How An Italian Cycling Legend Helped Save Jewish Lives During World War II11:07
Download

Play
Italian cycling great Gino Bartali in 1953. During the German occupation of Italy, the champion cyclist aided the Jewish-Christian rescue network in his hometown of Florence and the surrounding area by shuffling forged documents and papers hidden in the tubes and seat of his bike. Bartali, who died in 2000, rarely spoke about it for the rest of his life, but his son Andrea Bartali led an effort to gain recognition for what his father did. (AP Photo)MoreCloseclosemore
Italian cycling great Gino Bartali in 1953. During the German occupation of Italy, the champion cyclist aided the Jewish-Christian rescue network in his hometown of Florence and the surrounding area by shuffling forged documents and papers hidden in the tubes and seat of his bike. Bartali, who died in 2000, rarely spoke about it for the rest of his life, but his son Andrea Bartali led an effort to gain recognition for what his father did. (AP Photo)

When the 101st Giro d'Italia — Italy’s prestigious, three-week-long cycling race — started earlier this month, it did so not in Rome or Florence, but in Jerusalem. The first three stages of the 21-stage race took place in Israel, and it's all to honor a man named Gino Bartali.

Bartali is remembered as one of Italy's greatest cyclists, winning the Giro d'Italia three times between 1936 and 1946 and the Tour de France twice. But he also had a secret — one that he kept for most of his life.

Amory Sivertson (@amorymusic), co-host of WBUR's "Endless Thread" podcast, has the story.

This segment aired on May 25, 2018.

Related:

Support the news

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news