Henry's father was arrested after the Anschluss, which was when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany on March 12, 1938. Henry was released on the condition that he leave Austria immediately. He moved his family to Italy, which was the only country that would allow them to enter. The entire extended family that remained in Austria died in the camps.
Henry and his family went to Genoa and were helped by the DELASEM. (DELASEM, or Delegation for the Assistance of Jewish Emigrants, was a Jewish relief agency that worked in Italy between 1939 and 1947 and provided housing, funds and facilitated emigration for foreign and Italian Jews.) When Italy declared war on June 10, 1940, Henry and his family were sent to Ferramonti and then to “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 liberation they were sent to a displaced persons’ camp in Rome, Cinecittà. Henry met Evelyn Arzt Bergl’s husband, Zdenko Bergl, in Cinecittà, and they became the best of friends.
“My family and I were treated as well or better than we should ever expect in Italy.”