The Attitudes of Italian Jews Towards Fascism in the 1920s

MAY 01, 2014 | 6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




May 01, 2014: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM




The center for Jewish Studies


Not much light has been shed on the history of the relationship between the Italian Jewish community and the Fascist regime prior to Mussolini’s antisemitic attack in 1938. The racial campaign and its tragic consequences have monopolized the studies that flourished in Italy over the last two decades and which have led to a complete reappraisal of this shameful page of Italian history. This historiography has correctly emphasized the autonomous decision of the Fascist regime to introduce harsh antisemitic legislation, highlighting the zeal in its implementation. In so doing, the years before 1938 have been mostly treated as a long prelude to the “inevitable” 1938 turning point.  This lecture explores the relationship between the Italian Jewish Community and Fascism during the 1920s.  It brings to light consonances and affinities between aspects of the new fascist culture and the aims of the Jewish community, or at least of some of its institutional representatives and of the Zionists.

Ilaria Pavan received her PhD in History from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. She has been a visiting scholar at the Institute of European Studies, University of California–Berkeley and a fellow at the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research in Jerusalem, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the USHMM of Washington D.C. She has published extensively on the history of the Jews in Italy during the 18th and 19th centuries and on the legal and juridical aspects of the Fascist persecution and its aftermath. She is currently Lecturer in History at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa.

Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies