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Title: Identities in conflict : Italian Jewish partisans, 1943-1945
Author: Ravaioli, Viviana Fulvia Lauretta.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3509 2118
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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The entire history of the Jews of Italy has been extensively documented, although virtually no research has explored the case of the Jews who participated in the Italian antifascist Resistance during World War II. This research investigates the possibility of singling out elements of differentiation, of distinction in the behaviour, in the words and thoughts of the Italian Jews who decided to join the Resistance, and of comparing them with the behaviour of thousands of non-Jewish Italian partisans. In Italy, unlike Eastern Europe and France, there were no partisan brigades consisting only of Jews. Jews, as a rule, were fully assimilated into Italian society and lacked any external features which identified them as Jews. Moreover, Italian Jews, since the foundation of the modem Italian state, considered themselves an integral part of the Italian people. Therefore, no distinction has ever been made between 'Jewish' and 'Italian' partisans. However, a number of factors had forced Italian Jews to think of themselves as a separate category. The Italian Racial Laws of 1938 had assigned a legally distinct, 'Jewish' identity to them. While this categorisation was not widely accepted by Italian society, it did force Jews to consider, many for the first time, a separate Jewish identity. At a certain moment, victims of racial persecution and Italian partisans found themselves spontaneous allies. The Jews forced to escape were ready to be bonded with anyone with the same objectives, in a situation where there were no racial differences and where, after years of humiliations, they could live like others. Although many witnesses declared that they fought in the underground movement as Italians, this thesis will argue that their 'Jewishness' often influenced their decision to join the Resistance. The thesis includes a database of Italian Jewish partisans.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available