Holocaust Survivor and Inspiration for “Life is Beautiful” Dies

| Tue, 07/12/2011 - 06:50

Nazi death camp survivor Rubino Romeo Salmoni, whose story inspired the Oscar-winning film Life is Beautiful, has died in Rome at the age of 91.

Life is Beautiful is based on Salmoni’s book In the End, I Best Hitler, which uses dark humor to recount his experience in Auschwitz.

Salmoni managed to avoid the sweeping arrests that took place in Rome’s Ghetto area in October 1943, but was detained in April 1944 and sent to an internment camp near Modena.

From there, at the age of 24, Salmoni was sent to Auschwitz as a forced laborer. His two bothers died in internment camps, but Salmoni survived until the Allied liberation.

Rome’s Mayor Gianni Alemmano remembered Salmoni as "a great man who with his courage and determination managed to save himself from the hell of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Romeo was an example for young people and for the whole of Rome."