Luciano Fano was born on February 16, 1933 in Pellegrino Parmense, a small village near Parma, in northern Italy. He was the son of Ermanno and Giorgina (Padova). Mr. Fano worked as a pharmacist and provided a comfortable life for his family. Luciano had a sister, Liliana, who was two years younger. Jews had lived in Parma since the middle of the 14th century, but when Luciano was growing up, only 232 Jews made their homes there.
Italian Jews were fully integrated into Italian society and culture. They held positions in most professions, including the government and the military.
The anti-Jewish racial laws, passed by Mussolini in November 1938, forced Jews out of most professions and barred them from public education. These laws caused financial disaster for many.
Soon after the Germans occupied Italy in August 1943, they began arresting and deporting the Jews of Italy to death camps in "the East." in October 1943, they raided Jewish communities in the larger cities. Many Jews fled from their homes, looking for refuge. Luciano and his family remained in Parma.
On December 8, 1943, Luciano and his family were arrested. At first, they were imprisoned in local internment camps by the Italian police. After four months, they were sent to Fossoli, a large internment camp run by the Germans. Man and women lived in separate, large, unsanitary and overcrowded barracks. Food was minimal.
On April 5, 1944, Luciano and his family were forced into cattle cars, together with 850 other Jews from the camp. Conditions barely sustained life. Five days later, the trains were unsealed upon their arrival at Auschwitz.
Luciano and his family were taken directly to the gas chambers where they were murdered. Luciano was eleven years old.