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San Donato Val di Comino

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San Donato Val di Comino
Comune di San Donato Val di Comino
Panoramic view of San Donato Val di Comino
Location of San Donato Val di Comino
San Donato Val di Comino
San Donato Val di Comino
Location of San Donato Val di Comino in Italy
San Donato Val di Comino
San Donato Val di Comino
San Donato Val di Comino (Lazio)
Coordinates: 41°42′N 13°49′E / 41.700°N 13.817°E / 41.700; 13.817
ProvinceFrosinone (FR)
 • MayorEnrico Pittiglio
 • Total35.8 km2 (13.8 sq mi)
700 m (2,300 ft)
 (28 February 2017)[3]
 • Total2,061
 • Density58/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0776
Patron saintSaint Donatus of Arezzo
Saint day7 August

San Donato Val di Comino (locally Sande Denate) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Frosinone in the Italian region Lazio, located in the Comino Valley about 110 kilometres (68 mi) east of Rome and about 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Frosinone.

San Donato Val di Comino borders the following municipalities: Alvito, Gallinaro, Opi, Pescasseroli, Settefrati.


Many San Donatese live in the United States, specifically in Philadelphia, PA and its western suburbs, Boston, Massachusetts area within the city of Newton, Massachusetts in an area locals refer to as "The Lake" or Nonantum. There are also large San Donatese populations in The Bronx, New York City, Westchester County, Pittsburgh, Norwich, Connecticut, and Wilmington. San Donatese expatriates also live in Canada, specifically Toronto, Ontario, and in Ireland.


During World War 2, San Donato Val Comino was the site of a residential internment policy called confino libero. Unlike the internment camp at Ferramonti in Calabria and deportation camps, towns involved in confino libero had Jews and other prisoners of the fascist state living and "renting" space in villagers' homes or hotel. During the implementation of the racial laws, San Donato Val Comino became the destination for "stateless" Jews (whose ID documentation was no longer valid in occupied Europe) and political dissidents. In San Donato Val Comino more than two dozen people, mostly foreign nationals residing in Florence, were forced to find residence and to check in to the police twice a day. The internment ended when on April 6, 1944, German soldiers took 16 of those interned out of town and to Auschwitz. The rest of the 28 escaped into the mountains. The youngest internee, age 2, hid with the Cardarelli family until her parents who had escaped a month or two earlier came to retrieve her.

The historian Anna Pizzuti published "Vite Di Carta: Storie di Ebrei Stranieri Internati dal Fascismo" in 2010. She has an extensive database online with details of about the Italian internment camps and the victims. In 2010, a collection of scholarly essays was edited by Domenico Cedrone, Gli Ebrei Internati A San Donato 1940-1944 Accoglienza e Soldiarieta.

One of the 30 internees who were forced to live in San Donato during the war, was Margerite (Grete) Bloch, a friend of Franz Kafka. According to Reiner Stach's Kafka biography, she was most likely not the mother of Kafka's son, though she made claims to such. In Chapter 26 of The Decisive Years (published in 2013), there is evidence of her friendship with Kafka's fiancee Felice Bauer, on whose behalf Grete Bloch intervened when Kafka broke their engagement. At that time, the letters between Kafka and his fiancee mention Bloch being in some unknown trouble. Later during the war, Grete Bloch, as did all the internees, worked hard to find ways to leave Italy. She wrote letters to old friends of Franz Kafka in Switzerland. In those letters she says she had a son by Kafka though the son died as a child. Grete Bloch was martyred in Aushwitz along with 14 other internees from San Donato Val Comino.

The historian Max Brod located a message sent by the British Red Cross on May 16, 1945, according to which M.M. was clubbed to death by a German soldier, shortly after being detained.[4].

Other prominent people interned in San Donato Val Comino were the silent film actress Grete Berger, the Czech publisher Clara Babab in Buchsbaum, and Dr. Tenenbaum and his wife Urusla Tenenbaum and child, the stage director Enrico Lewi and his wife the performer Gabrielle Kaiser and their two children.

Sister cities

San Donato is currently twinned with:


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
  4. ^ Daniel Cohen-Sagi, "Kafka had a son who never met his father", Ha'aretz, July 27, 2018

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San Donato Val di Comino
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