother dress as nuns and arranged for them to hide in the local convent. At the same time, Monsignor Schivo arranged a safe haven for Ursula's father on a local farm. Monsignor Schivo's brave actions and the actions of the others in the town were instrumental in saving Ursula's and her parents' lives until Città di Castello was liberated by the British Army on July 14,1944.
“I can say ‘thank you’ many times... but it’s never enough.”