Friends, Romans, Countrymen…and Jews: Experiencing the Holocaust in Italy’s Capital
Lecturer: Gabrielle Orsi, Columbia University
In 1922, Europe’s original Fascists—Italy’s National Fascist Party seized power and Mussolini established a dictatorship that would last for more than 20 years. In 1938, racial laws were imposed on Italy’s Jewish population.
After Mussolini’s regime collapsed in July 1943, Italy was invaded by his erstwhile Nazi allies from the north. In a bitter irony, ancient history had concentrated Italy’s Jewish communities in the northern half of the peninsula – as the Nazis conquered territory south all the way to Rome. Join Dr. Gabrielle Orsi to explore what happened next in Rome—declared an open city on August 14, 1943—as the Roman Jewish community faces this threat. She will present testimony, images, art, propaganda, and trace the life of one extraordinary Roman woman whose blockbuster novel History (La Storia) would portray the shocking events in Rome and serve as “an accusation of all the fascisms of the world” so potent that Franco would ban it in Spain.
Sponsor: Generously supported by the Jewish Education Leadership Fund Families