Brava Gente: Debunking the Myth of Jew-Loving Italians

Photo: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

Dr Shira Klein, professor of modern history at Chapman University, discusses her book Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism, analyzing the contested legacy of the modern Jewish experience in Italy.

 


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2 comments on Brava Gente: Debunking the Myth of Jew-Loving Italians

  1. Deavman says:

    And yet I read many times that 80 % Italian Jews survived. How does this happen when you say that the Italian police was directly involved in the hunting down of Jews.
    Also in the beginning of the interview, Bulgaria was mentioned as the one country that refused to round up ITS Jews. True enough, but the fact is that any non Bulgarian Jew found was handed over to the Nazis. Bulgaria considered its Jews full citizens, sadly other Jews were not spared.

    1. Fxston says:

      “And yet I read many times that 80 % Italian Jews survived. How does this happen when you say that the Italian police was directly involved in the hunting down of Jews.”

      Deavman, the commonly used “80%” figure with regard to Italy depends on what methodology is used to reach it. Leaving that aside, the survival rate was achieved because people helped Jews, deserters, British and American prisoners, political dissidents and opponents, et al.

      “True enough, but the fact is that any non Bulgarian Jew found was handed over to the Nazis. Bulgaria considered its Jews full citizens, sadly other Jews were not spared.”

      You’re referring to what took place in Bulgarian-occupied territories outside of Bulgaria. Yes, Bulgarian military and police definitely helped deport Jews from Bulgarian-occupied territories (and evidently even sought reimbursement for the cost from the Reich!), Bulgaria was still better than Italy, where both citizen and non-citizen/foreign Jews ultimately suffered, particularly after 1938 (that is when they remained). (What’s ironic is that non-Italian Jews were often protected in Italian-occupied territories by members of the Italian military, to the extent possible.)

      And of course it wasn’t just the Italian police who were participants in the apparatus that executed anti-Jewish laws and ultimately assisted the Judeocide that followed.

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