The Jews of Italy under Fascist and Nazi Rule, 1922-1945 brings to light the Italian-Jewish experience from the start of Mussolini's prime ministership through the end of the Second World War. Challenging the myth of Italian benevolence during the Fascist period, the authors investigate the treatment of Jews by Italians during the Holocaust, and the native versus foreign roots of Italian Fascist anti-Semitism. Each essay in this volume illustrates a different aspect of Italian Jewry under Fascist and Nazi rule. Areas of inquiry include the role of the Catholic Church with special reference to Pope Pius XII, Mussolini's attitude and anti-Jewish policies leading to the onset of the 1938 Italian racial laws, and the Italian popular reactions to anti-Jewish persecution. Included also is an examination of cover images and articles from the Italian racist newspaper La Difesa della Razza intended to lay bare the influence of the Italian media on the general Italian public.
Joshua D. Zimmerman is associate professor of history and the Eli and Diana Zborowski Professorial Chair in Interdisciplinary Holocaust Studies at Yeshiva University in New York City. He is the author of Poles, Jews and the Politics of Nationality: the Bund and the Polish Socialist Party in Late Tsarist Russia, 1892-1914 (2004), and editor of Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath (2003).
Introduction Joshua Zimmerman; Part I. Italy Jewry from Liberalism to Fascism: 1. The double-bind of Italian Jews: acceptance and assimilation Alexander Stille; 2. Italian Jewish identity from the Risorgimento to the racial laws Mario Toscano; 3. Mussolini and the Jews on the eve of the march on Rome Giorgio Fabre; Part II. Rise of Racial Persecution: 4. Characteristics and objectives of the anti-Jewish racial laws in Fascist Italy, 1938-1943 Michele Sarfati; 5. The beginnings of racial persecution: the exclusion of Jews from Italian academies Annalisa Capristo; 6. The damage to Italian culture: Jewish university professors in Fascist Italy and after, 1938-1946 Roberto Finzi; 7. Building a racial state: images of the Jew in the illustrated Fascist magazine, La Difesa della Razza, 1938-1943 Sandro Servi; 8. The impact of anti-Jewish legislation on the everyday life and the response of Italian Jews (1938-1943) Iael Nidam-Orvieto; 9. The children of Villa Emma at Nonantola, 1942-1943 Klaus Voigt; 10. Anti-Jewish persecution and Italian society Fabio Levi; Part IV. Catastrophe - The German Occupation, 1943-1945: 11. The Shoah in Italy: some aspects of its history and characteristics Liliana Picciotto; 12. The Mollhausen telegram, the Kapler decodes, and the roundup and deportation of Roman Jewry: the new documents, 2000-2001 Robert Katz; 13. The persecution of Jews in two regions of occupied Northern Italy, 1943-1945: Operationszone Alpenvorland and Operationszone Adriatisches Kustenland Cinzia Villani; Part V. The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy: 14. The papal response to Nazi and Fascist antisemitism: From Pius VI to Pius XII Frank Coppa; 15. Pius XII and the rescue of Jews in Italy: evidence of a papal directive Susan Zuccotti; Part VI. Aftermath: Contemporary Italy and Holocaust Memory: 16. The rescued and the rescuers in private and public memories Anna Bravo; 17. The return of the repressed: contemporary filmmakers confront Italian Holocaust history Millicent Marcus; 18. The secret histories of Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful Ruth Ben-Ghiat.