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