This program is held in cooperation with the Center for Jewish History, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the Italian Cultural Institute in New York and is part of a series entitled Purely Italian.
YIVO Constantine Gallery, 15 West 16th Street
The Persecution of Jews in Italy. A Documentary History.
Curated by the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Milan.
In the past 20 years, Italian historians have brought to light new and significant facts that challenge the common perception of a “lighter” version of the Holocaust in Italy. What needs to be completely reconsidered is the old notion that only as late as 1938 Mussolini’s regime adopted harsh anti-semitic policies, mostly as a result of pressure from Nazi Germany. Instead, what emerges is a different and more nuanced perspective on the complex relationship between Italians and Jews under Fascism and the nature of Fascist anti-semitism. This new assessment is crucial for a deeper understanding of the specific characteristics of the Shoah in Italy, including the contradictory circumstances that allowed a high percentage of Jews to survive.