Horrors And Heroes

BENEVOLENCE AND BETRAYAL by Alexander Stille

Summit; 365 pages; $25

The fate of Italian Jewry during World War II has a special poignancy. This oldest of Judaic communities in the Western world had survived nearly two millenniums of intermittent repression and persecution. Italy was among the last countries of Europe to eliminate the ghetto, when Rome was liberated and the Papal States were abolished in 1870. Yet during the next 60 or so years, life for Italian Jews was sweet indeed. Anti-Semitism was of little moment in a country where they were such a tiny minority -- 47,000 in a population...