Thomas Keneally was given a copy of 'A Second Life' as well as a manuscript written by Tom Keleman, a Polish Jew who survived the holocaust and who now lives in Sydney:-  

I cannot say how publishable [Tom Keleman’s MS is], since I’m not a publisher, but it’s wonderful he’s written such a memoir, because whether in published form or not, some reader will encounter it and bless the fact he wrote it. And the same can be said for Alan Poletti who has published A Second Life. I think part of the reason I was fascinated by it is because I haven’t read much about Yugoslav Jews who escaped to Italy and thence to Switzerland in those terrible times. In earlier days, when publishing wasn’t under the gun as it is now, I am sure a trade publisher would have taken up this account, but it’s wonderful he’s taken the time to make this record of a shocking age when Europe disgraced itself with this ethnic hysteria. It is a valuable document, not least for its appendices.

All the best, Tom


The book has the fascination of a novel and the rigour of a scientific work.

– Milva Genetti, professional translator, Villa di Tirano, Italy


I was impressed by the quantity of information you were able to collect. It is a work of passion, love, curiosity and patience to be able to do your research for so many years. More so, your determination to resolve the "puzzle" of Aprica in different ( unknown to you !) languages. Really to be admired. I wish you from all my heart, all the success with the book!

– Vera Neufeld, Sydney. (Vera was  one of those whose escape to Switzerland is described in the book.)


Grazie dear Alan, you opened the door to Vera’s past, and in doing so have enriched us all and enriched all of our lives . .  .

– Maya who is Vera’s daughter


Right from the start I was impressed with the foreword which is much to the point, the dedication, the look of the “contents”, and the clarity of “setting the scene”. Not to mention, of course, the homely look of the photos of the refugees taken shortly after they reached Switzerland. It all makes the reader sure that not only have you done a thorough research but are making the story clear in our minds and sure that you were right on the spot to talk to people who knew what it was all about.

– Esther Irving, Auckland


I have read your book with enormous pleasure. It is a beautiful feeling to see the result of many years of work and dedication. It is also impressively written, the eyes flow through the pages, eager to keep going and to know more. You did something that is rarely done: a deep, intelligent research, bringing back an important memory, and giving it real life again. Even if my expectations were high and I knew most of the story, it has been a great pleasure to read it.

– Laura Castellani, Torino, Italy


I received your book today. Only now do I understand the effort and hard work needed for its realisation. Thank you for a book based on so many original documents from a very difficult period in our history.

– Carlo Del Dot, Tirano, Italy


Thank you very much for sending your book. I am really impressed! It covers a lot of material, documents, photos etc. You put an enormous effort into it. I must really congratulate you. Glancing through the pages, and particularly seeing the photos evoked a lot of emotion to me and I again saw in front of me people, who had disappeared from my memory long ago.

– Andrija Kornhauser, Washington DC, USA


Dear Alan, Vera sent me your book as a gift from you, and I wish to tell you how grateful I am. My congratulations for your perseverance in your research and writing until this happy end. Your book is a valuable contribution to the history of the dark years of fascist persecutions of Jews and so many other people.

– Miro Vilcek, Geneva, Switzerland


My father and I would like to thank you from the depth of our hearts for the book you have sent us. It is a living memory of our beloved mother, Hedi. This historical episode shone a little light in such dark days.

– Anat Lazic Dor, Israel


I want to congratulate you on a wonderful book, well written and very interesting. I really wish you great success with it. Success or not, it has brought great joy to our families who can read some of the history of their parents, so thank you!

– Yvette Young, South Africa


Alan, you did a fine job, It certainly held my interest ‘to the end’. Thanks.

– Hugh Laracy, historian, Auckland


The book looks most attractive. I do like the way it has been organized: very accessible, and scholarly at the same time. That is no mean feat. Congratulations.

– Kathryn Smits, German scholar, Auckland


Heartiest congratulations on your new book, for its high standard and for your usual thoroughness in its presentation.

– Diego Zoia, Tirano, Italian historian


Wonderful – congratulations.

– Bianca Pilat, daughter of the commandant of the carabinieri at Aprica in 1943.


I'm well into your book.  I await the novel that must surely follow.

– Barbara Corballis, Auckland


For the moment, I’ve only had a chance to flip through the pages. As soon as I can, I look forward to reading it thoroughly. I will be writing a review in Quaderni Grigionitaliani.

– Andrea Tognina, historian Poschiavo, Switzerland.