The Jews in Mussolini's Italy: From Equality to Persecution (George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History)

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9780299217303: The Jews in Mussolini's Italy: From Equality to Persecution (George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History)
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    Often overshadowed by the persecution of Jews in Germany, the treatment of Jews in fascist Italy comes into sharp focus in this volume by Italian historian Michele Sarfatti. Beginning with a history of Italian Jews in the decades before fascism—when Jews were fully integrated into Italian national life—Sarfatti provides a deft and comprehensive history from the rise of fascism in 1922 to its defeat in 1945.
    From the beginning of his regime, Mussolini degraded the relationship between Italian Jews and the state. In 1938, anti-Jewish legislation deprived Jews of their rights and their livelihoods—with laws that sometimes preceded the concurrent German legislation—and 1943 marked the beginning of physical persecution of Jews in areas not yet liberated by the Allies.
    Sarfatti's work is a vigorous condemnation of Mussolini and his regime. Available in English for the first time, this revised and expanded edition uses thorough and careful statistical evidence to document how the Italian social climate changed from relatively just to irredeemably prejudicial.  Most forcefully, Sarfatti demonstrates that Rome did not simply follow the lead of Berlin.  Rather, Mussolini showed the ability to independently develop a hostile relationship with Italy's Jews, one that eventually led the Italian regime to cooperate in Hitler's "Final Solution."

The translation of this book has been funded by SEPS—Segretariato Europeo per le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche    

Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine

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About the Author:

Michele Sarfatti is director of the Centro di documentazione ebraica contemporanea in Milan and the author of many books and articles about Jews in fascist Italy. John Tedeschi is a Reformation historian, and Anne C. Tedeschi is a book conservator. Their many co-translated works include the award-winning The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg.    

From Publishers Weekly:

Tracking the plight of Italian Jews from Fascism's rise to power in 1922 to its defeat in 1945, historian Sarfatti asserts that Mussolini and his regime, rather than being passive participants in Hitler's master plan, were actively responsible for passing and enacting anti-Jewish legislation in Italy. Jews, who numbered from 40,000 to 50,000, had been so fully integrated as equals into Italian society since the second half of the 19th century and held such diverse political views that in two key 1921 rampages that birthed Fascism—in Pisa and Modena—Jews figured prominently among the sparring Fascists, Socialists and monarchists. Yet the Fascist government that was established in October 1922 and headed by the pragmatically anti-Semitic Mussolini immediately gave dominance to Catholicism over minority religions, and in 1927, Mussolini announced his intention to "nurture the Italian race." By 1937, various industries were aryanized; Mussolini initiated a search for Jewish surnames among the higher army officers; and a new anti-Semitic weekly humor magazine began publishing. By 1943, Italy was confiscating Jewish property and partnering with the Nazis in the Final Solution. Although this tome is prodigiously documented and definitive, its dry, opaque prose and high price tag unfortunately preclude a lay readership. Illus. (Aug. 15)
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9780299217341: The Jews in Mussolini's Italy: From Equality to Persecution (George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History)

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ISBN 10:  0299217345 ISBN 13:  9780299217341
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006
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