The students in my English 101 class had never heard anything like this before.  Franca Bongi shared her experiences growing up as a young girl in Italy in the 1930s and 1940s.  She described life living under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, and what life was like during the German occupation.  She told them how her  was taken for slave labor in the middle of the night, how she witnessed 12 of her friends and neighbors shot in the town square in retaliation for 1 German soldier being killed by the partisans, and how she had to work in the Germans’ mess hall peeling potatoes along with some other young girls, supervised by two SS men who had orders to shoot them if they said a word.

Franca giving presentation

Students listening to Franca’s presentation