The Italian Experience

Conference Papers
Thème de la ressource: 
Trafic d'œuvres d'art, d'antiquités, de documents anciens et de spécimens d'histoire naturelle
Litiges, retours et restitutions
Type de ressource: 
Bibliographie - Articles de conférence
Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy
Pages / Longueur: 
9 p.
Langue de publication: 

For many decades after the end of the Second World War the theme of the persecution of the Jews, on which the Fascist regime embarked in the summer–autumn of 1938, was not considered a question worthy of attention and study either in Italian culture or in Italian and international historiography. 

Without having been discussed or tested in any way, the predominant view of what had happened to Jews living in Italy between 1938 and 1945 was that Fascism had introduced anti–Semitic laws solely to humour its Nazi ally and under pressure from it, but without there being any real will and ideological conviction on the part of Mussolini’s regime behind the initiative. This interpretation of the facts, for many decades never seriously debated or verified, spread rapidly after 1945 quickly took root not only in the academic world, but also in public opinion and common sense, heavily conditioning a correct understanding of the events of those years.

Presentation at the Symposium on Holocaust Art Looting and Restitution.