Winter Semester 2021/2022

Jews in Fascist Italy

Lecturers: PD Dr. Jan Gerber/Moritz Schmeing

Thursday, 11.15 a.m. to 12.45 p.m.

Start: 14 October 2021

Venue: Dubnow Institute, Goldschmidtstr. 28, Leipzig; In-class event with digital components

Seminar Language: German

The relationship between fascist Italy and its Jewish population was ambivalent. At first, Jews enjoyed full civil rights, with many joining the Fascist Party, the Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF). Although Jews only made up 0.1 percent of the total Italian population around the turn of the century, the proportion of Jews in the PNF was three times this number. The political situation changed with the introduction of the Italian racial laws in 1938. As Italy grew steadily closer to Nazi Germany, the antisemitic tendencies of the fascist movement grew. Jews were henceforth discriminated against and excluded from the party. However, systematic deportations to the extermination sites only began with the German occupation of northern and central Italy. A high proportion of Jews was not only notable in the PNF, but also in the Resistenza, the French Résistance, and the Allied armies that fought against fascism and the Germans. This seminar will examine these seemingly contradictory developments alongside their historical, political, and social background. To this end, the seminar will look back as far as the Risorgimento, the Italian nationalist movement of the nineteenth century. Germany will regularly be taken as a point of comparison in order to hone our perspective on developments both in Germany and in Italy.



A literature list will be provided at the beginning of the seminar.

Participation is limited to 15 people.

Open to mature age students: no