Cycling champ and Righteous Among the Nations Giro Bartali. (Courtesy) (Courtesy)
Giro Bartali

Marking the launch of the Giro d’Italia cycling race in Jerusalem on Friday, Jerusalem U has released a short film detailing the remarkable story of heroism and bravery of one the cycling world’s most accomplished athletes, Gino Bartali, during World War II.

Three-time winner of the famed race as well as two-time winner of the Tour D’France, Giro Bartali’s heroic actions, largely unknown beyond Holocaust scholars, have been described as a major motivation to bring the race to Israel.

Following the German occupation of Italy in September 1943, Bartali, a courier for the Resistance, came to play an important role in the rescue of Jews.

Bartali spoke little of his actions even after the war, living with a mantra “Good is something you do, not something you talk about.” Only after evidence produced by a survivor, several years after his death, in 2013 Bartali was recognized by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Among the Nations,” the designation given to those whose heroic actions saved Jews from Nazi capture.