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Three-time Emmy-winning writer Yvette Manessis Corporon grew up in New York listening to tales of her family’s heroism on a small, remote Greek island during World War II. But that’s the just the beginning of a tremendous, multi-generational story that unfolded on three continents.

She will discuss her new book, “Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil,” at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills on Monday, Oct. 2, at 1:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but organizers suggest an $8 donation.

Much of the book takes place on Erikousa, which had 496 residents in a 2011 census and a land area of 3.65 square kilometers. Manessis Corporon’s grandmother and other islanders risked their own lives by hiding a Jewish tailor, Savvas Israel, his three daughters, and a young orphaned relative, Rosa, from the Nazis in the mid 1940s. It was the two-town island’s best-kept secret as nobody told authorities, not even when Nazis ransacked their houses, repeatedly shouting “Where are the Jews?”

Israel and his family had escaped from Corfu, a nearby island. They spent most of the time in a priest’s residence, but they frequently sneaked over to the author’s grandmother’s house for a good meal and some good company. They survived the war, even though about 2,000 Jews from Corfu died in concentration camps. (Later, Erikousa was designated as a House of Life by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.)

The book’s plot thickens 70 years later, when Manessis Corporon locates one of Israel’s daughters and Rosa’s two sons in Israel, leading to a tearful reunion on Corfu and Erikousa in June 2014. But a few days later, the author’s 14-year-old nephew, Reat Underwood, and his grandfather, Dr. William Lewis Corporon, were fatally shot by a neo-Nazi shouting “Heil Hitler” at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. (Neither victim was Jewish. The grandfather had driven Reat to a singing audition at the center.)

Evils returns to daily life. The author relates that as her family mourned, the lessons she had learned from Holocaust survivors helped her cope with the tragedy.

Manessis Corporon is currently a senior producer with the syndicated entertainment television news show EXTRA. In addition to the Emmy awards, she has received a Silurian Award for Excellence in Journalism and The New York City Comptroller and City Council’s Award for Greek Heritage and Culture.

Front photo shows Savvas Israel (standing in back) with his family; bottom photo depicts Yvette Manessis Corporon

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