Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010
Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

2010 is the 70th anniversary of Italy’s entry into the Second World War, a decision that set off a chain of events that culminated in two years of devastating warfare and a cruel occupation. German occupation led to the deportation of 7,800 Jews and fostered the conditions for civil war to develop in the north of the country. Partisan warfare and German defensive operations led to repeated atrocities against civilians. The full story of the mass killing of Italian civilians and the persecution of the Jews, which began in 1938, has only come to light in the last fifteen years due to the opening of once closed archives and a shift in the political spectrum that led to renewed interest in Fascist and German crimes. This conference will showcase the new research by Italian scholars working in the field and facilitate discussion with UK-based researchers.

Programme

Welcome – David Cesarani .

Fascism, racism and the Jews in Italy

Chair: MacGregor Knox (London School of Economics)

Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti (University of Pisa)
The Jews of Italy from emancipation to Fascism (AUDIO HERE)

Salvatore Garau (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Fascism, anti-semitism and the Italian Jews (AUDIO HERE)

questions .

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Alessandro Visani (Rome University)
The racial laws 1938: reception and implementation (AUDIO HERE)

Ilaria Pavan (Scuola Normale, Pisa)
Social-economic impact of the fascist racial laws,1938-1945 (AUDIO HERE)

questions .

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War, atrocity and its aftermath

Chair: David Cesarani (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Paolo Pezzino (University of Pisa)
Warfare and massacre, 1943-45 (AUDIO HERE)

Michele Battini (University of Pisa)
German war crimes and allied justice  (AUDIO HERE)

questions .

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Guri Schwarz (University of Pisa)
Italian Jews and memory of the genocide (AUDIO HERE)

John Foot (University College London)
Italians and the divided memory of the war (AUDIO HERE)

questions .

 

The conference is organised by the Holocaust Research Centre, Royal Holloway University of London, in cooperation with the Imperial War Museum.
It has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the British Academy.

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John Foot – Italians and the divided memory of the war

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010

Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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John Foot (University College London)
Italians and the divided memory of the war

This talk examines the the Italian war experience between 1939 and 1945 through two stories relating to individuals, groups, commemorations and monuments. Through these stories I aim to draw out the wide variety of the experiences of war amongst Italians, and examine some of the ways in these experiences were remembered, forgotten or silenced.
I argue that the wide range of Italian experiences of war were not reflected fully in public or official memory, and that there was a dislocation between the war as it was experienced and the ways in which the conflict was explained and understood from above.
This dislocation began to break down in the 1990s, at first through the work of historians and then through new forms of public memory and commemoration. A historiographical revolution has taken place in Italy relating to a wide range of themes linked to memory and ‘other’ histories of the war over the last twenty years. This revolution has also led to the widespread acceptance of alternative historical methods, such as oral history and micro-history. The two stories examined in this talk relate to Italian public and private memories of deportation to the camp of Mauthausen-Gusen and the tale of a resistance monument in Venice.
In general, and in conclusion, I will argue that contemporary Italy has been marked by a tendency towards divided memory. Events have been interpreted in contrasting ways, and the facts themselves often contested. It has proved extremely difficult, if not impossible, for any group to create a consensus around the past, or around ways of remembering that past. Individual events as well as history itself have been understood in a bewildering variety of ways. The state and other public bodies have rarely been able to build durable and commonly agreed practices of commemoration. There has been no closure, no ‘truth’, little reconciliation. Clearly, World War Two was the peak of this division, with its contradictions and civil wars which naturally produced divisive and disturbing narratives and memories.

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Guri Schwarz – Italian Jews and memory of the genocide

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010

Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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Guri Schwarz (University of Pisa)
Italian Jews and memory of the genocide



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Michele Battini – German war crimes and allied justice

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010

Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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Michele Battini (University of Pisa)
German war crimes and allied justice

Michele Battini reconstructs the history of the major trial that the Allies planned to institute against the entire military command of the
Nazi forces operating in Italy from 1943 to 1945. The trial was prepared on the logistical bases and juridical ones of one of the 13 Nuremberg  Trials, that against the leaders of the Wehrmacht, but it never took place.The reason was that it would have jeopardized the re-integration of the German Federal Republic in the West community, and would also have risked placing the Italian government in the embarrassing position of having the Italian army prosecuted for crimes committed in the countries occupied by the Rome-Berlin axis. The enigma of this missing Italian Nuremberg and the explanation of the limits of the transitional justice can also be explained in terms of the political situation in post war Europe, the diplomatic relations between Italy and the Allies and the double game played by the Italian government.These  events served to give rise to a highly selective memory of totalitarianism and the war in Italy. Justice, truth and peace: all good things do not go together.

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Paolo Pezzino – Warfare and massacre, 1943-45

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010

Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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Paolo Pezzino (University of Pisa)
Warfare and massacre, 1943-45

Paolo Pezzino presents the results of a research group which has, over the last few years, effected a careful contextualization of the German Military Occupation of Italy and the Massacres of  Civilians massacres of civilians in Tuscany, a region of great significance for this subject. The aim has been to place these massacres in a more precise historical context, by reconstructing the power structures, the logic and the cultural conditioning which made them possible, the behaviour and aims of the various protagonists, the complex evolution of the survivors’ memories, the ways in which the community memory has been taken up, or expelled, by the antifascist paradigm of republican Italy.
The salient fact of the “war against civilians”, waged by the Germans, their allies and collaborators, had been identified by the Allied investigations in the system of orders which regulated it. The general report, on 11 August 1945, sent from Allied Headquarters to the British Undersecretary of State at the War Office, together with attached files and appendices which contained the results of the investigations, concluded:  the “reprisals were not carried out on the orders of the commanders of single German units, but were instances of an organized campaign, directed by Field Marshal Kesselring’s Headquarters”.
The research teams have conducted a survey of all the episodes of massacres in Tuscany,  237 episodes have been counted; the total number of victims has been found to be 3778, of which 2.737 males. About 80% of the episodes and 83% of the victims cannot be linked to “reprisals” for partisans actions, according to the way this term is defined by the usual procedures of warfare. This is a very significant fact, because it tends to weaken the defensive theses of the German generals and calls into question other factors, linked to territorial control, which tended to assume an openly terrorist character in relation to the civilian population.
The results demonstrate the very wide range of units involved and so confirm the existence of a general approach which led to massacres; however, it is possible to differentiate between the German troops, both as regards the propensity to put into practice the draconian orders issued by the High Command, and the ways these were applied, when this was, in fact, the case. So the facts regarding certain units are of the utmost significance: the units of the XVI SS PG Division and the Hermann Göring Division were responsible for a minority of the massacres 71 actions (33,8%) (total: 210 massacres), but 2.125 victims, about the 58,2% of the total number, were killed, (3.650 total victims). These actions were more distinctly terrorist or punitive in nature, and their intervention contributed to characterizing them as exterminations.
In conclusion, the system of orders and its application, the functional assigning of tasks, to be put into effect, above all, by men transferred to Italy from the Eastern Front, where they had already undergone “the brutalization of war”, referred to by Bartov — are the elements which contribute to defining, as typically Nazi, the “war against civilians” waged in Italy: they, therefore, qualitatively distinguish the German system of occupation.




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Ilaria Pavan – Social-economic impact of the fascist racial laws,1938-1945

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010
Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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Ilaria Pavan (Scuola Normale, Pisa)
Social-economic impact of the fascist racial laws,1938-1945

The economic aspects of the Fascist anti–Jewish campaign have been largely underrated and neglected, when not denied, for many years.
In the late forties a veil was quickly drawn over the manifold legislative and administrative measures undertaken by Mussolini’s government against Jewish properties throughout seven years, their concrete enforcement and their consequences on Jews, both Italian and foreigner.
This peculiar chapter of the anti–Jewish persecution has been interpreted within the general framework with which the whole Fascist anti–Semitic persecution was read for decades by the Italian and international historiography: a mere bowing to the Nazi will, exclusively motivated by reasons of foreign policy. The anti–Semitic legislation issued by the Fascism was considered without a real ideological and political background and, accordingly — it was said — scarcely and blandly applied by the fascist apparatus, especially in its economic aspects. Moreover, a classic anti-Jewish stereotype has further influenced this erroneous reading: Mussolini’s government was aware of the (alleged) economic dominance and supremacy of the Jewish community; hence, fearing of damaging the whole national economy he did not act with rigor and severity against Jewish properties.
Only recently, triggered by the survey led by the “Italian Government Commission for reconstruction of the events characterizing the acquisition of Jewish assets by public and private bodies”, which was operative between 1999 and 2000, new studies have clearly demonstrated the fallacy and lack of foundation of these well–rooted interpretations.
Starting from the analysis of the economic situation of the Italian Jewry on the eve of the racial campaign, my talk will illustrate the detailed and pervading economic persecution, its key features, its heavy consequences on Jews’ everyday life, as well as the autonomy of the Fascist government and bureaucracy in the conceiving and implementation of the Jewish spoliation, even during the period of the Nazi occupation of the Italian territory.

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Alessandro Visani – The racial laws 1938: reception and implementation

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010

Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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Alessandro Visani (Rome University)
The racial laws 1938: reception and implementation




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Salvatore Garau – Fascism, anti-semitism and the Italian Jews

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010

Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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Salvatore Garau (Royal Holloway, University of London
Fascism, anti-semitism and the Italian Jews

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Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti – The Jews of Italy from emancipation to Fascism

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 26th, 2010

Event Date: Sunday 26 September 2010
Imperial War Museum, London

Racism, war, atrocity, and its aftermath in Italy, 1938-2010

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Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti (University of Pisa)
The Jews of Italy from emancipation to Fascism

Over the last thirty years there has been a considerable expansion in Italian history writing on topics of Jewish history. For a long time — until the 1990s — the integration of Italian Jews was described by historians as a process unshadowed by problems. The way the process unfolded at various levels is now being studied to understand both the reasons for the apparent ease of integration and the less evident grey areas. After emancipation, the increasing integration and ongoing secularization transformed Jewishness into a private matter, mainly consisting in an affective bond with family traditions, susceptible of all manner of individual definitions and multiple interactions with other dimensions of identity. The analysis of the changing modes of self-representation of the Italian-Jewish religious and intellectual élites in the time period running from the 1860s to the first World War — through sources such as Jewish periodicals, sermons, catechisms etc. — can show us how the endless search for a balance between assimilation and defence of “otherness” worked.

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Engage 2010

in Academic Service - Archive by on September 23rd, 2010

Event Date: 23 September 2010
University of Bristol
Victoria Rooms, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1SA

 

University of Bristol, Centre for Public Engagement

Engage 2010

Join University colleagues and external partners at this one day conference to share experiences and learn about the range of public engagement activity at the University of Bristol. Hear city leaders’ visions of an engaged university, meet and exchange ideas with colleagues and potential partners, and take part in innovative and interesting training and workshop sessions. Finish the day with a drinks reception and screening of the ‘Mathematical Ethnographies’ in Royal Fort House.

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programme of recorded sections:

Welcome and introduction to the day; Engagement Award presentation

PVC Avril Waterman-Pearson .

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Plenary I: Bristol Panel – How should the University of Bristol be working with the city?

Intro Kathy Sykes .

Speakers:

  • Tom Trevor (Arnolfini) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • Edel Fletcher (At-Bristol) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • Annie Hudson (Bristol City Council Children’s and Young People’s Services) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • questions .

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Plenary II: Public engagement in difficult times

Intro Maggie Leggett .

Speakers:

  • Phillip Newton (Research Councils UK) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • Sophie Duncan (NCCPE) –  (AUDIO HERE)
  • Maggie Leggett (Centre for Public Engagement) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • questions .

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Plenary III: Case studies from across the University

Intro Maggie Leggett .

Speakers:

  • Tim Harrison (Bristol ChemLabS) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • Becky Whay (Vet School) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • Kirsty Reid and Tim Cole (Historical Studies) – (AUDIO HERE)
  • questions .

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Closing comments and reflections; Philip Newton (Research Councils UK) .

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