Scholars from different countries gathered in Jerusalem for a symposium that revisited the Italian Racist legislation of 1938 in a interdisciplinary and contemporary perspective. The themes investigated in the colloquium included antisemitism, racism, fascism, nationalism and the question of civil and political liberty in the Twenties and the Thirties.
Prof. Barak Medina, Rector of the Hebrew University and Chair in Human Rights at the faculty of law, opened the conference. Echoing one of Primo Levi’s most pressing concerns, Prof. Medina reminded the audience that racism and discrimination are a constant threat to societies everywhere.
In his remarks, Italian Ambassador Gianluigi Benedetti, pointed to the relevance of new contemporary research in the field and of public awareness of this past.
The symposium was curated by Manuela Consonni, director of the Vidal Sasson International Center for the Study of Antisemitism and professor of Holocaust Studies at the Hebrew University and Francesco Cassata, professor of history at the University of Genoa. Historian Michele Sarfatti, former director of the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Milan and member of the Italian delegation of IHRA, was the keynote speaker.
His presentation was chaired by professor Sergio Della Pergola of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sponsors of the event include the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism & DAFIST, the University of Genoa, the Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv, the Italian Embassy in Israel and the Hevrat Yehude Italia BeIsrael. The symposium was made possible through the generous support of the Knapp Family Foundation.
The full program is available on the website of the SICSA.