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The Italian Racial Laws

16Oct4:30 pm6:00 pmThe Italian Racial Laws4:30 pm - 6:00 pm(GMT+00:00)

Event Details

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Manifesto
« It is time that Italians proclaim themselves genuinely racist. The entire work carried out by the Regime up to this point, is nothing else but racism. (…) The question of racism in Italy must be treated primarily from a biological point of view without political or religious intentions. The understanding of racism in Italy must be essentially Italian and its orientation must be Northern-Arian.» (The Defense of Race, August 5, 1938).

In 1935 the so-called “Nuremberg Laws” defined the exclusion of German Jews from the Reich citizenship, and prohibited them to marry people of “German or German-related blood.”
Between August and December 1938 Italy adopted a series of legislative provisions that deprived Italian Jews of their civil rights and came to be known as the “Racial Laws”. The racial policies of the Fascist government had begun in 1937 with the Royal Decree 880 that prohibited the “acquisition of concubines and the marriage of Italian citizens with subjects of the Italian colonies”. A year later the policy concentrated mainly on foreign and Italian Jews.

July 1938 – Giornale d’Italia anonymously publishes the Manifesto of Racist Scientists. A month later the document is made public by the Minister of Popular Culture, Dino Alfieri, and underwritten by ten academicians in the fields of medicine, science and the humanities. Figures in all fields adhere to the manifesto.

September-December 1938Promulgation of the Racial Laws. The Fascist government issues a series of provisions regulating, with separate bills, the exclusion of foreign and Italian Jews from the school, the academia, politics, finances, professional world, and all sectors of public and private life.
Italian citizens of the Jewish religion were no longer allowed to attend school and marry non-Jew, to be drafted in the Army, to own or administrate firms, to own or administrate land and real estate over a certain value, to hire non-Jewish employes, to be hired in the public administration, by political parties, banks, insurance companies, newspapers, publishing houses, artistic, research, and educational institutions. The public agencies in charge of census and demographic records become part of the government task-force for the “defense of race”.

February 1939 -Introduction of a bill that adds new limitations to the ability of Jews to own real-estate and commercial activities.

July 1939-Introduction of rulings that severely limit the rights and mobility of Italian Jews in terms of family law, estate law, and use of last name.

July 1940 – New taxes are imposed on Jewish professionals.

February 1941 – The State agency that regulates the seizing of Jewish properties receive authorization to liquidate them.

April 1942 – The use of theatrical and musical materials authored by Jews is prohibited.

October 1942 – New limitations are imposed and enforced on Jewish citizens residing in Libya.

November 30, 1943 – The police issues the order to arrest Jews residing in Italy and territories under Italian control.

January 1944 – New rulings are issued to seize and liquidate Jewish assets.

Articles of the Manifesto:
Human races exist.

•There are great races and small races.
•The notion of race is purely biological.
•The majority of the current Italian population is of the Arian origin and of Arian civilization.
•It is a mere legend that large masses of migrants came into the country.
•There is today a pure “Italian race”.
•It is time that Italians proclaim themselves genuinely racist.
•It is necessary to make a distinction between the Mediterranean people of Europe (Westerners) and Eastern and African people.
•The Jews do not belong to the Italian race.
•The purely European physical and psychological characters of the Italian people must not be altered.

Civil Society and Exile
Among the public figures who were forced to leave Italy after the promulgation of the racial laws are many man and women in the worlds of science, art, and the humanities, including the psychiatrist Silvano Arieti, composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Islamist Giorgio Levi Della Vida, economist Franco Modigliani, mathematician Salvador Luria and Emilio Segrè, architect Bruno Zevi, the family of Tullia and Eugenio Calabi, physicist Enrico Fermi, and many others.

Opposition: The case of Arturo Toscanini.
The legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini first boycotted the Salzburg Festival and – after the promulgation of the racial laws in Italy in 1938, he decided to leave the country. In support of the Jewish musicians and composers who were persecuted in Europe, in 1936 Toscanini directed the Palestine Symphony Orchestra (today Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) in Tel Aviv.

In this website see:
Youtube references
Library references on the Shoah in Italia

Italy under Fascism – An online exhibition
Museo Shoah – The Fascist Persecution of the Jews
J.Zimmermann – Jews in Italy under Fascist and Nazi Rule
Annalisa Capristo, Remove from Circulation. Censorship in Fascist Italy
Abrogation of the Racial Laws and Process of Restitution

Wiki resources
The Racial Laws
Jewish public figures under the Racial Laws
Mussolini announces the Racial Laws
The racial laws and people’s lives

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