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Resisting GenocideThe Multiple Forms of Rescue$
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Jacques Semelin, Claire Andrieu, and Sarah Gensburger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199333493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333493.001.0001

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Italian Jews and the Memory of Rescue (1944–1961)

Italian Jews and the Memory of Rescue (1944–1961)

(p.127) 8 Italian Jews and the Memory of Rescue (1944–1961)
Resisting Genocide

Paola Bertilotti

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the memory that the Jews in Italy had with regard to the help they occasionally received between 1943 and 1945. It examines the memory of rescue as an essential aspect of the memory of anti-Semitic persecutions and relates it to ‘the myth of the good Italian’, whereby the Italians are considered kind by nature and human, contrary to their cruel and ruthless German allies. More specifically, it analyses the manner in which this myth fashioned references to rescue in Italian society and permeated its historiography, and correlates these references with domestic and foreign policy issues. It also describes the Italian Jews' gradual awareness of the genocide, abrogation of the anti-Semitic legislation, and their reintegration into Italian society in the years 1944–1947. Finally, the chapter assesses the memory of rescue during the periods 1948–1952 and 1953–1961.

Keywords:   memory, Jews, Italy, rescue, Italians, foreign policy, genocide, persecutions

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