(Leonardo Campus is a historian, Tv author, journalist. click HERE)
CAMPUS: “Welcome. This research project was carried out for the Venice Center for Digital and Public Humanities of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and concerns the memory of Racial Laws in Italian public television. The research resulted in two outups. The first is more traditional: a scientific paper. The second, more innovative, is a product of digital and public history: this Web Documentary (or WebDoc) that you are about to navigate through here. It is an attempt to see Racial Laws from a different perspective, that is, as televised memory; and also to present them through a different medium, perhaps more accessible and appealing to younger generations: the web. It is our hope that we are offering something new and useful to both academics and teachers as well as to the wider public.
The web documentary is divided into two sections. The first regards the Events, which briefly highlights the key points of the Italian Fascist persecution of the Jews. This is followed by the main section, which deals with the account and memory of the Racial Laws from the post-war period to today.
We will present three categories of materials in parallel: the sources of Rai Tv (the national public broadcasting company of Italy), the historiography, and the cultural and political events. The first and main category of is that of RaiTv sources. These are presented here for the first time in open access, in the form of excerpts and in respect of copyrights, thanks to the collaboration with the Direzione Rai Teche. They are accompanied by transcripts and an English translation. Some videos, as you will see, are quite precious and suggestive.
Of course, these only represent a small selection. The intent here could not be to inventory all the videos on the subject, nor to give a totally exhaustive interpretation of each of them, but to only offer what appeared as essential information. The second category is made of historiographic materials and memorials, to account for the progress in the research and reflections on the subject. The third group comprise the cultural and political events that provided the contexts for the other two. As will be seen, these three different categories have mutually influenced one another and have followed parallel paths in many ways. But, we will return to that later, in the final video of the web documentary containing the Conclusion. Please leave us a comment with your impressions or memories when you have seen the web documentary. We hope to have prepared a useful tool for both academics and the public. The issue, certainly, is of the utmost relevance and of topical interest. Happy browsing”
Mussolini's speech in Trieste (September 18, 1938)
MUSSOLINI: “World judaism has been, for sixteen years, despite our policies, an irreconcilable enemy of fascism. (…) It is required a clear, severe racial conscience, that establishes not only differences but very clear superiorities.”
Fascist illustration summarizing the laws (from “La difesa della razza”, Nov. 10, 1938)
1944 Photo (the sign reads: 'This store is Aryan. Jews are not admitted')“)
Extract from the documentary “Memoria. I sopravvissuti raccontano”
ROMEO RUBINO SALMONI: “Now that I have 10 grandchildren, thanks to God, I remember the time I saw a train bringing about 200 small children, who were holding rag dolls. They were heading for… for the crematoria. For the next two days, the flame burned high over the crematorium, about two metres high. They were burning the tender flesh of Jewish children. We could smell it. It spread all over the camp.”
48302 Jews residing in Italy in 1938
1 ‰ of Jews on the total Italian population (roughly 1 in 1000)
35200 Jews who remained in Italy in 1943
8869 Deported Italian Jews
22 Percentage of deportees on the Jews present in Italy in 1943 (almost 1 in 4)
7860 Italian Jews killed in the Shoah
Jews residing in Italy in 1938: V. Galimi, Sotto gli occhi di tutti. La società italiana e le persecuzioni contro gli ebrei, Le Monnier 2018, p.12
Jews who remained in Italy in 1943: M.A. Matard-Bonucci, L’Italia fascista e la persecuzione degli ebrei, Il Mulino, 2007, p. 375
Deported Italian Jews: L.Picciotto, Il libro della memoria. Gli ebrei deportati dall’Italia (1943-1945), Mursia, 1991, p. 26
Percentage of Jewish deportees: our own recalculation based on the figures quoted in M.A. Matard-Bonucci, L’Italia fascista e la persecuzione degli ebrei, Il Mulino, 2007, p. 375. (thanks to M.Sarfatti for advice on this point)
Italian Jews killed in the Shoah: L.Picciotto, Il libro della memoria. Gli ebrei deportati dall’Italia (1943-1945), Mursia, 1991, p. 26
“Everyone is someone else's Jew.”
PRIMO LEVI (from 'Se non ora quando', in Opere, Vol II, p.427)
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