9 March 2018

Published March 7, 2018 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

get the InLinkz code

Please be considerate of your fellow fictioneers. Keep your word count to 100 or less. Thank you. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


I was only a child in 1943, the year my world flipped upside down. The Germans arrested my father. What could my caro papà have done to make him a prime enemy of the Third Reich?

            Our neighbor, who was a nurse, took Mammina and me to Fatebenefratelli Hospital. “Dr. Borromeo will take good care of you.”  

            “But I’m not sick,” I said.

            “Anzi, bella, you are very sick with Syndrome K.” Dr. Borromeo assigned us to a room with a sign on the door that read, Altamente Contagioso  “Any time you see Wehrmacht uniforms, cough like you are dying.”



Fatebenefratelli Hospital

127 comments on “9 March 2018

    • Dear Björn,

      I’m glad you caught the humor in the name. It’s nice to know that in the midst of the great atrocity there were still those who had a conscience and did something about it. Thank you.




  • For all the Italian Fascist shortcomings, the Leggi Razziali were only drawn up on German insistence, were very unpopular in Italy and were largely unimplemented. When the Italians dumped Mussolini and withdrew their army from France, they took the Jews with them rather than leave them to the tender mercies of the German occupier and the French collaborationist administration. Good story, Rochelle 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I love that you bring to light heroes of all genres. We go to bed each week just a tad smarter. Brilliant doctor for coming up with such a simple ruse, when you think of it!

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 2 people

  • Enjoyed your little slice of history . I sometimes ask myself, what would I have done? Nice to imagine oneself enlightened and heroic, but if next year some group, say Muslims, would be under fire, would I have the courage of my convictions, to use a cliche?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Christine,

      I ask myself the same questions. One of the most memorable answers to the question came from Corrie Ten Boom’s father when she was a child.
      “When do I give you your ticket?”
      “When we board the train.”
      I think we don’t know what we’ll actually do until coming face to face with the situation.
      Thank you. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • The crazy things people had to do to survive. It’s good to know that some kindly, humane, people remained to protect them from those murderous Nazi psychopaths. An awesome piece of history, Rochelle.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Such a moving story, Rochelle. I loved your title after the name received by the hospital. The video moved me to tears.
    I admire how beautifully you shape historical facts into powerful stories.
    Love and best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Neel,

      Oh dear, did I call you Varad? Oy, mia culpa. I must stop reading and commenting before coffee and sunrise. At any rate, your sweet comments are always appreciated. Thank you.




  • That was one brave/ set of brave doctors. Strange to think of coughing like you’re dying could save lives, but thankfully an easy thing to do. A wonderfully full story in so few words and thanks for the link giving us a title more.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Alexa Echo, echo, echo . . .,

    Just reading your post gave me the Tu-ber-cu-lucas and the Sinus Blueshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB1WdJsbyEI

    Thank God for righteous Gentiles, and for David Lindley
    Steve Out-of-Jobs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Steve Out-Of-Jobs

      Love the song. I doubt if we’ll ever know the actual number of these precious individuals who put their lives on the line for other humans in peril. Interesting unrelated fact. In Jerusalem at Yad V’Shem the Holocaust Museum, there is a row of trees that were planted in honor of may righteous gentiles such as the good doctor. When Corrie Ten Boom passed away her tree died, also. Another tree was planted in its place.
      You may go back to your regularly scheduled loafing.

      Alexa Echo, echo, echo…

      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, I love how your stories often embody history. I’ve never heard of Syndrome K and how it was used to save Jewish lives. Thank God for the courage and creativity of the doctors and nurses of Fatebenefratelli.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you so much for writing this flash and linking through to further information about Syndrome K. I would always like to think I would stand on the side of what was right, even under such incredible risk. I also admire how inventive people can be when pushed to extremes and have to think out of the box.
    BTW your flash was also well-written and told the story well.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sascha,

      There is a lot of irony in this story, right down to the name Syndrome K. The K was after a Nazi officer. I only learned of this story a month ago. No doubt there are stories we’ll never know. So many unsung heroes. Thank you.




  • Thank you so much for sharing this story, Rochelle.

    Sometimes you might feel you’ve heard all there is to hear about the war, the heroism and the despicable acts that took place during those years. Then you see a true tale like this and you realise there must have been countless small acts of courage taking place all over Europe during these days. ‘Small acts’ only in the sense that they weren’t orchestrated by governments – huge in the impact they had on those who were saved.
    ‘Whoever saves one life saves the world entire’ – that’s the saying, isn’t it? And it’s true – save one life and the world is saved for them, for their family, for their descendants.

    Beautiful, moving, heavenly story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Speak to me so I know someone's reading me. (Your comments brighten my day.)

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    Writing from the Soul, Speaking from the Heart

    Carrot Ranch Literary Community

    Making literary art accessible 99 words at a time!

    Magical Stories by Ronda Del Boccio

    Bringing Visions to Life


    Navigating the mountains and valleys of everyday life on the riverbank.

    Our Literary Journey

    Driveling twaddle by an old flapdoodle.

    Addicted To Living

    learning from one crazy experience to the next.


    Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

    Invincible Woman on Wheels

    Conquering the World

    This, that and the other thing

    Looking at life through photography and words

    Kelvin M. Knight

    Reading. Listening. Writing.

    Na'ama Yehuda

    Speech Language Pathologist, Writer, Blogger -- musings, anecdotes, stories, quotes, life lessons and growth

    Diane's Ponderings

    Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.


    Paula Shablo

    Lost Imperfect Found

    Self-discovery through self-reflection.

    Sarah Potter Writes

    Pursued by the muses of prose, poetry, and art

    Sammi Cox

    Author Aspiring

    Neil MacDonald Author

    A writer's journey

    Autumn Leaves

    For those who enjoy fiction

    Native Heritage Project

    Documenting the Ancestors

    Living In Eternity

    If Eternity Is Forever, Am I There Now?

    Rereading Jane Eyre

    Author Luccia Gray


    Catskills Memories, Genealogy, travel and commentary

    e.l. dalke: survivor

    a journey of fractures, in my own words

    %d bloggers like this: