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Evi Arzt Bergl
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Born: Vienna, Austria

Date: August 4, 1931

Family: Mother: Hernine, Father: Edward, Brother: Heinz

Evelyn Arzt Bergl

Evelyn's father, Edward, was arrested on the street in Vienna after the Anschluss, which was when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany on March 12, 1938. Edward was first sent to Dachau and then transferred to Buchenwald. He was able to get out of the camp on the condition that he leave Austria immediately. The only country that would allow him to enter was Italy. The family soon followed: first to Milano and then to Genoa. Evelyn's brother, Heinz, celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at the Genoa Synagogue.

When the war broke out in Italy in June of 1940, Evelyn's father was sent to a concentration camp in Campagna. The family was able to be reunited by making a formal request called a "domanda” (a request made by families to Italian officials so they could be reunited). They were sent to a concentration camp called Ferramonti. The family lived together in Ferramonti, and the children attended school there. Later, the family was transferred to a small town called Pari, near Siena 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.)

After September 8, 1943 when the Nazis occupied Italy, Evelyn’s life and the lives her family were in danger, and the local people helped them survive and saved their lives.

“Nobody is more precious to us than the Italians. They were just wonderful. They saved our lives.”

Interesting Note:  Evelyn's mother Hernine was friends with Henry Winkler's mother in Vienna. Evelyn's friendship with Henry continued for their entire lives.

After the War

When the family was liberated, they were sent to the displaced persons’ camp in Rome, Cinecittà. They came to the United States in 1947. Evelyn married Zdenko Bergl and lives in Kansas City, Missouri.