Bruna Nelson

Bruna was born in 1926 in Bettolle, Italy. She was born and raised as a Catholic. Her father passed away when she was very young, and her mother had to provide for her five children. Bruna has memories of begging for food when she was younger and never had any toys due to the family’s financial situation.

In 1943, at age 17, Bruna went to work for a tile manufacturer in Rome. The owners of the company were a very wealthy Jewish family, and they were hiding Italian Jews from the Germans in their factory basement. Part of Bruna’s job was to take food and water to the Jews that were in hiding. She had to be very careful not to be caught and one night Bruna, terrified the Germans were following her, ran to her mother’s apartment crying.

After Mussolini was overthrown, German SS troops became to round up Jews in Rome and Bruna was asked to warn the Jews in the factory of the upcoming danger. She was told to leave because they were on the way, and Bruna remembers running for her life when she heard them pull up to the front door.

Bruna remembers when the Americans liberated Italy. The Jews all came out of the church in which they had been hiding yelling and crying and waving their hands. Bruna said she will never forget that sight. Bruna later married, moved to the United States and had a daughter.

 

Website Design & Development by Blue Turtle Graphics
The Museum will re-open Saturday, September 23. However, please note that we are temporarily without phone or wifi service.